It’s probably been the worst weather in April for some time, yet it didn’t stop the 2011 Project K students from completing their Wilderness Adventure. In fact at times it was as if they were thoroughly enjoying it!
This year FYD Marlborough ran its Project K Wilderness Adventure in the Marlborough Sounds and Richmond Forest Park for the first time.
The route began in Anakiwa and took the students through more than 200km of their province.
It followed the Queen Charlotte Track to Torea saddle where the students then cycled to Manaroa for a well-earned rest and some snapper.
The intrepid bunch then sea kayaked through the Pelorus Sound to Ohingaroa in the Mahau Sound. They continued by bike to Butchers Flat at the head of the Wakamarina Road to the Wairau Valley.
The final task for this group was to cycle the 40+km from Pine Valley to Marlborough Boys College and into the arms of their waiting families. For some of the students the scariest part of the entire Adventure was the two minute speech they were asked to give at the Welcome Home!
Throughout this first phase of the fourteen month Project K programme the participants are challenged to achieve things they never thought possible.
This year they were faced with a storm in the Pelorus Sound, torrential rain almost daily and setting up tents in 70km hour freezing cold southerly winds. This group of kids could probably win us the Rugby World Cup, they certainly know about staring hardship and adversity in the eye and overcoming it, their team work is amazing and they know that without each other the journey would have been much harder.
Armed with this new found self-knowledge the Project K adventure will continue for the group with the Community Challenge followed by the mentoring component of the course. The Community Challenge asks the students to think about their community and their future, explore and access resources and opportunities available locally and to undertake community projects to ‘give something back’ to their community.
The students have met their mentors and now, in what is possibly the biggest hurdle to mentoring success, they have to invite their mentor home and cook for them! The mentors will help the students set goals, and achieve them. They will assist with the community projects, go camping and organise activities for the remainder of the programme with the support of FYD Marlborough. It is a valuable relationship and one which often continues beyond the Project K graduation day.