They’re gearing up for trip of a lifetime

World Challenge Students and staff from KEV. I'Picture by Jane Coltman
World Challenge Students and staff from KEV. I'Picture by Jane Coltman

An amazing adventure awaits for a group of teenagers from Morpeth’s high school next year.

It runs a big expedition in the summer holidays every two years through the World Challenge initiative, where students from schools across the UK have the opportunity to take part in a structured visit to countries thousands of miles away from home.

On this occasion, 38 pupils who are currently in Year 10 and Year 11 are on the list to go to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for four weeks in the summer of 2017. They will be accompanied by five staff, but the students are in charge of planning their activities.

Previous destinations for King Edward VI School groups include Ecuador, Thailand and Madagascar.

An initial assembly early in the school year introduced the World Challenge to the students and following the application process, fund-raising to pay for the expedition costs began in December.

One of the 2017 cohort, Libby Eaton, said: “The assembly included people who had been on a previous expedition talking about their experiences and a video.

“It looked very interesting, so I decided to sign up.

“It will be a really fun adventure to go abroad and explore these countries. The activities we will be doing will enable us to really experience the culture in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.”

The expedition includes trekking through jungle terrain and the choice of helping out a community project, including work to build new and/or maintain village facilities, or getting involved with a conservation scheme such as reforestation.

Another student on the list, Caroline Adams, said: “I’m really excited about being part of a community project. Previous World Challenge participants said they felt a sense of pride when they had finished their work, so it will be great to help make a difference in the communities.”

The students are also planning to visit a couple of the places of interest in both countries.

As part of the preparation, they will go away on a training weekend.

Will Capps is also part of the KEVI World Challenge contingent. He said: “I’m looking forward to trekking through the rainforest and the sense of freedom that you get by living in a different environment.”

Over the next 15 months, the cohort will be organising raffles, balls, themed parties and fund-raising meals, among other events, and doing activities such as washing cars and selling cakes.

Libby said her and Caroline are also using the method to boost their total.

Also in the months ahead, the group will be working to improve their fitness levels.

KEVI’s World Challenge organiser Chris Bryant, one of the five staff who will accompany the students, said: “They will be away from their home comforts for a month and as well as having to manage their budget and sort out sleeping arrangements, they will need to engage with the local populations.

“They will be cooking and cleaning and they will develop important team-building skills.

“Part of the World Challenge ethos is to ensure that students experience cultures and environments very different to their home country.

“In addition, participants will return with a more grounded and mature attitude.”

l For details of how to make a donation to one pupil or a group of students going on the expedition, call Mr Bryant at the school on 01670 515415.