Regent’s School undertakes International Award training in Kaeng Krachan

Friday, 13 January 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 2 By  Ryah Khale

On Saturday 19th November a group of Year 11 and 12 students assembled bright and early for the journey to Kaeng Krachan National Park for our first International Award training expedition of the season.

This three-day trip had been eagerly anticipated by all, having been postponed two weeks earlier due to concerns about the flooding situation in Bangkok.

Ten students participated in the training expedition, which was geared towards challenging the students with the hiking conditions and leadership responsibilities that they will face on their qualifying expedition.

Visiting some beautiful locations in Kaeng Krachan.Visiting some beautiful locations in Kaeng Krachan.

Two expedition ‘teams’ worked independently to prepare for the trek. The students on the expedition were required to be entirely self-sufficient: this meant they planned and cooked their own meals and carried all the equipment they needed on each leg of the trek themselves.

Kaeng Krachan is the largest national park in Thailand and is home to a rich and diverse ecosystem. The students encountered gibbons, langurs and macaques on their trek, including the opportunity to observe troops of dusky langurs in very close proximity to the trail. The forested hills echoed with the eerily haunting song of gibbons. On several occasions we saw flocks of hornbills flying overhead, their wings beating loudly as they flew. The groups were also asked to observe their environment closely as they travelled and they were soon aware of how much fascinating life there is below the canopy, whether it be in the form of insects, fungi or plant relationships.

The expedition’s second day was a particularly challenging one, with students completing a 22km circular hike to the base of Thorn Tip waterfall, many sections of which were through steep uphill stretches of jungle; the final days 15km descent felt like a gentle stroll downhill by comparison. Well done to all participants, who are already starting to plan for their qualifying expedition.

Regent’s International Award group getting ready for the hike.Regent’s International Award group getting ready for the hike.

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