It is a great privilege for Roedean to facilitate our girl’s involvement in The President’s Award. This award, known internationally as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, encourages young people to contribute to society and to develop personal qualities of responsibility, adventure and compassion. The value of The Award is both the intrinsic personal growth and the status which it commands; it is highly regarded in the application process for bursaries and university courses, and for job interviews.
Our girls are fortunate as the range of school activities assists them in meeting the four broad criteria of The Award: community service; participation in a physical activity; developing a skill and experiencing a wilderness adventure. These Adventurous Journeys are especially memorable for the girls: hiking, canoeing, horse riding and climbing form the core of events which build character and camaraderie.
Kate Robinson reflects on her Gold Residential Project in Hoedspruit.
I loved my time at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre where I helped with the care of endangered, orphaned and injured wildlife. I enjoyed interacting with new people and making new friends. Each group had specific tasks to complete, such as feeding the cheetahs and bottle feeding the baby rhinos or cleaning out enclosures and we had to put aside our differences and work together.
We learnt independence and maturity, as we had to go about our tasks as efficiently as possible and we were responsible for making our own meals and being ready to leave on time. The centre not only taught us how to appreciate nature and the beauty around us, about the drought in South Africa and indigenous plants and animals, but also about ourselves and our own capabilities.
I found out how rewarding hard work can be, yet how one can still have lots of fun whilst contributing to a worthwhile cause. The time flew by way too quickly and it really was the most enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
Gold River Rafting Adventurous Journey.
This adventure took place at Zastron in the Orange Free State. Since none of us had been river rafting before, we had no idea what to expect. However, when we got there we were greeted by friendly faces, as we met our river rafting guides for the first time.
Our first rafting day started with an introduction on how some new knots so as to tie our equipment securely to the boats. That day, the calm water allowed us to get used to rafting, as well as have a good time relaxing on the river, while watching the beautiful scenery go by.
The nights, however, were a different story, as we all froze together.
Day 2 was much like day 1. However, it was during day 3 that we faced some difficulties. Not only did we raft into a strong headwind, but at certain times we ran into shallow sandbank (which required us to get out and push), as well as facing a small rapid. On the last day, we all pushed ourselves to finish of our adventurous journey. This week was a wonderful experience and we all went home a little closer than we thought we would have, with memories that we won’t forget anytime soon.
January: Drakensberg Silver hike: Emmanuelle Capatos
Waking up to the magnificent Drakensberg mountains and to the mooing of brown-eyed cows was just one of the special memories from the Silver President’s Hike.
On our five-day journey between 4 and 8 December, 2015, when we weren’t sweating it out like Bear Grylls climbing up the mountain, we were swimming in stream pools and joking to take our minds off our dead legs. Between figuring out how to pitch a tent, managing the weight of our bags, and cooking our own meals, the hike managed to teach us more than a skill or two.
We left base camp (after a long bus ride the previous day) to begin our walk, and we spent two nights sleeping out on the mountain. The views from the top were well worth the exercise. Although many found the hike challenging, we were all glad that we didn’t give up, and eventually, conquered the Drakensberg!
The President’s Award Silver Hike : 7— 10 January, 2016
Nthatisi Mota reflects on the hike at Kaapsehoop, Mpumalanga
The President’s Award Hike in Kaapsehoop, Mpumalanga, was a truly rewarding experience. It was filled with both exhaustion and utter exhilaration. I, along with twelve other students (five, of whom were from Roedean) embarked, on what seemed an extremely arduous task of hiking over 20 kilome-tres in four days! But we did just that. The hike not only tested me physically, but mentally as well. It was a physical test in that I came to the conclusion that walking is a sport within itself- even without all of the rocky and wet terrain we encountered! And mentally it tested me, in that I had to push myself to keep going.
Being able to say that, “I completed this hike”, is completely gratifying, and I cannot wait to embark on the Gold Adventurous Journey!
I encourage everyone to get involved with what TPA has to offer, as you are pushed beyond your comfort zone, forced to set goals, and rewarded by achieving goals you may have thought to be unobtainable. In all, nothing beats the feeling of finally reaching your destination, knowing that you achieved, yet another goal