Grade 9 expedition – Wilderness Engagement

On October 16th I went for a 3-day hiking trip in Niigata as a school expedition trip. Over there, I’ve developed many new skills that helped me understand what is required in order to be in the wilderness. Also, I’ve learned many new things about myself and what I can do to overcome the challenges while being in the wilderness.

1. What did I learn about myself?
Throughout the hiking trip, I’ve learned that I could really push myself to do things that I didn’t see myself doing. For example, while hiking, there were some quite challenging trails that I have to go through, but overtime, I realized that it was okay to fall and that the challenging trails make me feel more accomplished.This makes me think that I can now always challenge myself and should always try to challenge myself to be a risk taker.

2. Describe the challenges you faced and the ways you challenged yourself.
Like mentioned earlier, one of the challenges I face was some of the challenging trails while hiking. Before starting the hike I didn’t feel very confident to hike due to the steepness of the mountain and I was scared that I would fall when stepping on the big branches laying on the ground. However, I challenged myself to still try to pass through the trail and it all end being a really fun experience since this was something I have never done before. Also with some support from my friends, while hiking, it makes the challenges I faced more fun to go through. Another challenge I faced was using the rope to hold onto when hiking. Initially, I was scared of the idea of using the rope because I thought that it would be hard to adapt to the use of the rope. However when seeing other people did it I realized that I should also be able to do it and face the challenge of using the rope. So once I did it, I realized that the rope was there to help me more than to make it hard for me.

3. How did you develop self-reliance?
I developed self-reliance by not relying on other people to build the tents for me during camp but instead, I worked together with the people in my tent to build it. From that, I’ve just gained a new skill and learned that building a tent is actually an essential skill to have when being in the wilderness. Also, I’ve developed self-reliance by organizing myself on what items I should bring together with me during the 3-day hike. This was very important because I have to pack enough clothes in order to keep myself warm throughout the camp and hike since the weather during the time I was camping and hiking was really cold. Also while hiking I would carry my own hiking backpack which is filled with a lot of the essential items that is required during the hike and camp. For instance some of the items I carried in my hiking backpack were tents for the people in my group and carrying food. So by taking the responsibility of carrying some parts of the tent and my own food, I did not have to rely on other people to do everything for me and make it a burden for them.

4. What would you do differently next time?
Something that I would do differently next time would probably be to be a better risk taker because although I’ve learned that I could push myself to a certain limit when hiking, I am not always the best risk taker since I don’t always start off the trails with a lot of confidence. However, I feel like if I could’ve been a better risk taker, I think that I could’ve enjoyed a lot more of the things I did while I was on the trip and not have to worry about how I am not confident to do that certain challenge.

5. Describe your role in the community of the expedition and your connection with the YIS community.
I think that during the expedition my role was to be a good supporter because I noticed that during times when there were people struggling, I would support them by cheering them up or hike together with them. I thought that this was a very important role to have because I know that there are a lot of people who feel like me; not confident to start off the hike. And by having this role, I believe that we could support each other and made the trip a very memorable one. This has a connection with the YIS community because when in YIS, everyone believes in being helpful and supportive of each other which helps create a fun community.

Reflection video: