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Year 9 students ventured to Lane Cove National Park for a two-day hiking and canoeing adventure as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The 56 students successfully navigated bush and water environments during an 11-kilometre journey on their first day of their adventure for the Bronze Award, followed by a night camping where they cooked meals they had planned and sourced food for as part of the expedition requirements.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a youth development program for ages 14 to 25 completed in three stages. At Bronze level, participants are required to complete four sections – service, skill, physical recreation and an adventurous journey. The same categories exist for the Silver and Gold level, with Gold participants also asked to complete a residential project.
The expedition on April 8 and 9 involved four groups, who alternated between hiking and canoeing and were assessed on their navigational efforts using a map of the north shore and compass.
Year 9 student Zoe said a highlight of the expedition was getting to know students outside of her immediate friendship group.
“I quite liked the fact that we bought all of our food and got to cook it together,” she said.
“It was nice to do that because you got to know people a lot better. I liked the idea of Duke of Ed. People I knew who had done it before said it was a lot of fun and it was.”
Lara said camping for the night after a successful day of adventuring was the best part of the expedition.
“Even though they were assessing us it was a lot more relaxed,” she said. “The accomplishment of knowing we had done everything ourselves was the best bit.”
"I started Duke of Ed because I wanted to challenge myself. I’m one of those people who is always busy so it was good to be doing those activities for a purpose, like netball coaching for the service component, and extending myself by going on the adventurous journey.”
Wenona Director of Outdoor Education and Adventure Jackie Horsham said the Award developed students’ goal-setting abilities along with qualities including persistence and resilience.
“The Duke of Edinburgh Award is offered at Wenona as a co-curricular option and is yet another way for students to develop independence and strong decision-making capabilities, form supportive friendships and be of service to the community,’’ Mrs Horsham said. “The Award is not only fun, as the Year 9 students who took part in a Bronze expedition during the recent school holidays can attest, it provides the students who participate with a real sense of achievement.”