Catherine McAuley Students Complete Their ‘Adventurous Journey’, Duke of Ed, Catherine McAuley Westmead, CathEd Parra

21 Catherine McAuley students have just completed their ‘Adventurous ‘Journey’, a component of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. The journey, or hike, was a 25 km loop in the Royal and Heathcote National Parks with the students camping overnight at the Camp Coutts scout campsite.

Students who are completing the Duke of Ed Bronze Award are required to complete four sections - a voluntary service, a skill, physical recreation and the camp known as the Adventurous Journey.

Mrs Natalie Nicolson, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator, said that all students did a fantastic job completing the hike. “It was challenging but it was meant to be a challenge and they all did a great job.

They had to orientate themselves using maps for part of the hike which added to the challenge. The students were resilient and they pushed through any obstacle that came their way. They also worked really well together”, she said.

Two McAuley staff members completed the hike with the students, Mrs Nicolson and Mr Foran. “They students motivated us to keep pushing through and constantly checked in with us as well to see how we were tracking, which was really nice”, said Mrs Nicolson.

“The students were super troopers”, said Mr Foran.

The slippery rocks, the mud, getting down rocks with my knees…the students literally put out their hands to help me.


Year 12 participant Alannah Elias has written the following report:

The adventurous journey is a component of the Duke of Ed Award that consists of a practice hike and a qualifying hike. Having completed the practice hike in May we were now completing the qualifying hike, which was a lot more physically challenging than the first!

On the first day, the weather was beautiful, nice and sunny but not too hot, and we hiked for about 12 km to our campsite. Once at the campsite we set up our tents, sat around a bonfire for dinner, ate marshmallows, then participated in what's called a 'yarning circle' where we shared our experiences with each other and reflected on how we were feeling with a simple question of "How are you tracking?", on a scale of 1 to 10.

Last time, I remember saying about a 3 or 4, but this time I jumped up to a 9! This was a really big achievement for me as my goal was to be more optimistic and I believe the fact I invested in a good pair of hiking boots also really helped!

On the second day we hiked another 12 km after having breakfast around the fire again. My highlight of the trip would have to be talking and playing games with friends to distract ourselves from the difficulty of the hike, watching how all the girls supported one another if we were struggling or needed a hand up a rock, and of course the marshmallows around the fire as we watched Mr Foran try one for the first time.

The biggest challenge was definitely the really steep hills, trying not to slip and pushing through to the end. But nonetheless we made it!! It was a great experience!

View and download photos from this event


Written By

Catherine McAuley Westmead

Catherine McAuley Westmead

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