Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Practice Walk

Early Sunday morning on July 22, a group of twenty three students hiked from Boombana Day Use Area near Mount Nebo down to the camp at Blue Gum Flats. There were four groups and four different routes to our campsite, requiring a steady descent down into the valley. One involved more than a dozen creek crossings, another required navigation down a ridge where there was no track and a compass bearing had to be followed. A third involved a hike along an untracked ridge before descending into a creek. Once in the creek there was some rock hopping along a beautiful watercourse before a rough track was met some distance down. The creek crossings in some years past have involved wading through flowing water but with the drier conditions in recent years the creek in the valley was a gentle trickle with enough water to form some interesting waterholes. There were a few cuts, scratches and bumps on the way down but all arrived before dark and in good spirits.

Blue Gum Flats is a very nice grassy area under some large Blue Gum trees by the creek—a very nice idealistic Aussie campsite. The weather was almost perfect for walking, cool and sunny during the day and cold at night. A new portaloo was there to meet us but someone forgot to give us the combination to the lock. Despite our best efforts we were not able to crack the code-only 10,000 combinations to try!

On Monday morning all groups were up early, keen to get a good start. The temperature was a chilly 5 degrees Celsius. The walk out via a different route for each group was uneventful but it was a great exercise in the group working together to finish the walk on time. There were some very big hills to climb on the way out, testing the combination of pack weight and fitness level.

This trip was a practice trip for their final qualifying expedition. It was a chance to brush up on their navigation and camping skills.

Thank you to our team of volunteers—Miss Luisa Coleman, Mr Rob Petrie, Mr Clayton Forbes, Miss Claudia Houstoun, Mrs Leanne Cunningham, Mr Darryl Hobson and Mr Colin Wilson. We look forward to the final Qualifying camp when all groups get to demonstrate the skills they have learnt in the fine art of bushwalking.

Northpine Christian College is proud to provide students an opportunity to be part of “The International Duke of Edinburgh Award”. This is a youth award open to any young person from 14 years and it challenges students to develop in a holistic way. For information see Mr Hobson or Mr Wilson or check out the link http://dukes.northpine.qld.edu.au.