By Alana Yardley and Sarah Campbell-Winter (October 23, 2020)

We would like to thank FMC and Maerewhenua Trust for helping support our Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award qualifying tramp to Mt Taranaki. Our trip around the mountain was both beautiful and challenging. On the third day some of us were lucky enough to be able to climb up to Fanthams Peak, where we were stunned by the sweeping views after our ‘white out’ the day before.

Our group learned to work together and support each other through obstacles we came across along the way, including working in rainy and white out weather conditions and helping each other when we needed it by supporting each other mentally and physically. We carried each other packs and made new plans to overcome any troubles that we had and to suit everyone’s abilities.

The FMC Youth Award Grant helped us to get all of our equipment that we needed for the tramp, but could not afford ourselves. We are very grateful to have been able to seize this opportunity to see more of our beautiful country and spend time away from civilization. With all of the uncertainty of COVID-19, it is a privilege to have still been able to go on this journey and see some amazing places like Wilkies Pools and Syme Hut.

For us personally, we took on tasks that we would not experience outside of the Duke of Edinburgh programme and are grateful to have had an opportunity to help us continue our journey. Both of us worked in our group taking on different roles while on our hike. These roles included being the leader who checks in on everyone’s mental and physical wellbeing throughout the tramp while keeping the group together and organised, as well as the navigator who would communicate with the leader and find the best route to get to our destination while taking into consideration the weather conditions and the group’s ability.

Thanks to FMC, we are able to continue our journey on Duke of Edinburgh and move on to our Gold level tramps and further our experience in the great outdoors. We feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to explore Mount Taranaki and experience snow (which we used to make Raro snow cones) for the first time. We met some interesting people that we will never forget (and who likely won’t be forgetting us any time soon) and we are forever grateful to the FMC organisation and Maerewhenua Trust for supporting us on our expedition.

Thank you again for supporting us with this extremely helpful sponsorship and we look forward to getting out into the great outdoors again.

We’re delighted to share another trip report from recent recipients of FMC’s Youth Award Grant. These grants are awarded four times a year, so if you’re inspired to get some financial support, head over to FMC’s website to apply.