Fun in the forest
At the end of last month, the first year scholarship students spent four days at Jombok Hoas in Preah Vihear Province. The adventure retreat, which is run by ADRA, is situated in dense forest surroundings, and features an extensive rope course facility. Jombok Hoas means ‘flying through the trees’, and the retreat certainly lived up to its name; the students participated in a variety of adrenaline fuelled activities such as, zip-lining through the trees, abseiling and high-wire walking.
Accompanied by two PEPY Empowering Youth staff, Mealea and Seak, the students engaged in the vast range of activities, which they found not only to be fun, but also challenging and educational. The activities offered students the opportunity to utilize, and build upon, the soft skills they have been developing in the Learning Center. For example, an underlying theme of the trip was team building and communication, with exercises such as the Blind Log Walk, designed to test and develop this; both staff and students noted that they were given the confidence to be able to pursue the activities, which they often found daunting, through the support and encouragement they received from one another. Moreover, the students thoroughly enjoyed being able to work closely as a team in an active and outdoor environment.
After completing each activity, the students would engage in a reflection so that they could identify any problems and lessons they could extract from the experience; it offered the students the opportunity to analyze their accomplishments and consider how they could be transferred to their work and home lives.
The students all agreed that the Gibbon Swing was the favored activity, and that they had gained a lot of useful skills and knowledge; Chanra commented ‘from the trip, we learned good communication and teamwork’. Mealea, one of the accompanying PEPY Empowering Youth staff, supported this, noting of the trip ‘we all learned a lot of things from it, such as soft skills, relationship building, communication, responsibility, cooperation, capacity building and especially team building’. The trip was considered to be a success by participants and facilitators, with PEPY staff and students leaving Jombok Hoas with an abundance of achievements and memories, as well as a greater sense of confidence and self-belief.
Watch the video below to see more highlights of the trip!