Trip earns students Bronze Award

by Mike Isle

Earlier this month, six special education students from Rolleston’s Waitaha School embarked on one of their greatest challenges yet, and in the process earned a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh International Award and got to experience the great outdoors like never before.

It was the trip of a lifetime for many of the students. 

The adventurous journey saw Jonty, MacK, Alijah, Jac, Tehiahia, Michael and support staff comprising of teachers and teachers’ aides negotiate the Godley Heads area — walking from Taylors Mistake to Boulder Bay, visiting the Godley Heads gun emplacement, and then hiking New Brighton Beach from the pier to the end of Southshore Spit. Course facilitator, Joshua Foundation’s Chris Allan, described the three-day, 18 kilometre journey as challenging but rewarding. “The students worked hard, supporting and encouraging each other during the three days, proving to all, including themselves, that they are resilient, strong-willed and physically tough,” he said.

The students themselves weren’t slow to express their excitement after the journey. 

A high-point for Michael was seeing a seal on New Brighton Beach; MacK enjoyed drawing on the beach; and for Jac, it was the simple matter of getting his feet wet.