Every school expedition with Camps International offers a unique opportunity for student development and team bonding. Our mountain treks are some of our most challenging expeditions, but also some of the most rewarding.
We asked our resident mountain experts to ask why a mountain expedition with Camps should be top of every teacher’s bucket list.
1. The team building is second to none
Whilst being on expedition is a team bonding experience in itself, once you take your team up a mountain, that group support becomes even more essential.
Camps’ Operations Manager Sharon used to be a PE teacher and since joining Camps has led mountain treks with school teams across two continents. “It’s one of the best team building activities,” she says. “When you spend 6 – 8 hours walking and talking and then eating and sleeping with people, you become friends for life!”
As students support each other through the challenge of completing the trek, they develop their interpersonal communication and leadership skills, learning to motivate and support each other and share their successes as a team.
2. The scenery along the way is spectacular – and a great opportunity for field learning
Camps offer a variety of mountain trek expeditions in our permanent camp destinations across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Whichever trek you choose, there is a diverse range of landscapes to discover, from the rugged crater rim and ash cone of Mount Meru in Tanzania to the ancient ruins shrouded in mist at Machu Picchu in Peru.
Each mountain offers its own unique scenery which changes day by day as you ascend the route. Not only does this make for spectacular viewing, it’s a great opportunity to deepen students’ understanding of subjects like Geography and Biology as they encounter new landscape formations and unusual flora, fauna and wildlife.
3. It’s great motivation for pre-expedition fitness
Good fitness levels are important for all expeditions, particularly those which involve trekking. The lure of the mountain at the end is a great motivator for students to step up their exercise efforts in preparation for their trip.
Expedition Leader Sarah has supported hundreds of schools through their overseas expeditions. She says teams embarking on mountain treks benefit from having this challenge as a specific target to focus on. “Practice treks are perfect for teambuilding before departure and students will be motivated to take part if it is relevant to the adventure element they will be completing whilst out in country.”
4. The high level of personal challenge makes it easy to fundraise for
In addition to the hugely beneficial community and conservation projects students will be getting involved in with Camps International, the mountain trek adds another level of personal challenge which helps to inspire even more support from potential donors.
There are loads of opportunities to organise group fundraising events too – such as practise treks in the local area or climbing, walking or cycling height of the mountain over a certain timeframe. As a school, this is a great way to bring your team together and help support them along their fundraising journey.
5. The sense of achievement is immense
Not everyone gets to stand on the top of a mountain. That’s a pretty special experience. The trek is tough – make no mistake – but that’s what makes the feeling at the end even sweeter.
Accomplishing such a huge physical and mental challenge does wonders for building resilience and confidence, helping students reimagine their abilities and broaden their aspirations.
Travelling student Oliver trekked up Mount Mulanje in Malawi during his Camps expedition last year and said the feeling of reaching the summit was one of the best experiences of his life. “Not only did I manage to climb a mountain, I managed to find enough strength in myself to keep going as well as keeping spirits high for everyone and pushing everyone else to keep going too. The effort you’ve put in is rewarded back to you when you’re sat at the top of the mountain thinking about your achievement. It makes you feel so powerful, like you can do anything. It is so so so rewarding. I’d love to feel that again.
To find out how you can bring this inspiring opportunity to your students and discover more about our fully supported mountain school expeditions, get in touch with us today.