A group of Regent’s School, Pattaya students spent HM the King’s Birthday weekend trekking in the beautiful wilderness of Kaeng Krachan national park, Petchaburi province, as part of their preparations for the expedition stage of the International Award programme.
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 the trek themselves. After a day of kayak training on Kaeng Krachan Reservoir, the students hiked for three days along a route that covered more than 50 kilometres of mountainous terrain.
Members of the expedition team prepare for the hike to Thorn Tip waterfall. Pictured are (L to R): Toshiki Shibata, Hugh Jenkins, Dustin Northcutt, Tyler Hoinkiss, Ralf Siegrist, Tyler Martin, Joonas Neelov, Nathan Northcutt, Jung Kyu Lee, Katrina Lavery, and Simon.
“This kind of expedition teaches students about self-sufficiency, forward planning and the importance of teamwork,” said expedition leader Simon Miller. “It is also an excellent opportunity for them to appreciate some of the remarkable natural treasures that Thailand has to offer.”
Kaeng Krachan National Park is Thailand’s largest and is home to a rich and diverse ecosystem. The students encountered gibbons, macaques and scorpions on their trek as well as many varieties of birds – though they heard many more than they saw! One of the students even had a close encounter with a leopard in the middle of the night.
The trek route took the group from Ban Krang camp up to the summit of Panoen Thung Mountain, over 1,000 metres above sea level. From there the team proceeded to Thorn Tip waterfall where they were able to take a refreshing swim in the cascades beneath the falls before retracing their steps the 25 kilometres to base camp.
Students on the expedition were training for Silver and Gold level expeditions that will take place later in the year. The Regent’s School offers all students in year 10 the opportunity to begin working towards the International Award Bronze level, before moving on to Silver and Gold as they progress through the school.
“The International Award reflects the school’s philosophy of ‘educating the whole person’,” says Miller. “Academic success is of course very important, but I believe that young people should also be given the opportunity to succeed in both physical and mental challenges that will give them the confidence to tackle whatever adult life might throw at them.”
With its three part emphasis on skills development, physical activity and commitment to community service the International Award perfectly complements the Regent’s School Pattaya’s Round Square ethos.