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Gopeng Trip

On the 24th of February, we, the Form One students went on an exciting and educational road trip to Gopeng, Perak. This wonderful trip changed some of our lives. It made them more confident, more brave, more appreciative and more grateful. I personally managed to push through 4 of my biggest fears, the fear of falling, heights, bats (generally any flying animal) and darkness. Yes, darkness!

How did the facilitators in Nomad Adventure help us do that? They invented a system called “The Circle of Courage”. It is where first, the whole group stands in a tight circle. They call that circle the “Velcro Zone”. That is because the students are standing so close, they stick like velcro. That represents our comfort zone.

Then, the whole group stand further apart, this time about elbow distance. The students touch their elbows with the next person’s. That is the “Superhero Zone” and that is where the facilitators encourage you to be. This is where your ‘moderate fears’ are. They feel you should be a “superhero” and conquer all that you can, but not too much.

Finally, they make you stand in a big circle, fingertips touching. This is the “electricity zone”. This is where your biggest fears are. This is also where you start panicking. At Nomad Adventure, they encourage you to stay out of this zone.

On the day that we arrived, we were given a short briefing on the facilities, facilitators, dormitories, etc. Then, we started some activities straight away. We had a walk through the kampong or village. We also tried our hands at tin panning with the traditional ‘dulang’ or tin pan. The dulang is a round dish that you would put some dirt containing tin and water on then you would shake it. We also tried rubber tapping. We were told to find a rubber tree and our group facilitator explained about it further.

After a long day of activities, we went back to camp for some dinner. After dinner, we had a night briefing on what we needed the next day. After that briefing, our main facilitator talked to us about tin mining in Gopeng and how it literally built Malaysia. After the stories, we went back to our dorms for a long awaited sleep.

The next morning, we packed our day bags with what we needed and then we left in the back of a truck to a place called Mountain School. At mountain school, we learnt the circle of courage and we did fun activities like the giant swing, leap of faith, silent cave, low rope and high rope activities.

The giant swing is an activity where you are harnessed up and hooked on to a red ring connected to some cables. Then, you are pulled up and release at your own will. Another activity was the leap of faith. The leap of faith is an activity where your harness is hooked to long string and you would climb up a tall ladder. When you are at the top, you stand on a small platform and jump! You fall slowly as the belayers lower you. A few students found it scary but majority found it fun. I managed to do this because I promised my friends I would do all the low activities if I don’t do the giant swing so I did the leap of faith and I found it really fun! There, I conquered my fear of heights and falling.

One of the last low activities was the silent cave. There is no harness for this activity. Instead, you hold onto one cable and stand on another. You must then walk silently into a dark bat cave to a checkpoint. At that checkpoint, we continue moving into the cave but this time, by foot. When we reach the other side, we exit the cave and go to our next activity.

After lunch, we started the high rope activities with ground school. Ground school is a place where you train for the clipping on the high ropes. After ground school, we started. There were a few high rope activities, a zipline and abseiling.

The next day, we went to water school. There, we had to train on some water skills like crossing a river, defensive swimming, how to jump in to save someone and how to get back on to the boat if you fall of. After water school, we went white water rafting! It was an amazing experience for all! Here I conquered my fear of speed.

After white water rafting, we were invited to a dinner hosted by Dato’ Aminuddin Hashim, Azim and Aydin Zaki’s dad. We at KTJ were very proud to be the first guests at the TT5 dredge after its new refurbishing. When Dato’ Aminuddin found out we were in Perak then, he was delighted and immediately invited us to dinner there. After the dinner, we went back to camp for the night briefing for our last day. We were all very tired after that wonderful dinner.

The next day we had a fun series of activities that they called The Quest Of The Magic Fire. The Quest Of The Magic Fire is like a mini amazing race. There are a few checkpoints. At each and every one, you would be given a clue to the next station. At each station, you will have to do something to get the next clue.

After The Quest Of The Magic Fire, we all went back to have a shower and then we had lunch. After lunch, the winner of The Quest Of The Magic Fire was announced. It was the Animal team consisting of Maya, Syazmin, Ashar, Yooven, Adrian, Balqis and myself, Dheena!

We finally went to the bus that would take us back. We put our stuff in the boot and got ready for a 3-4 hour long drive. We then said our goodbyes and see you next times and mounted the bus. If we could, I would definitely want to come back!

Written by Dheena, Form 1