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World Challenge Morocco Expedition 2018

posted 6 Sept 2018, 07:35 by Daniel Potts   [ updated 6 Sept 2018, 07:50 ]

Students from Greenfield Community College have once again taken part in the World Challenge Expedition.  Eight students travelled alongside Mr Butterworth and Mr Robson to Morocco in North Africa as part of the expedition. They had previously raised the £1,500 for their place during the previous year and a half taking part in events including sponsored abseils, bake sales, bag packs, tea parties and quizzes to name a few.

The expedition proved to be a once in a lifetime experience for all who were involved and certainly lived up to and beyond expectations. It was split into three stages; a trek across the slopes of the High Atlas Mountains, a project phase where they renovated part of a primary school and a rest and relaxation period in Marrakech. The title ‘World Challenge’ couldn’t be more appropriate as it most definitely proved one of the toughest challenges of their lives to date. Early starts such as 06:30 wake up calls and the extreme heat during the day, with a peak of 42 degrees celsius, proved very energy-sapping for the challengers whilst trekking over 20km during the two days. Furthermore, a high proportion of this distance was travelling up steep inclines making it much harder and time consuming. This culminated in climbing to a peak height of just over 3000m.

The first phase of the expedition saw the group facilitate their own individual and team skills to help renovate a primary school on the periphery of Ouarazazate, a town made famous for its film studios.  It was a race against the clock to complete within the time restraints they were given.  Particular attention was paid to managing a budget, making their own choices of what they could and couldn’t afford for the local community. The students were also responsible for organising specific skills of people into certain areas, ultimately creating a more purposeful learning environment that will be truly special for the young students upon their return to school.

During the week all the students developed invaluable life skills that will help them develop into mature young adults and this expedition seemed the perfect way for the Year 11 group to round off their time at Greenfield Community College. Each student was given the freedom and guidance to assume the roles needed on an expedition (leader, budget holder, etc) and whilst assuming these roles they learnt more about their own strengths and weaknesses within teams. The challengers certainly took ownership for their own expedition and whilst staff were there at every step to advise and support, they showed superb self-reliance and responsibility for themselves and their team. The life skills learnt on expedition will prove very helpful in future life and for college or job interviews.

Many special memories were shared during the visit that will last a lifetime. For instance, it’s not every day you camp in the mountains at a height of over 3000m, experience 42 degrees celsius heat, play games of football against young Moroccans, watch England’s World Cup Quarter final with a local Berber family, visit the Ouarzazate Atlas Film Studios who’ve hosted major scenes from blockbusters including Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Game of Thrones and The Mummy, haggle with Marrakech stall owners to get the cheapest price possible, eat an evening meal in the hustle and bustle of Marrakech square with thousands of people surrounding you, see animals such as a cobra, camel, mule and monkey, and of course not forgetting the fantastic treks through the High Atlas Mountains and the feeling obtained knowing that you have played your part in making a special learning environment that will help develop and educate young Moroccan students. This brief account can only highlight a few stories with many more in the memory of those challengers who can share experiences and tales of their time in Morocco for years to come.

The challengers did their school, their families and most importantly themselves proud during this visit to Morocco. Well done to all challengers.  The school is coordinating another World Challenge expedition to Morocco in the summer of 2020 for the pupils currently going into Year 9 and 10. More details and an assembly will follow during the first few weeks back where you can register an interest with Mr Robson who is taking over from Mr Butterworth as School Expedition Leader.  A big thank you to Mr Butterworth for all his hard work on this event, both he and Mr Robson have recently received special commendations for their brilliant achievements in relation to the World Challenge expedition. Their outstanding efforts to support the students have been highly praised by the World Challenge Organisation, well done to all involved.