Nepalese trip of a lifetime for Cobram Secondary College students

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Five Cobram Secondary School students recently returned from an incredible trip helping communities, hiking and learning life skills in Nepal.

Hayley Geisler, Ruby Sproules and Teagan Mitchell along with two other students accompanied three Greater Shepparton Secondary College students on a World Challenge trip last December.

The trip included an 11-day hike through Rolwaling Valley, after which the students helped paint a school in Dandagaun and went whitewater rafting.

Hayley said one of the trip highlights was making it to Tsho Rolpa Glacial Lake, a frozen Nepalese lake at 4580 m above sea level.

Before leaving Australia, the students had about 18 months to raise $7000 each to cover their costs, making payments every month leading up the trip.

Ruby said she worked at IGA after school and on weekends.

“I also picked up another job at a local florist,” she said.

Hayley saved up through working at Barooga Netball Club and McDonald's, also cashing in cans through NSW's 10-cents-a-can scheme.

Teagan raised enough money by working at Bakers Delight, and with a little help from her dad.

Cobram Secondary College principal Kimberley Tempest said students learnt valuable skills such as leadership, grit and determination through the World Challenge.

Teagan said she learnt an important life skill while she was on the trip.

“I think World Challenge helped me work with people I don’t usually communicate with,” she said.

Ruby said the trip had made her consider studying outdoor education, and also inspired her to go back to Nepal one day.

“Seeing how people with not nearly as much as us were so happy and grateful for everything was a take away for me,” she said.

Leadership, communication and teamwork were the attributes most needed on the trip, the students said.

But Teagan said there was something else that stood out.

“I’ve never appreciated hot showers more,” she said.