Last month (April 2018) nine pupils and two beaks set out in the early morning to go to Kota Tinggi to complete this year’s Bronze International Awards expedition. The expedition requires pupils to be self-sufficient and camp in the wilderness for two days and one night on top of a mountain range.
Pupils had been working on their International Award for the previous eight months. Each of us had to perform and record activities including Physical Recreation; Skill; and Service to Others. For the expedition, pupils learnt how to navigate using a compass and map; how to cook food using a Trangia stove; how to apply and use first aid; and how to set up a tent and campsite. We had also undertaken a practice camp and hike to MacRitchie Reservoir in Singapore in order to get used to hiking with all our equipment in the humid conditions.
For this final expedition, the bus dropped us off in Kota Tinggi at the base of the mountain, where we could see the summit we had to climb, poking through the clouds.
Along the way, we witnessed some extraordinary sights. Loud waterfalls and lush, dense jungle surrounded us. We could see tracks of wild boar and other animals as we climbed up vertical stone structures and waded through cool streams. In total, we walked uphill for almost ten kilometres, passing seven waterfalls on the way.
Within six hours we managed to reach the top and set up camp before dark. Each group started cooking their dinner as the sun had dropped below the horizon. The dark skies, away from civilization, meant that we could see the stars sparkling brightly above us. Despite the heat in the jungle we managed to sleep well in our tents, ready for another day of hiking.
Morning came and after preparing our breakfast and we were quick to descend the far side of the mountain. After a quick swim at the base of a waterfall we got into the bus – smelly but delighted by the experience and pleased to have achieved our Bronze International Award. We were also very grateful to Ms Brooke and Mr White for accompanying us on the expedition.
International Award runs at Marlborough College Malaysia for pupils in Remove and Lower Sixth. Sign-up takes place in June of the Shell and Hundred years for participation in the following year.