Being a part of the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program requires commitment.
The commitment comes not only from the kids that embark on the program, but from our volunteer leaders, and the parents and support crew of the kids.
As the Kokoda Kids make their way through the second month of their program, they are completing their weekly KCYP homework, regular life activities which includes school, and walking every weekend. They are also in preparation for the 96km Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge.
On 22 June, the Brisbane and Logan branches embarked on their first night walk training session, Brisbane through Mt Cootha and Logan through the Gold Coast Hinterland, both walking approximately 44km.
Logan Kokoda Kid, Tiara Pilkington said her team did really well throughout the walk.
“We were really prepared, and it was amazing being able to experience what a difference the support crew makes”.
“We kept at a good pace the whole time and I loved watching how our team came together to finish the walk,” she said.
Coming into the 96km Kokoda Challenge, Tiara is nervous but equally excited.
“I’m keen to see how we all cope and deal with the walk as a team, and I’m very excited to get to know everyone so much better,”
“I am nervous for the challenges that come with it, but I know we will all do well!”
Brisbane Kokoda Kid, Ethan Taege also believes as a team, Brisbane is progressing really well.
“Everyone is sticking together, and checking in on each other,”
“Every walk is only an improvement, I think that Brisbane KCYP is ready to smash this 96,” he said.
Each team across our programs are experiencing their own set of wins and challenges, creating life -long experiences and growth.
“Personally, my biggest challenge has been gathering the courage to speak up and keep the team moving,” Ethan said.
Support Crew Checkpoint
As Tiara mentioned earlier in the piece, having a support crew really makes a difference.
The magical thing about the KCYP is it brings everyone together, not just the kids and the leaders but the parents and support crews too.
Both branches had their own unique experience, but the reoccurring theme was how they too, came together.
“we had the benefit of having a couple of families who had great camping equipment to provide lighting and heating”, said Allison Bryant from the Logan KCYP Support Crew.
“We all over catered, which meant we were able to share some hot food/drinks”, said Elene Pilkington, also from the Logan KCYP Support Crew.
“Making the most of our strengths is fun to watch too.”
“the organisers, the preppers, the campers, innovators, techies, trail experts, entertainers and DJ (bring a speaker)! Everyone plays a part,” she said.
The biggest take home that is relevant to everyone leading into the 96km Kokoda Challenge is to ensure you are warm enough during the night.
Both teams encourage snow gear, gloves, beanies, hand warmers, blankets specifically for support crews, and the soul warming hot food.
“It is so essential to have a great team around you who is prepared and committed,” said Tammy Sooveere from the Brisbane KCYP Support Crew.
And committed is what these branches are – parents and support crew included.
Being able to capture this experience is one thing, but living the experience is another. The Kokoda Kids could not be experiencing this program without the support of our Program Partners and Challenge competitors.
So as Brisbane and Logan head to another weekend of training and going through their week’s worth of homework, keep a thought spare for the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads branches heading into the hinterland for their night walks this weekend.
After a few days of solid rain, we know they are in for a slippery trip but that only makes it even more fun!