In July 2013 two teams from More House School will depart for Tanzania for a four-week expedition. They will be undertaking a variety of challenges including a weeks' project work at Shia School, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and planting trees on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to help combat deforestation.
This is the first time we as a school have sent so many boys away for such an extended period though it started some time ago when the teams ‘signed up' in November 2011. Now twenty two boys have shown commitment to completing a 20-month program of planning, money management and training in preparation for our expedition. The developmental program managed by World Challenge, encouraged us to learn through experience by confronting challenges never faced before.
The two teams have already completed a local weekend trek and a two-day Training Expedition in the Lake District. This was designed to develop team work, leadership, communication and organisational skills as well as learning some vital expedition survival techniques.
Lots of events have taken place to raise funds towards the expedition fee including a 5, 10 or 15km Challenger Run, bag packing in supermarkets, selling their own music album, abseiling down ‘The Blade' in Reading, selling homemade cakes at school, designing activity magazines for pupils in the Lower School, gardening, car-washing, and our very successful Quiz Night. Our objective was to raise money as a team and independently, without relying on parents' pockets.
Both Teams will undertake a variety of challenges whilst in Tanzania including a three-day acclimatisation trek designed to allow everyone to adapt to the food, culture and climate before tackling the main physical phase. This challenge is to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro as a team. We will also be spending 6 days volunteering at our link school Shia School teams will be there separately so the school will benefit from 12 days of work from the boys. Here teams will assist in building a new classroom. Painting buildings and general manual work as well as taking part in classroom activities with the children. Prior to climbing the mountain we will be planting trees on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to help combat deforestation.
All involved will experience new adventures and this is especially important to our boys as many of us have complex needs and face challenges daily. Teams will alternate roles such as leader, accountant, cook, health and hygiene, transport and accommodation organiser. By completing this four-week expedition boys will prove to themselves that all challenges can be overcome and we will return to the UK with vital life skills for the future.
Next year (2014) we have already planned a shorter expedition to Croatia where the emphasis will be on Adventure. During this expedition boys will trek in the National Park, kayak down river to the sea before island hopping in kayaks. To date we have 19 boys signed up and fundraising has begun.
There are also plans to have a second long expedition in 2015, here the temples of Machu Picchu are a possible destination. Once again there will be a project at a school as well as a trekking phase. Watch this space.