KIYOKA

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WILDERNESS ENGAGEMENT

In March, we spent a week in Niigata for a snow expedition. The expedition was filled with new experiences for myself as I was faced with various challenges in a different environment away from where I would usually be comfortable in.

The most challenging experience was the snowshoe expedition, as well as, the quinsy building. I had been on various hiking trips in the past, however, I had never hiked in the snow nor while wearing snowshoes. At the very start of our hike, we had to climb an extremely steep long hill and I was physically challenged. During this part, I developed my leadership skills as we all stay open-minded and watched over our group. For instance, if someone looked like they were struggling we would stop to give everyone a break. This allowed our group to successfully make it to the top. I felt very accomplished and amazed as to how we are able to walk up such hill. Also, I learned a few things about snowshoeing which are that when going up a hill you should stick your toes in first to make it easier to walk up and to walk up in a zig-zag rather than straight. The quinsy building was also very challenging and tiring. This required strength, stamina, and teamwork, as we were working in groups of four. As we were working we thought about how we could make the building efficient and quicker. For instance, we decided to have half of us pile the snow, and the other half to pat the snow. A staff even gave us tips on digging which was digging kneeling with one leg and digging forward instead of facing backward towards the quinsy.

 

Throughout the expedition, we learned many things to deal with the snowy environment. First of all, I learned that layering your clothing is very important as when hiking because you can easily adjust your body temperature. This knowledge helped a lot when I was hiking and I even ended up hiking in a short sleeve t-shirt when I thought I would have needed a big fleece. In addition, I learned leadership skills, creating strategies or solutions to tackle challenges. This knowledge is very important as it can be transferred to everyday life even away from the snowy environment. This expedition was a valuable learning experience with lots of knowledge that I could take away that could be applied to school life, as well as, future experiences. I became more aware of others and able to deal with difficult situations.

kimk • April 8, 2018


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