Ruamrudee International School, Grade 7 completed a 3 day / 2 night adventure camp with us for nearly 90 students. The thing which struck our outdoor team the second the group arrived was the buzz and energy of the students and teachers! This was awesome and meant the camp could get off to a great start with loads of enthusiasm and laughter!
Each morning we woke up to misty cool temperatures which was a very refreshing way to start every day! We challenged the students to test their bushcraft skills and build survival shelters. The judges (the teachers) evaluated the shelters using the following criteria: 1) Design concept and durability, 2) Ability to withstand (torrential) rain, and 3) Energy efficiency of building effort (because it’s important to reduce calorie use in a survival situation). Although there were a couple of accidental demolitions, most groups managed to design and build their survival shelters successfully in the allocated time. The winning team made a remarkably waterproof shelter based on the very popular ‘Torrential Storm Test’ while the tallest member pretended to sleep inside!
One of the highlights was the community service we did at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. There we analysed elephant dung using a special chemical test and high power microscopes. We were testing for parasites which is a routine procedure used to keep the elephants nice and healthy. We discovered a parasitic organism in samples of the dung of an elephant and the scientist at the sanctuary administered medication to help remove the parasite from the digestive tract of the elephant. In addition, we made compost using elephant dung, food and vegetation waste. This is an important task which helps to provide key nutrients to the plants and trees which cover the grounds of the elephant sanctuary and provide food for the rescued elephants (such as fruit and leaf foliage).
We also went jungle trekking in the Khao Yai National Park. One hiking group was stopped in their tracks by their guiding park ranger as there was an elephant crossing over the trail up ahead, making for a very exciting moment! In addition, we were able to explore the rainforest using all of our senses to learn more about this awe-inspiring and truly irreplaceable habitat.
We look forward to welcoming Ruamrudee International School to our outdoor education centre again next year!
The Howling Gibbon Team