Prestige College: President’s Award learners embark on an unforgettable adventure
The President’s Award is a platform for learners to gain experience through service, self-development and community development in one package. That is TPA (The President’s Award) in a nutshell.
As we break this shell, we find the levels to the development; there is a bronze, silver, and a gold level. TPA learners have to complete community services, practice a particular skill and participate in physical recreation for different periods of time, according to the level one is currently in.
Ma-didaba Lodge, Cullinan; This is where the group of the TPA learners were located at for this year’s camp. The learners came to the realization that Madidaba was a very beautiful and luxurious place. The boys and girls were allocated to their separate rooms to unpack and prepare for supper. From thereon until supper the learners enjoyed the view they had from their standing point. They connected with nature on an amazing level. They didn’t even waste time, pictures were taken immediately!
As night fell, the temperature did too. It was getting very cold and the learners had to get warm and finally go to supper. “The food tasted excellent, ” said Boipelo. As the great 21 were devouring their exquisite belly-timber, conversation was easily made on fuller tummies. Once everyone ate their fill, it was then time for more fun.
The learners played some games like broken-telephone to keep the entertainment going. It was later time for book work and everyone had to think about what they want to achieve during this camp. It was hard to just sit still and think at that point, because everyone just wanted to play… It was a camp after all. The learners had to divide themselves into 3 groups of 7 for meal purposes. After that was done and dusted, by a snap of the finger the learners were back to playing until it was time for bed (22:00). “I know, even camps have a bedtime.”
Saturday morning, the 6th of April 05:00, TPA Great 21 woke up. The girls and boys got ready for break-fast and the hike. They left their rooms carrying their backpacks and set foot in the dining hall by 06:00. Cooking Time! Independence had begun. The different groups were provided with ingredients to prepare their own breakfast.
Luckily there weren’t eggs landing on the heads. Off course time was an obstacle but eventually every-one was fed and the hike started. A long walk up and down mountains. Most were tired by the first 3 km. It was a funny journey. One by one, jerseys were coming off and bags were suddenly heavier. It was like the temperature was also climbing those mountains. It was boiling hot. With only a few rests, everyone was wondering how Maurice (the guide) was walking with such ease.
A lot of interesting things were seen, from bones, teeth and animals to smoothly flat rocks. Every group was collecting little pieces of nature for their group logo. At some point the boys were playing, throwing rocks into the water and seeing which one would get further. Obviously Mr Smit won.
After 12 km it was time for lunch. This time the boys did everything. In their quest of being a gentlemen, they prepared a very interesting meal, funny but edible. Nonetheless all were full, some went for a swim and after that it was back to walking. 8km later with near falls here and there without forgetting to take pictures, TPA Great 21 had actually completed more than they had to. Proof that they are absolutely strong!
It was time for rest and refreshments. Some swam, some showered and some just chilled. Later on everyone got warm and it was then time to prepare supper. The groups made some chicken potjie and were provided with rice. This was the best meal of the day! Cooking skills got better and better. After eating everyone was reminiscing about the great distance they walked, they couldn’t believe that they had climbed the view they were staring at. It was AMAZING. More games were played and some books were filled. Bed time came to haunt everyone again, but it was the last night so no one wanted to sleep. The atmosphere was just too delightful, but eventually everyone’s head hit the pillow. The next morning on the wake of our departure, everyone woke up, showered and had breakfast.
Immediately after that it was time to finish off the walk. 8 km on that day, 28 km altogether and a million pictures and smiles later, the hike was officially over. Everyone had somehow packed the night before, therefore there was a bonding session by the pool.
At around 14:00 the learners were given lunch packs. From there everything was moved to the bus and at 15:00 the learners departed from Madidaba. The learners saw sides of their leaders they never knew existed and vice versa, it was an awesome experience. This shows that, that bonding session was one of many more to come, as TPA Great 21 is a family! Mind you, this is the first group EVER in Prestige College to make it this far as one (The great 21). Some of the most ambitious learners in the country, leaders, passionate and united; the Great 21 is going places!
Written by: Robby Maponyane