Niigata Expedition Reflection (GCD)

Generally I felt that the expedition provided me with a decent challenge. I liked the lineup of activities and the area was visually amazing. I learned a lot not just about nature and skills, but about myself as well. Knowing your limits can help you discover truly how far one can go. I enjoyed being there a lot.

Some skills I learned are rock-climbing on the climbing wall. The key is to use the arms to stabilize yourself and to use your lower back and legs to push off of the rocks and to climb higher. Its also important to keep your body close to the wall and to plan a route before you start climbing. Another skill I learned is to cook on an open flame. In my group a girl named Kaisa and I were in charge of cooking a stew for the group. We set up an open flame fueled by wood and although there was a lot of smoke in my eyes I was able to use my pre existing cooking knowledge to make the stew exactly how my group wanted (They wanted a nice thick stew so I added flour to make the stew thicker.) I also learned more about what makes the wilderness the wilderness. When in “true” nature or wilderness there is generally no contact with outside people other than the people in your respective group. It also usually refers to a remote area where there is not a lot of electricity. I will admit that I did not get a lot of sleep due to the paper-thin mats to sleep on and the weird texture and feeling of the sleeping bags. I was able to focus on things that I don’t usually focus on like more focused reading with no music in the background, because of this I have decided to change how I read at home because of how much I enjoyed the new level of engagement. You can really put yourself into the shoes of the characters of the book and take in the setting of the book if there are no distractions, and I enjoyed it a lot.

I feel that if this trip was a metaphor for something else in my life it would be the change from being a child and turning into a teenager. There is A LOT of change. Everything in life changes, from one’s outlook, to how they approach a situation. Literally everything changes other than your name, gender, and other basics.

I feel that I can use skills like cooking on an open flame and rock-climbing very well in a survival situation, mainly because it would be very hard to survive and get around without these skills.

I feel that this year’s expedition is a HUGE change from that of grade 8 because of the lack of other activities. Other than hiking all we did was team building exercises. Making for a more focused point on the hikes and the ability to allocate more time to the hikes.


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