(IN THE RESTING PLACE OF LOUIS TRICHARDT)
The Grade 9s of Stanford Lake College embarked on an 8-day self-guided expedition from 6th to 13th September. The students do their own navigation in the mountains. Navigational exercises were done in the class in preparation for this big trek! The base location is near Louis Trichardt. The bus dropped the students off and then they hiked the distance of approximately 10km in their 2 allocated groups to base camp.
The activities started the next day with a project focused on our commitment to sustainability of the environment. Then the groups had some problem solving to do which involved building shelters to sleep in using invader plant species.
Later that afternoon, group 1 received their briefing for the self-guiding mountain section. They had to plot the points on a 1:50 000 topographical map and work out the routes they would need to follow to get to their camp sites. They spent 3 days guiding themselves in the mountain during which time any obstacles and challenges experienced had to be solved as a group.
Group 2 stayed at base camp and were involved in activities including abseiling, visiting Bushman paintings and learning some bush craft techniques. They learnt how to make fire with sticks, a magnifying glass and steelwool. Then they went out on their 24 hour SOLO experience!
After 3 days the groups swopped around with group 2 going out on their self-navigation and group 1 back in base camp with activities and their SOLO experience. The last afternoon with all the trekkers back at base camp, we had a review session followed by the groups putting together a performance of their songs for special reward of a swim in the pool and a delicious braai with the staff. Eventually the whole group was invited to join the braai and then we had a small prize giving ceremony where the students had to pick a boy and girl that they thought benefitted the most from this expedition. They chose Ayesha Ayob as the girl and Juan Botha as the boy.
We arrived back on campus on Wednesday with a bunch of exciting experiences to tell everyone. The students can’t stop talking about their expedition and the last night’s wors braai! Well done to everybody for completing this challenging but fun expedition!
A big thank you to the parents who sponsored the wors braai and a huge thank you also to the staff for all their help and assistance to make this a memorable experience for all.