20 EBPP Students’ Adventurous Journey to Earn their Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Bronze Level
By Made Suarjana, Head Teacher and I Komang Kurniawan, Chairman and Team Leader
20 students from all 6 East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) schools are thrilled that after months of hard work developing their skills in categories like music, the arts, English language, and volleyball, they have confirmation from Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Team that they can complete the final activities of the Adventurous Journey to qualify for their Bronze Level. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award. It equips young people for life regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests. Doing the award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others; it pushes young people to their personal limits and recognises their achievements consistently. After the bronze level has been achieved, students can go on to earn Silver and Gold levels by challenging themselves even further and with more activities. Following is a recap of these 20 dedicated students’ exciting 2-day Adventurous Journey!
On the morning of Tuesday July 12th, accompanied by four EBPP teachers, all participants assembled at our Daya Bamboo Centre with a sense of excitement, curiosity and anticipation, ready for departure at 8.30am. They were heading for their Adventurous Journey, a challenging 2 day camping trip where they’d sleep in tents for their first time, do their own cooking and explore the exciting forests of Pengotan at the Bali Woso camp, (www.baliwoso.com), an agro and culture adventure camp located at Delod Umah hamlet, Desa Pengotan in Bangli Regency, near Kintamani and Mount Batur. They had all been well briefed beforehand, permission obtained from their parents and were fully prepared with warm clothing, shoes, notebooks and a determination to graduate their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award!
After arrival at 10am, the event began with a warm welcome from Bali Woso staff to the lush forest environmental, which is a total contrast to our students’ steep and sandy mountain slopes, followed by an introduction to their 2 day camping adventure by Pak Irwan, the concept designer and manager of Bali Woso. They started their programme with warm up exercises followed by dividing them into four teams of five, naming their teams, loud cheers as if they’d scored a goal, group warm up and then down to figuring out how to erect their group tents!
Our students were extremely enthusiastic to figure out how to erect a tent as it was something they had never done – because in Ban village, any temporary sleeping accommodation is erected using bamboo poles, with tarpaulin slung over the bamboo frame! By now, all were hungry and it was time for lunch! Group 1 and 2 were in charge of cooking lunch for everyone; they had an hour and all of the raw ingredients were provided.
The lunch began at 12.30pm and after eating, they continued the programme with Bali Woso team encouraging group discussions and talking with each other in forums. Then they played various game such as ping pong, bubble blowing, removing objects in the bottle, lighting and dowsing candles and bamboo magic games uses components that have been prepared and selected by the students before the game starts.
The purpose of these games was to inspire all students to use their individual and group creativity by utilising existing objects in the environment. After a short break, it was time for groups 3 and 4 to prepare dinner, whilst some prepared the campfire and the remainder prepared for a ‘Treasure Hunt’. In this game, participants were divided into two groups of 10, each given a map, flashlight, sticks and other basic tools to help them follow the route shown on the map that has been divided into several stages. At each stage, students read the instructions and act in accordance with instructions to the end of the trail until each group was able to find the key to open the treasure chest. The treasure chest contained fruits that can be eaten by the novices after successfully finding the key. This game challenges all the students to develop courage, teamwork and map reading skills.
The next activity was around the campfire and doing the fun limbo game, where you have to get under the coloured bamboo pole without touching it and also we had to jump over it, grilling corn on the campfire whilst each of the four groups sang their own songs around the campfire, under the twinkling stars. When the songs finished, all were tired and when the night air became quite chilly, a unanimous decision was to go to their tents and have a good night’s sleep so they could awake bright and early on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday started with warm up exercises, jogging and then having breakfast together (prepared by Bali Woso team). Their first activity was trekking around the Pengotan village to collect plastic rubbish – which is a daily activity for all of our students in their 6 hamlets, that was initiated at all EBPP schools in 2012. After this, they learnt to harvest Kintamani oranges – one of the main cash crop of Kintamani-Bangli area – and were rewarded with a healthy snack of corn on the cob! Then, they all got basic archery classes and continued their morning activity by each student planting a bamboo seedling in land prepared for reforestation. Hopefully, these small activities will have a major impact when they return to their village and inspire them to take a greater role to protect our beloved earth, especially by planting more bamboo.
Our students were very happy when they were introduced to the very challenging game of “Si Butadari Goa Bamboo (bamboo cave)“! This game starts with one of the group members being blindfolded with a cloth and led along an obstacle course by their seeing group mates: crouching under a bamboo cave, negotiating obstacles of posts, small rocks, etc. As soon as the blindfolded person trips or knocks something over, the group is out!! If the blind person failed to get past the obstacles, all the friends in the group will be tip a bucket of flour and water over the loser! The objective of this Game is to teach/train cooperation and coordination in a team to ensure success in a difficult task.
Their adventurous journey continued with the introduction to the beautiful flower garden by Pak Wayan Nyarka, the landowner, a friend of EBPP for many years. This large and multi coloured flower garden, with flowers not only from Indonesia but also from around the world, with various species gave the desire to all of our students and teachers that they wanted to stay much longer.
Finally, it was time for lunch and the closing ceremony, opened with a motivational talk from Pak Irwan followed by impressions by Bali Woso managers, EBPP students and teachers.
This two day event gave us a lot of knowledge, many valuable lessons were learned and it certainly was an unforgettable life experience that later we can implement in our village. We hope this activity can continue at a higher level so that the idea to build our village can be realized. The beauty of the woods and the cold air makes us more comfortable to live in this place, but unfortunately the time is already 4pm, then we are getting ready to leave the premises and return to Ban Village.