Shenton College World Challenge
Since 2007 more than 350 Shenton College students have been involved in World Challenge expeditions to countries including Borneo, India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. By the end of 2017 Peru and Burma will have been added to that list.
World Challenge is a student-centred leadership and personal development program without peer. Each expedition involves 30 days in a developing country where the students execute an itinerary that they have planned themselves, lead the team through the various phases of the trip and rotate the responsibilities regarding food, accommodation and transport, all whilst working within the provided budget. The program is predicated on the belief that the best way to learn life skills, such as resilience, leadership and empathy, is through real life experiences.
Each team is supported by an experienced World Challenge Leader, a teacher leader and in some cases an expedition assistant. The expeditions involve five phases – planning and preparation before they leave, acclimatisation on arrival, the challenge phase (trekking), community service and finally rest and relaxation.
The Challenge Phase involves a 6 to 10 day trek in the destination country. In recent years Shenton teams have trekked to and crossed the Kuari Pass (4200m AMSL) in Northern India, undertaken jungle treks in Cambodia and mountain treks in the Sapa Valley in North Vietnam.
The Community Service Phase engages our students in working alongside a local community on a project that meets the community needs. Shenton students have worked on projects as diverse as hut building, water supply development, building walls in schools and teaching English in schools.
The Shenton World Challenge program has experienced steady growth since 2007 and is now targeted at Y10 students who spend 18 months planning for their trip before travelling at the end of their Y11 school year.
Our own nationally qualified Outdoor Leader, Graeme Spedding, coordinates the Shenton program. Graeme has trekked, climbed, paddled and bushwalked in many destinations in Australia and has been at the forefront of the development of Outdoor Pursuits guidelines in Western Australian schools. He runs additional activities for our teams to ensure that they are fully prepared for the challenges posed by such a life changing opportunity.
Students often return from their expeditions with a radically different understanding of their place in the world and with a clearer focus on their future educational, travel and community service plans.