Duke of Ed: Silver Journey Reflections

23 April 2021

"I started this hike with very little idea, of the amount of memories I was going to have, and the bonds I was very soon going to form with my fellow year 10 trekkers. Some of my favourite highlights of the trek were in the most part, random and at unexpected times whether that be around the trangia circle or after we had just finished walking up a steep hill, and I often thought that our laughter would travel down the valleys and be heard all the way back at Glenaeon. We had many challenges through the trek from bungled river crossings, to end up at the wrong cabins after a long day of walking. Throughout the entirety of the hike we were fully surround by natures delicate beauty, including the miracle regeneration of the bushland, following the catastrophic 2020 bush fires. The hike was made even more poignant given the recent passing of HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, founder of the award, who’s funeral was held during the time of our trek. This trek will always be in my memory along with the memory of The Prince and his legacy." Petal


"I really enjoyed our Silver Duke of Ed journey. It was such a fulfilling and rewarding experience and I found that I became a lot closer with the girls in my group. We had so many laughs and we really helped each other get through the hike, as it felt slow going hiking up and down the Six Foot Track.  Our trip went so quickly and before we knew it we were on our last night at Jenolan Caves sitting together and all laughing as we remembered the different parts of our journey. We got to walk through so many different climates throughout the whole of the hike; we began in the rainforest and ended up in an open field with horse, before we went over a suspension bridge over the water. I really feel that I had such a good group of girls to go through the hike together, it was such an amazing experience to share with them." Hana








"One of the highlights of walking the 6 foot track for me was being able to grow closer to the group and forming a special bond between each other. Everyone was so helpful and we really worked well together as a team to organise and make the trip fun and memorable. We also encountered lots of animals, birds, kangaroos, mice and horses. I really enjoyed walking through the different types of vegetation and the scenery it brought; rainforests where we got to admire a stunning waterfall, the Cox’s River, beautiful rocks in and around the water, and farmlands where we saw some horses and amazing views. Overall I really enjoyed the trip, and although it was a pretty tiring hike it was definitely worth it!" Bibi

"For the past four days myself and six other Year 10 girls have been completing the six-foot track for our Silver Duke of Ed Award. The most challenging part of the hike for me was definitely the last stretch at the end of each day. My 18kg pack bruised my already bruised hips and my legs were shaking from the long day, all I could think about was food, warmth and sleep. As this was not an option, I focussed on putting the pain aside. I discovered that my body could go further than I think that it’s all in my mind, the more I told myself that I could keep going the more I believed it. This hike also taught me to appreciate the comfort of home and not to take things for granted, for example the warmth and comfort of your house that your probably in right now reading this reflection. When we are taken out of our comfort zones, we appreciate what we left behind. By being part of this hike, I feel that It has brought us all much closer together and I am grateful that I was able to have this opportunity." Sophia


"This past weekend six senior students walked a portion of the Great North Walk as part of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh award. The award requires students to complete all the necessary planning and preparation as well as conduct themselves while on the trip. There were numerous moments where some students really shined and provided meaningful contributions to the group’s overall success. 

2020 was a year where students spent increased time inside, and many of the usual Glenaeon Outdoor programs were not able to be run under the restrictions. This has led to a lack of experience within year levels, and it was certainly noticeable within the DoE cohort. Nevertheless, the students managed physically and mentally very well throughout what may have been the hardest walk of their lives so far. 

The DoE program affords students with an opportunity to experience authentic and meaningful decision making that will influence their own experience, and the experience of others. Together, the students consistently made thought-out decisions that always accounted for all group members. I was lucky enough to witness the students develop across the four days, while maintaining distance and allowing their own decision making to play out. This meant sometimes taking a longer route by mistake, walking off of the track, possibly missing the boat ferry, or walking the wrong direction. However most of all, it meant that overall success of the trip was for Maadi, Oscar, Mark, Nathan, Flynn, and Jolan to own as theirs." Jason