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Easter Training for Duke of Edinburgh Award

posted 31 Mar 2016, 19:48 by OC Web   [ updated 31 Mar 2016, 19:49 ]
During the long Easter weekend, four dedicated Ōtaki College students spent their weekend tramping in the Tararua Ranges. The students were Ashleigh Stevenson, Jennifer Lei, Rosana Kata and Telesia Nelson-Latu. They were accompanied by Acting Head of P.E., Lisa Grant, and Assistant Leader, Heather Cramp. Both Ashleigh and Jennifer are working towards their Silver Duke of Edinburgh award while Telesia and Rosana are working towards their Bronze award. The Duke of Edinburgh programme has four sections which are Physical (participate in a sport/activity), Skill (undertake training/tutoring towards the skill), Voluntary (Rotary Interact Group fundraising) and the Adventurous Journey (tramping). The students must complete each section of the award for an hour a week. The bronze students work towards this over a period of six months and the silver students have been working towards this over a period of a year.

Ms Grant explained the background to the sometimes gruelling, but highly fulfilling weekend:
“The purpose of this weekend in the Tararua Ranges was to complete the practice journey for the adventurous section. We started the journey at the beginning of the Pukeatua track. After a gruelling five hours we reached the summit of Pukeatua with magnificent views out towards the Kapiti Coast and out to the ranges behind us. We then made our way down the other side of Pukeatua towards the Otaki Forks. This was both physically and mentally challenging for everyone as our bodies started to get tired and mentally we were drained. Upon reaching the Fenceline Track (where Pukeatua joins up), there was a sense of relief amongst the group as we knew there was not far to go. When we exited the bush we then made our way to Parawai Lodge where we set up on the balcony for the night.

The following day we walked up the Waiotauru Track for about three hours. We then decided that we would follow the river back to the campground and then get back onto the road to Parawai. This was a nice, refreshing walk with about five or six river crossings along the way. Everyone was quite hot due to the stunning weather so we all went for a swim at the Parawai Bridge. This was very refreshing and helped to relax our muscles for a big journey ahead in the morning.

We woke up at 4.30am to an incorrect alarm clock. We had planned on getting up at 5.30am so we went back to sleep until then. It took us a while to pack up and have breakfast and we were on the road tramping at about 7am. The group walked relatively quickly and made it to the summit in three hours. It then took us three hours to descend down the other side of the mountain before sighting the van and feeling a sense of achievement. All of the girls worked particularly hard and can be extremely proud of their efforts, as it was not a walk in the park. Our next adventure will be during the school holidays for the students to qualify for their awards.”