During a number of different activities, students are exposed towards outdoor settings and skills. Trekking is one such activity, and all our classes had the opportunity to try it out. Trekking involves walking a considerable distance whilst experiencing different terrains and facing the challenges that both Mother Nature and the human environment offer.
Apart from encouraging our students to lead a physically active lifestyle from a young age, trekking offers the right context for character formation by developing mental toughness and problem-solving skills. Thinking ahead, preparation of suitable attire and belongings, and thinking of ways of preventing injuries also encourage students to develop independent living skills. Learning to be respectful to the natural environment and being considerate towards others are amongst the social skills transmitted to pupils. We believe that exposing our students to trekking is also worthwhile, as it offers the right setting for friendship to blossom whilst encouraging a richer alternative to simply building virtual relationships.
Whenever leading these treks with different groups of students, I am constantly asked, “Are we there yet?”, especially when physical fatigue starts to kick in. At times I give an approximate time-frame, during other moments I indicate the route left to be covered whilst identifying visible landmarks. However at certain points I tend not to answer at all, to prevent students from “[becoming] so focused on the finish line that they fail to enjoy the journey, just as in life one should appreciate and make the most of every experience rather than entirely focus upon the ultimate goals!”, as Dieter F. Uchtdorf stated.
Ms L. Camilleri