As a taster, my week in Sabah, Borneo, was a marvellous introduction to Camps International’s student expedition programmes.
With ten other teachers, following a schedule put together especially for us by Camps International, I had the opportunity to experience a myriad of activities and challenges, providing a thorough insight into the range of benefits students would receive on the three or four-week programmes.
The pace was high, but it allowed us to cover lots of ground in Sabah, including two nights in traditional longhouses, examinations of a number of local projects, a visit to the northern-most point of Borneo, time at the historic World War 2 site of Ranau and the Sepilok Orang-utan sanctuary.
All the while, the Camps International staff, most of whom were locals, looked after us in the most kind, helpful and informative manner; this aspect of the program would undoubtedly be a joy, also, for any group of students under the care of this organisation. Staff not only provided friendly assistance, they also ensured the camps, meals, hygiene and general safety provisions and standards were of the highest order. I had full confidence in the ability of staff to ensure our well-being and safety.
We also got to experience the sites of the jungle, spending a night in camp in a hammock! Whilst it was a challenging experience for me, it actually proved to be an effective way to spend the night in an untouched environment. It was nice, also, to feel a little smugness that my footprint left in that unique and endangered corner of the earth was minimal indeed.
Projects, where students assist with the infrastructure needs of local villages or contribute to essential conservation measures in the national parks, are undoubtedly of great benefit and offer students opportunities to learn so much about the local people and environment.
Back near the capital, Kota Kinabalu, we were treated to some R&R – snorkelling on island reefs with colourful marine life on show. Student groups could not only enjoy this kind of recreation, but they also have the opportunity to undertake an accredited scuba diving course. Kota Kinabalu itself is an easily-navigated, gentle, large town – a very nice introduction to Asia for anyone.’
To find out more about how you and your school can be a part of a life changing expedition see our full list of trips here.