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A Challenging and Adventurous Outdoor Weekend for KYUEM Students

Published by Afterschool.my on Nov 28, 2023, 04:23 pm

On the weekend of Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October, 14 intrepid students of Kolej Yayasan UEM, as participants of the DofE Silver Award , in two groups of 7, set off on their first taste of adventure – the Silver Trial Expedition. This three-day, two-night expedition is a practice and training expedition in preparation for their full, qualifying expedition which will take place in late January around Gopeng in Perak, as part of their DofE Silver Award. The trial expedition is led by our Award Leader, Mr Boler, who instructs and trains the groups as they practise navigating a tricky route through the wild countryside of plantations, durian orchards and rainforest around Lembah Beringin, Kerling and Kalumpang in Hulu Selangor. Before heading off on the expedition, the Silvers underwent 8 weeks of training in campcraft, map reading and compass navigation, catering and nutrition, first aid and safety procedures. Now all is ready for their trek. 

The Silvers, 14 of our junior students (aged 16-17) in two groups, departed from the Kolej guard house at 3pm on Friday and trekked along the road through kampung Lembah Beringin in light to heavy showers which then eased off and stopped. Mr Boler directed Silver 1 in their navigation of the tricky network of back roads, and Mr Azhar, DofE Assistant and Medical Officer, and Mrs Boler accompanied Silver 2, with Matt Hunt driving the vital support van carrying drinking water supplies and medical equipment. Once through the kampung, Silver 2 then led the navigation, with Mr Boler overseeing, through wild open scrubland, up and down steep slippery slopes, on narrow paths cut through thick vegetation and along winding palm oil plantation tracks to the first campsite, a kampung football field between oil palm blocks at Ladang Kerling, arriving about 7pm. The Silvers rapidly pitched their tents then settled in for a dry and relaxing evening cooking dinner, games and chat. Mr Boler camped with the students for security and we had a pleasant, undisturbed evening and night.

On Saturday, after a pleasant, mostly dry, night, the Silvers struck camp and departed up the winding road to Kerling at 8:45am, accompanied by Matt, Cindy Tham and Mrs Boler, with Khairol driving the support van all day. Once at Kerling town, with Mr Boler once again instructing, they crossed the railway line via a narrow foot motorcycle bridge, which gave a fabulous view of the landscape of mountains to the east, and then trekked up through the kampung back roads to Kerling Hot Spring and a rest stop at the side of Sungai Kerling. From the hot spring the gallant Silvers trekked uphill into the edges of the forested hills and along narrow paths through the rainforest leading to mixed orchard, durain orchards and fish lakes of Mai Integrated Farmland, stopping beside one of the large fish lakes for lunch. After lunch (Matt and Cindy returned to college) the Silvers trekked through the sawmills and chicken farms to the main road, Route 1, then north up to Kalumpang and east again to the campsite at Pasir Puteh Resort, accompanied by Lynda, Azhar and Mr Boler. The day was mostly dry and clouded with some sunshine and we arrived at the campsite at about 5pm, where a pleasant, dry night was spent, Mr Azhar stayed over at the campsite. 

On Sunday morning, after breakfast, the Silvers were taken by lorry at 9:30am to the main Kalumpang Resort where they enjoyed the challenge of completing an obstacle course winding its way up and down the muddy hillside. Once back at Pasir Puteh it was time for lunch and striking camp before trekking back down via Route 1 to the Five petrol station, accompanied by Cindy and Lynda. After a prayer and drinks break, the Silvers trekked south through the plantations, accompanied by Azhar and Mr Boler giving instructions again, all the way back to Ladang Kerling where the expedition finished and the bus, driven by Asri, was waiting to take them back to college. Expedition successfully completed! 

Along the way, one Silver suffered from a little heat exhaustion on Saturday and Sunday and was rested in the van for some of the journey, but completed the weekend successfully. Another student suffered pains in his back and shoulders from carrying a heavy backpack, something which he will need to prepare better for on the Qualifying Expedition. A few other students suffered blisters, and on the Sunday afternoon Silver 1 and Mr Boler were attacked by wasps, two of the students suffering stings which were treated by Azhar with no further problem. These are the normal challenges faced on a tough expedition like this, but, with good preparation, no serious illness or injuries resulted. Next stop, the Qualifier!! 

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