John Jones Fish river Journey
The Fish River Journey will involve Grade 10 boys and girls from St Andrew’s College and Diocesan School for Girls’. The class will have been divided into five groups of about 40 learners. Each group will be accompanied by two female and two male staff, plus a medic. Their physical journey will begin at the source of the Fish River, and end at the mouth of the river. This is a 21-day trip spanning 400 kms, which will give learners an opportunity to explore the true beauty of the Eastern Cape via canoe, bicycle and on foot.
The students will also be away from the ‘constraints’ of timetables and devices, and therefore it presents an opportunity as a journey where individuals can explore their emotional and spiritual state.
PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE JOURNEY
The Fish River Journey is really the Journey of the First South Africans. With its rich fossil diversity, the Fish River Journey is an opportunity to learn in new and exciting ways. The Journey is meant to challenge the participants to extend their boundaries and build their strength and resourcefulness. This personal development may be physical, intellectual, social or spiritual. The programme for the Journey is cross-curricular. It will include leadership development, group dynamics, awareness of self and community. The aim is to develop in each boy and girl a strong sense of identity, place, time and culture through interacting with the Eastern Cape’s diverse environment, both social and natural
EQUIPMENT & ACCOMMODATION
All specialist equipment is provided, including canoes, bicycles, tents, gas stoves and cooking utensils. Learners will be provided with a good quality tent that they will share with a partner. They will be required to carry their camping equipment with them for the duration of the journey
Learners will be camping in tents for the duration of the Journey. Their camp sites may be on a farm, beside a river, in a field or in a Nature Reserve. They will have the opportunity to sleep in the most beautiful surroundings! Boys and girls sleep separately in all camps.
Food is supplied by the ‘support team’ every few days, depending on the group activity. Learners will therefore be expected to carry their own food for most sections of the Journey. All meals will be provided and carefully worked out according to energy requirements and the nature of the activity. Learners will generally have to prepare their own food and clean up their own eating and cooking utensils. Those for whom this is a new experience get better at it as the Journey progresses! Alternative dietary requirements must be communicated with the group leaders so that all needs concerning food and diet are met. It is very important that learners have a water bottles/bladder (capacity at least 2 litres) on them at all times while on the Journey.
There will be a water source at each camp: either natural, or water that is brought in. It is important that learners do not pollute natural water sources. Therefore each learner will be supplied with bio-degradable soap. Learners will learn to be responsible for their own hygiene. Facilities for dish washing and hand washing will be provided where possible, although this is sometimes limited and must be used thoughtfully. Containers for showering, hair- washing and clothes washing will be provided at certain camps. Learners will be strongly urged to use each opportunity to wash themselves or their clothes.
The safety of the children is the most important issue for all involved in the Journey and will not be compromised over any other goals. All camp sites and routes have been thoroughly explored by staff members. A support vehicle will be on route for the entire duration of the Journey. All staff members will have a cell phone and satellite phones are available for use in areas where phone reception is lacking. A professional canoeing company, with river guides, has been hired to lead river excursions. A team of paramedics (who have been involved with the Journey since 2005) will accompany the groups.