“Give up, give in, or give it everything you’ve got” : Updates from the 5 week adventure challenge

28th July 2014

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On Monday morning the Zulu groups left base camp on their path to an adventure challenge of a lifetime. With the next weeks challenges kept a closely guarded secret they were all nervous but excited about the next chapter to come.

They travelled to Zulu camp together and were briefed about the phase ahead.  Throughout the adventure challenge the teams were set various tasks to complete, each with scores allocated for the winning groups. As well as the daily challenges, they were given tasks which would continue throughout the week, these included carrying and ensuring the safety of a raw egg, jungle poetry, daily riddles and a daily radio quiz.

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The teams also learnt about the tribal element of the phase; the overall theme of the adventure challenge was to be tribal. Each Zulu group was assigned a tribe to learn about; Dusan, Marut or Lun Deyah and were asked to engage with their jungle guides and learn about their assigned tribes. This would culminate in the last evenings activities; a tribal ceremony, which would see the teams perform a tribal song and dance and tell a story.

As the teams arrived at Zulu camp they were immediately greeted with their first challenge…

The shelter challenge

Each zulu group was given a tarp and bamboo and asked to create a shelter in which they would all be able to sleep. This would become their home over the course of the adventure phase and they were all eager to prove their practical skills.  As always, team work was needed to ensure a safe and stable structure.

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The trekking challenge

The next day the teams started their 5 day trek challenge where they would be trekking to 4 different camps. Along the way, and at each camp site, the teams were set different challenges to win points for their teams.

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As the teams entered the first camp they were faced with 3 new challenges to overcome:

The blow pipe challenge

After a lesson from our expert jungle guide Hanry, the teams were each provided with a blow pipe with each person having 2 shots to hit a stationary target from 8m away. Hanry made the technique of shooting blow darts from a traditional blow pipe look easy, but it was harder than it looked!

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The catapult challenge

Using Y-sling shots, the teams were asked to catapult a stone at various targets – each with the faces of the 5 week Co-ordinator Tom, and Logistics team member Stuart! The Zulu teams were more than happy to oblige!

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The hammock challenge

Next up the teams were tasked with a Raleigh favourite, how many hammocks can you fit between two trees? Our venturers knot tying skills were put to the test and the competition was well and truly on!

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The bamboo challenge

The next day the teams trekked to another camp; the waterfall camp. On their arrival they were asked to complete a series of bamboo tasks under water. This also provided everyone with a well-earned dip in the water and a chance to cool off and refresh themselves ready for the next challenges ahead.

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The spiders web challenge

The spiders web challenge was a true test of team work as the groups were asked to get all members safely through a spiders web without touching the floor.


The bike challenge

The bike challenge was next and with an 8km bike ride following roads through the scenic, but hilly terrain around the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, the teams were against the clock. Each team was given a time once their whole team was across the finish line.

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The raft challenge

For the next challenge the teams had to create their own rafts with the help of the jungle guides. They then had to paddle, against the clock, in 2-man bamboo rafts to gain points for their teams.

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After a week of exciting and difficult challenges, the teams were back to Zulu camp for their last evening in the jungle. This was the evening they would be able to present their tribal song and dance to the group, and with the backdrop of an amazing fire expertly lit by the Volunteer Managers, the setting was perfect.

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The teams all came together to represent their tribes and as the night drew to a close, with dancing and singing long into the night, the teams were able to sit back and feel proud of what they had achieved.  Through mud, sweat and tears the teams have triumphed and have shown true determination and team spirit.

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The final race to the finish

The next day the Zulu teams were informed of the 15km trek back to Base camp. As true venturers, they took this in their stride and happily set off for their final task. Little did they know what was in store for them! As they rounded the corner they were surprised to find Tom and Stuart waiting for them with good news; they would be travelling the final stretch to base camp not by foot but by raft on the Kiulu River! In teams of six the groups entered the water and raced to the finish line. All exhausted but still in high spirits we were back at base camp, where it had all started just five short weeks ago.

As the adventure challenge comes to a close, the venturers share their experiences of their time:

“The adventure challenge was really tough but so rewarding.” Camilla

“Spending a week reconnecting with nature and yourself is the best experience ever. A nice long sleep is now in need though!” Rebecca

 “The hardest, most challenging yet funniest 5 weeks of my life.” April

“Most uplifting, emotional and all round hilarious experience.” Charlotte

“I laughed every day, sharing an unforgettable experience with amazing people completing tasks we never thought possible.” Rosie

“Honestly one of the most eye-opening and rewarding experiences - highly recommended to anyone who wants a challenge and an amazing time.” Lara

“Spending a week walking up hills and completing challenges was tough but what the group achieved each day was amazing.” Saffron

As I type, the 5 week venturers are preparing to leave Borneo for pasture new and new challenges ahead.

Good luck to everyone and thank you for giving it everything you had.

Victoria Riley

Communications Officer