Fish River
Part of the 14th John Jones Fish River expidition. Image: Provided

The Grade 10 pupils from St Andrew’s College and DSG have come to the end of the 14th Fish River Journey Expedition and the stories abound.

One of the real strengths of this programme is that each of the five groups has a similar but unique Journey experience. This is enabled by the diversity of the groups and the varied programme that each group follows. Whilst every attempt is made to record the events of this 21-day event, every one of the boys, girls and staff will have their own unique experiences and memories. These will form part of their ongoing life story and will shape their futures in obvious and less obvious ways.

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Journey 2017 has undoubtedly been a great success. The resilience and courage shown by the majority of the girls and boys in the face of multiple challenges are quite extraordinary. So too is the patience and care that the staff exercise in managing a large group in difficult circumstances. It is obvious that for most of these young people Journey will always occupy a special place in their hearts for a host of reasons.

The weather was, for the most part, was very kind to all, this despite bitterly cold and unseasonably snowy conditions at the start of Journey and a scorching 40 degrees berg wind day mid-Journey. For the bulk of Journey, conditions were quite comfortable, resulting in very few accidents and very little illness.

All participants are once again hugely indebted to the farmers on whose farms they camped and hiked. It is quite phenomenal how generous the farmers are and the programme can simply not run without their support. They are always so willing to assist in the programme which sees young people enjoying and appreciating their natural environment.

The Journey is also not possible without the extraordinary commitment of the staff involved. These are special people who make extraordinary sacrifices to ensure the boys and girls have the fullest Journey experience possible. They deserve the highest praise.

The John Jones Fish River Journey is a gem in the crown of what the two schools have to offer. Long may it continue to be so. – Report compiled by Pete Andrew

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