In 2005 Pete Humbert, Fireman, Primary School teacher and Corporal of the Australian Army Reserves, (1st on the left in the back row) joined Dave to be the co creator of the Wilderness Trek. From many camping trips with Dave out in the desert, Pete and Dave started talking about how this wonderful desert could be a great learning area for students.
From many meetings the trek as we run it today was developed.
In short, this trek is designed to teach students self responsibility, strength, resilience and the ability to believe that they can do things beyond their imagination. It is also designed to help students understand that they need to think for themselves to keep ahead in this life we all lead. In short, Students are given 40 points a day, these points act as money at the end of each day. Each student is placed either in a team or as an individual. This can change at any time. In each activity or process, students may lose points if they don't respond in time. Most instructions are only given once, with a warning that instructions are coming about 5 minutes before.
Students need to rise each morning within 10 minutes and meet around the fire or fire stick; if they don't they lose points. Then they are given a certain amount of time to get the gear they need for the next 24hours. If they need something later, apart from health related things, it's bad luck! After this it's breakfast! Students are given an array of challenging foods to eat in a certain amount of time. If not eaten in this time, points are deducted. Now once breakfast is done and dusted its walking time. A hydration time is now put in place. Depending on the temperature, 1-2 litres are drank to assist in hydration. Walking time is next with hydration stops on the way. Moving on, we have a practical activity and lunch. Each activity is marked on:
- Team Work
- Completion of task
Some such activities include:
- Animal traps
- Yabby traps
- Night walking
- Emergency fire beacons
- Fire from flint
The Desert/Wilderness Trek takes place 200km's East of Kalgoorlie along the Trans Access Railway, Mundaring state forest, Southern Cross/Mt Palmer and Mt Magnet a few times a year. Students spend 4 days camping, completing challenges and daily long walks whilst pushing themselves to the limit ! Dave takes his 4WD and delights in supplying students with terrible food such as lambs tongue and sardines :o) Students usually leave the Trek with a great sense of achievement and improved survival skills (and improved appreciation for their parent's cooking!!).