International Award Bronze Camp

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International Award News
Bronze Adventurous Journey October 29 - 30 2015

Written by Ade Wirasubrata

Adventure refers to the exciting activity or unusual experience. These experiences are often of daring or risky nature. And our recent journey was no exception.

On the 29th of October, 2015, two teachers and 6 students Ade, Edly and Tzyy from year 11 and Nick, Min Ji and Nadia from year 9, went on a hiking expedition to the summit of the Gunung Tok Wan  (elevation of 675m) which is situated near Bukit Broga in Semenyih.

We departed school at 11 am  after our mentors, Ms Gibson and Mr Arnold ensured we had all necessary requirements  -hammocks to sleep in, camp stove, warm clothes, adequate food and sufficient drinking water to stay hydrated during this one night camp. On arrival at the base of Broga Hill we readied ourselves to start the hike up the mountain by applying sunscreen and  repellent and adjusting our packs for maximum comfort. We had a short briefing with reminders on staying safe and hydrated and the location of rest stops.

The  ‘trail’ up Broga Hill was very rough and steep. Many of us were already tired and panting loudly just after hiking for 10-15 minutes. But it was understandable as we were all carrying very heavy packs.

 

Ade and Edly who were the first to reach the rest stop and observe the beautiful scenery- panoramic views overlooking Broga, Seminyih and palm oil forests. After a short break and reflection on the hard work required to get this far, we shouldered our packs and soldiered on To Bukit Broga and lunch.

Our simple lunches of fruits, nuts and sandwiches was surpassed by Mr Arnold who impressed us with his full set lunch of Nasi lemak!

 

 

Our trail from Bukit Broga took us through dense jungle that sheltered us from the harsh sun and exposed us with a wealth of living things that exist in the forest ecosystem. Ms Gibson was impressed by the variety of fungi that could be found on the forest floor.

 

 

 

 

Reaching our next rest stop left us breathless and the 15kg on our shoulders up the steep and slippery trails was exhausting But knowing that we were almost there kept a smile in our face. Except for Ade, who has passed out.

 

By late afternoon we had reached our destination - the peak of Mount Tok Wan, 675 meters above sea level. We hung our hammocks in advance in case it rained, taking pride in perfecting their construction. With only torches for light, we decided to begin dinner preparations whilst there was still some light, bearing in mind that darkness comes quicker in the jungle. Another first was using the camp stoves to cook our gourmet delights. We all shared our food with each other because you know what they say, “There’s no I in Team”

 

 

Our dining experience became interesting when heavy downpours sent us scrambling for shelter which we found under our hammocks which protected us from the pouring rain and thanks to Ms Gibson, the raincoats she provided kept us warm and dry. As the storm passed and moon began to rise, we prepared for bed. Using the “bathroom” out here was a new experience for some of us and a unique way of “interacting” with nature. It was a step outside the comfort zone of some of our trekkers!

 

 

 

Tzyy and Nick were the first to embrace the new day after a somewhat sleepless night. It was a very cold morning and at 18 degrees we were all shivering. We had a simple breakfast comprising dried fruits, cereals, bread and nutella spread after which we packed up for the return journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before beginning the homeward journey,we left our bags and belongings in the campsite and made our way to the water channel which is 1km away. Ms Gibson and Nadia lead the way but moments later, Min Ji, Tzyy, Nick, Edly, Ade and Mr. Arnold were lost in the jungle. Mr. Arnold’s way of attracting Ms Gibson and Nadia’s attention was to shout out a “COO-WEE”. We all gave it a try and Min Ji managed to attract Ms Gibson’s attention who replied with a “I’m over here!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We reached the water channel, which was gently flowing with fresh water after the heavy rains and spent a brief time contemplating the beauty of our surroundings before returning to camp.
One last photo in the peak of Mount Tok Wan for the memories! “Leave nothing but footprints, Take nothing but photos” - Mount Tok Wan’s motto

 

 

 

 

Going down the mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

was very risky as the trails were slippery due to the heavy rain the night before. We all had to be very caution and take things slowly to avoid injury. Unfortunately,Min Ji was not so lucky, accidentally slipping and rolling her ankle. Ade and Edly as certified first aiders, came to the rescue so that Min Ji was able to complete her journey. We were all very happy to make it back down feeling exhilarated by our efforts. Everyone agreed that this experience was definitely challenging and well outside our comfort zones Thanks to Mr. Arnold and Ms. Gibson who helped us, guided us and took care of our safety throughout the camp. We really appreciate all your help.

Broga Hills, 29th-30th of October, 2015, Australian International School of Malaysia

Quotes from participants

“It was fun doing something you don't do regularly. Talking to people you don't usually talk to and spending the night together as well as helping each other was definitely a new feeling. Cooking in the rain and eating under the hammock is probably an experience I'll never forget. Great experience and a tough journey (well on the way up it was for me) towards a really nice view.”
- Nurun Nadia Mohd Shahrir (Participant)

“This was such a new experience for me, and I loved it. So many things were out of my comfort zone, except for spraining my ankle which is no surprise. Thankfully Ade, and Edly were there to help with first aid. Building my own hammock, cooking, and eating under the rain, nature being your toilet, and spending the night with people you've barely said a word to should be worrying, but it was really fun and I feel great!”
- Min Ji Park (Participant)

“Throughout the trip, I have learnt a lot. It happened to be my first time setting up a hammock, using the “bush” toilet, cooking in the jungle, discovering new colours of skittles, and sleeping with strangers. I know it may sound weird but it was not too bad. Lastly, I just want to say life is full of challenges and unknown possibilities. Without us putting a step forward, we will never know what is ahead of us. I am very grateful that I was part of this journey and it allowed myself to forge new friendships, overcome fears. Most importantly, we are capable to do anything  as long as we give it a try.  And of course, the chance to see some amazing views was simply another reward! So I’m calling out to all the young adventurers in AISM to take up this opportunity which takes place on every Thursday. Please do not hesitate if you have any enquiry about international awards, we are more than welcome to help you out!”
- Rachel Tzyy Yng Lau (Participant)

“I’ve camped three time so far and to be honest this is probably one of the toughest ones out of the three mountains I’ve trekked. It’s even much better to camp with friends! I’ve made new friends during this camp and can’t wait to hangout with them later on. This trip has really influenced me in both physically and mentally. Thanks to Ms Gibson and Mr Arnold for mentoring us throughout the camp. I did stuff out of my comfort zone like using the “nature” bathroom. I’d love to go camping again with these people soon!”
- Ade Khatamy (Participant)

“I was in the royal military school for two years and I’ve done a lot of camping in the forest during that two years of service. This was just another camp I took part in but with friends who weren’t involved in military service which is completely different to me. I realised that there’s more advanced equipments compared to the military school, such as the camping stove. We would create a fire with planks of wood and gasoline or oil. But this camp has also brought me to a more diverse relationship with fellow participants. Thanks to Ms Gibson and Mr Arnold, none of this would’ve happened without their help”
- Edly Elias (Participant)