GSWJ ReflectionCarly West of Outdoor Education caught up with Olli Elliott (Year 9) during the GSWJ.
We are in the middle of the Great South West Journey and would like to hear a little bit about your experiences.
‘The highlight is just being around the boys at the campsite after a hard day of hiking or biking, just being able to hang out relax and laugh. Hanging out with them every day past school times has helped to build better friendships.
There has been a lot of challenges. During the day the hiking has probably been our group and my biggest challenge so far. It was 16-18 kilometre course and it’s been hard to push through some days and just make sure that everyone in the group is being accounted for. We need to make sure that everyone is finding it good and everyone is happy with how we’re going. The biggest personal challenge has probably been going slow – it’s not all like speeding off and just trying to do it as fast as we can but making sure everyone else is alright.’
What strategies have you used to get through those challenges?
‘The most effective strategy I’ve used is probably using friends, going and speaking to mates and having a laugh. For example, Archie Cooper and I had a good chat for about 5-6 kilometres on the second day with him being Stewie Griffin, there’s just a lot of fun because we kind of forgot about the hike and just started focusing on talking to each other and it was just an easy hike for the 6 km’s and it just made it really simple and quite enjoyable.’
Are any lessons that you might take back home when you finish the journey?
‘I’ve learned a lot of knots to tie up tarps and other useful knots. I’ve done a reflection so during the solo night I really had a good think about what I have in my life that other people don’t have and how lucky I am to have those things, like a bed, a roof, video games, electronics, my phone, pretty awesome school and a caring family.’
If you were to give some advice to the year nines of next year coming on this journey what would it be?
‘Bring a lot of food. You get really hungry out here. Make sure that when you’re picking your cooking group you really think about it before the program. Doing some hiking, biking or canoeing even, just getting prepared for it, because it really helps if you’re mentally and physically prepared for it so if you’re finding it easy on the days of hiking and the biking and then you can really help others around you because it makes you feel a lot better.’
See more pictures on the GSWJ photo gallery.