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Training Weekend in Austwick 9th - 10th November

for the Southern Tanzania World Challenge 2020

World Challenge Austwick 8

In preparation for our World Challenge expedition to Southern Tanzania in July 2020, our team of twenty Year 11 and Year 12 students, along with Mr Pearce and Mr Carr, went to Austwick for a training weekend. This training weekend forms part of their preparations ahead of their 18-day expedition. It included camp craft, team building, hiking and discussions about what to do in emergency situations. 

Hannah (Year 12)

“On a cold Saturday morning, twenty of us and Mrs Robson, Mr Pearce and Mr Carr met at the Dalesbridge Centre near Settle and met our leader, Hannah, for the weekend. To start with we set up our tents and talked about what we wanted to achieve from the weekend and what worries we had about the World Challenge expedition. Then we set off for a walk and approached our first obstacle: crossing a river which proved to be quite tricky to cross and ended with some of the team sadly falling in! Our walk continued into the village of Austwick and we were split into four teams and each team had to find a different thing, for example food, accommodation, travel and a rest and relaxation activity. This activity prepared us for what we’ll have to do when we arrive in Tanzania e.g. bartering for hotel rooms. Also, during the day we did some team building activities, which included a human knot game which only worked when everyone worked together and communicated clearly. Later we returned to the campsite and a group cooked pasta for the whole group and we enjoyed this although it was dark and very chilly. Once the washing up had been done, we went inside (finally!) and talked about situations that could happen whilst in Tanzania and how to deal with these and learnt facts about each other. On Sunday it was an early start for us (before sunrise) and we had porridge for breakfast and then packed up and set off for another longer walk, this time carrying our big rucksacks. The walk included quite a steep hill and we took it in turns to map read. Additionally, we did some more team building exercises. Once we returned to camp, we enjoyed soup and hot chocolate and went through the packing list. Overall, the weekend was enjoyable despite the cold and brought the team together and gave us an insight into how it will be when we are in the country even though I don't think the weather will be exactly the same”

Izzy (Year 11)

“We spent the weekend doing a variety of team building activities, such as walking, the human knot and cooking on a trangia. We also experienced some scenarios that we might face such as being low on toilet paper and planning our itinerary. Despite how cold it was, I had a really good weekend and I learnt a lot.” 

Rhys (Year 12)

"We arrived and put up our tents, then went for a walk where we had to cross a stream that had become a river. We then went into Austwick and split into groups and practiced doing what we would need to do in country– finding food, accommodation, transport and a rest and relaxation activity. We then returned to camp and learnt trangia skills before doing some activities and settling down for a freezing night. The next day we went for a trek after learning how to pack our bags fully and put our tents down. We then tested out our fitness on the walk. We then headed back to the campsite and reflected on the weekend." 

Jack (Year 11)

"Saturday It was early in the morning on Saturday the 10th when we headed off to get to the campsite near Settle, everyone had their own huge rucksacks for the trip that most of us may use in Tanzania.  When we got there most of us were freezing, tired and maybe scared to sleep in a tent, but it didn’t stop us from having a good laugh.  When we got there we met our group leader Hannah who has done a expedition before in Cambodia and Thailand.  We all got to know each other well and then our teachers picked two group leaders.  We got our tents and equipment and then we set up our tents.

After we put up our tents we went on our first walk, we walked for a bit and attempted to cross a river.  Crossing the river was a hard task... that’s all that I’m going to say.  Many of our soldiers fell.  When we crossed the river we had a bit of lunch and went into our massive survival shelter which got very warm quickly.  We eventually got to this nice village and found accommodations, food and transport (that we didn’t use).  After that we got back to the campsite and chilled out for a bit.  

After a bit, it was time for tea, one group made food which was pasta and tomato sauce.  To be honest the food was great!  Another group washed up afterwards and then it was free time all night after we did some activities with toilet roll.  My mates and I played a few card games until we were told to be quiet as we were the loudest tent in the campsite and then we went to sleep.

Sunday We all woke up at half past six in the morning and another group made breakfast which was porridge and raisins.  It was nice and warm and it woke us all up for the big trek that we were going to do.  We put down our tents and got our big rucksacks filled with our supplies.  For this trek it was going to be a test for our strength, we would carry all our equipment and bags for this.  

When we started walking we went a different route so we didn’t get to cross the river.  We walked for ages with a tent and we laughed at sheep.  We got to a nice hilltop near Ingleborough and did a two minute silence for remembrance.  It was very nice during the silence as there was a beautiful view of the amazing landscape.  We walked back and through the village where we were the day before and then we got back to the camp and had a talk about our health and safety.  We had soup and chilled out afterwards and then we went home.  

The trial expedition was very fun last weekend - it was quite eventful as well.  We certainly have a lot to learn for our expedition and we may need to improve our strength for it but there is no doubt that Tanzania is going to be great for every single one of us." 

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