You have your whole lives in front of you. You will encounter exciting and sometimes unexpected challenges. One of the ways to a happy life is not bypassing challenges, but knowing how to deal with them mentally, physically and with soul, it’s a three-way partnership. Imagine a space where you learn to become more independent, flexible in your thinking. You discover a new level of resilience inside yourself. A place where from day one you leave your tech, exams, expectations, and stress behind and you take on your own Trail-name.
“I think hiking has really helped me realise that I can overcome obstacles even if at the time they feel impossible.” – Babs (Ella 15)
By walking and spending several days out in a remote wilderness. With all, you need to live is on what you are carrying. I can’t underestimate how powerful this is. Walking is slower, it offers you the time to connect with your senses – look – talk – listen – feel- smell. But it’s not simply to nature that you connect with, it’s yourself on a physical, mental and soul level. The first hour of every day, on the trail, we all hike in total silence… It gives us two such amazing opportunities to be in touch with nature/wildlife and ourselves. “How am I feeling?”
“A young person will learn more about themselves on a three-day hike than three months at home” – Magpie (Didier 52)
GIFTS FROM HIKING
Resilience is the ability to deal with life’s challenges. Hiking teaches you to deal with challenges and not distract ourselves with something more comfortable. We continue hiking when we feel exhausted, walk through the pain of blisters. Develop a mental toughness that when we feel like stopping we keep going. Then we even begin to shrug off issues that come up. It doesn’t just teach you to put up with pain but gives you more energy to make good decisions to prevent the blisters in the first place. How do you handle discomfort?
– Problem Solving
While hiking anything from little things like sudden weather changes teaches you to deal with potential problems to bigger issues like an injury that severely slows you down. One of the biggest fears on trail is getting lost and it is easy to miss a trail marker like the Bibbulmun Track Waugal. How would you handle missing a marker?
When the group walked off the track, Didier didn’t tell us and allowed us to find our way back, it was actually fun – Sam (16)
– Encourages Conversation
The quiet and peaceful environment of walking in nature away from the constant distraction of technology, expectations and noise naturally encourage conversation. Because nature is so genuine it allows kids to be the same, to open up about what’s happening at school, with friends and how they are feeling. The silence of a forest or a mountain view brings you to a deeper place, a foundation for strong relationships in everyday life. How do you find socialising with others?
– Brings Them To The Moment
The simple act of walking in nature brings you to the present moment, to focus on what’s in front of you, the constant surprise of what’s around the corner or beside you. Do you find it easy to be present?
The moment you see a kangaroo or emu roaming beside you is amazing – Ben (15)
– Physical Exercise
Hiking is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and encourage healthy exercise. Instead of carrying everything, allow a smaller child to carry their own small backpack with their snacks and water. Have you ever exercised in nature before?
I can’t believe I just hiked 18km with my heavy backpack, I feel incredible – Stacey (15)
– Self Reliance
I invited my 13yr old nephew and his dad on a 70km along the Murray River on the Bibbulmun Track. As my nephew’s confidence grew, I encouraged him to walk ahead and hike his own hike. He began to pay more attention to his surroundings, the trail markers and potential obstacles. He learned to make good decisions with obstacles without doubting himself. But also to ask questions when he wasn’t sure because as I’ve already mentioned nature encourages effective communication. Would you like to feel more independent?
The greatest thing I learned on this 5-day hike was self-responsibility – Milk (Sophie 16)