Students and staff recently undertook training to prepare for a month-long trip to Venezuela. They carried full backpacks, checked equipment, camped and cooked on trangias as a precursor for the World Challenge trip next summer.
12 students from Years 11 and 12 have signed up for the adventure when they will take turns to lead the team, make travel and accommodation bookings and manage the budget.
On arrival they will acclimatise with a three to four day trek into the rainforest on the northern coast of the Paria peninsula. Then they will travel to the city of Bolivar where they will help out with a project in a remote community along the Rio Caura, getting immersed in the local culture.
Then it will be a five day trek to 2,810m Mount Roraima, a flat-topped mountain that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Lost World’ novel. It is the meeting point of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana and the students will experience a mineral rich environment interspersed with hot pools. The final phase, rest and relaxation, takes place on the beach at Campamento Canaima followed by a boat trip to catch the breath-taking Angel Falls which have a drop of 979m.
To secure their places on the trip students are currently raising £3,700 each by individual activities and group efforts, such as bag packing and car washing. They plan to raise further money at the Christmas market and by running a Valentine themed scheme next year.
The students will be accompanied by Miss Bianco, Mr Houghton and a World Challenge leader. Their weekend practice expedition took place at a country park in Cannock where they learned practical skills. Miss Bianco said: ‘It was so they could be prepared. It is difficult because being in the rainforest will be very different but it is learning what to do in certain situations, such as how to cross a river and what to do if someone gets into difficulties.
‘We all learned how to use a shelter for a variety of things; such as a hammock or stretcher. As we are going to be in Venezuela for a month we have got to learn to work together and it was really enjoyable watching the students learn new skills.’