2. 20230326 103705

AYP 2023 – Bronze Section


As I embark upon the next stage of the journey for Award for Young People, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for last year’s journey. Last year’s assessment journey was fraught with peril and dangers at every turn, but it was truly a momentous and spectacular moment in our young lives. Even thinking about it, I can’t help it but be drawn back to the past, in March 2023.

First Day: 25th May 2023


Before the assessment journey, we had to craft a very detailed plan of what we were intending to do during the journey. Therefore, we had to have a meeting and discuss on how we were to complete the plan book. We had to fill in our personal particulars, the journey plan, the purpose for the journey, personal and group equipment list, route charts for the route, bad weather alternatives, and emergency routes, meal plans with calories, job distribution lists, transportation schedules, and a budget. It was quite tough for us to reach a consensus on all of these items, but after several heated discussions and much confusion, we finally got our plan book finalized and approved by the instructors.

Journey Plan
image 2
Route Chart for the 1st Day
image 1
Partial Group Equipment List

The Severe Hike.

We started off our journey in a small lonely carpark in Shui Long Wo. We were all equipped with our rucksacks with supplies for the two tough days to come, as well as dressed in our best hiking gear. The weather looked quite gloomy, leaving a sense of unease with us. Before we got started with our journey though, we had to examine our plan thoroughly and make sure that we did not leave anything behind. After briefly consulting with the instructors on our plan, and making the necessary changes, we proceeded and started our hike.

The initial part of the hike was quite smooth, with the weather being slightly humid and stuffy. We hiked up stairs and slopes with our heavy camp rucksacks of around 15 kg each, and stopped frequently to take water breaks and to rest our legs and shoulders. However, at around the 1km point, we started to encounter fog and our visibility became quite reduced. We had to stick close to one another and do roll call every 10 minutes to ensure that no one has fallen over the cliff or walked down the wrong path. This was because we were approaching the peak of the mountain, Kai Kung Shan, which was 399m tall.

Eventually, after around 2 hours, we reached the peak of the mountain. We decided to take a photo celebrating our success, but a light drizzle has started up, and we all had to prepare our rain equipment. This involves putting on a rain jacket, ensuring that everything is tied down within our rucksack, and waterproofing our rucksack. Expecting the drizzle to pass soon, we sheltered under some light tree canopy and hoped that the perfect photo opportunity would arise. However, the drizzle only got worse and worse until it started becoming a deluge, which meant that we had to go now or never.

After snapping a quick photo, we headed back down the mountain. However, the rain was really letting go of all its sorrow, and we were flooded and overwhelmed with its tears. The path soon became a mud river, in which water would snake down the deeper crevices and hide the path from us. The ground itself became our mortal enemy, as our shoes were not fit enough to gain traction upon it. We had to walk on the sides and ridges of the path, and try to not wander into the “chocolate river”, as we dubbed it, to keep our feet dry. Nonetheless, we all tripped several times into the “chocolate river”, and were all soaked by the time we arrived at some coverage at the bottom of the mountain, except for me, whose jacket’s waterproof actually worked. We ate some snacks while we waited for the other group to arrive, and made contact with the instructors.

Chocolate River

It turned out that the weather was currently in amber rain, which explains the troubles that we had to go through previously. After some discussions with the instructors, we decided to enact our bad weather alternative plan, and try to hike to the main road as fast as possible to reduce the risk of injury and possibly death. Once the other group had arrived, we set out as fast as we can, reaching the main road in less than half an hour. We then trekked through the rain upon the black road, until we finally reach the campsite after what seemed like an eternal walk.

Arrival at Campsite

WhatsApp Image 2023 04 05 at 12.23.32
AYP Campsite

After we reached the AYP campsite, we got out our equipment and started setting up the tents. It was lucky that the rain had let up during this period of time, allowing us to quickly set up tarps and tents to protect ourselves from the rain later on in the day. We also set out cooking materials, as we had not eaten any food on the hike, and were starving. After setting out the tents, half of us went to set up our sleeping areas, while the other half cooked lunch for the entirety of the group. After lunch, we mainly just relaxed around the campsite and made ourselves comfortable for the night.

Something that pretty much everyone forgot to do was to waterproof their bags and their own personal equipment. Isaac forgot to waterproof his sleeping sack, so it was all damp and soaked when he retrieved it. Thus, he could not have used the sack, and had to sleep in the cold without it. I also forgot to waterproof my electronic equipment, so one of the camp lights also broke not long after as well.

WhatsApp Image 2023 03 26 at 17.40.31 1
Our campsite

When it was time to cook dinner, I got out all of my food supplies and my own pack of udon, which everyone was supposed to bring. However, it turned out that everyone except me and Isaac had forgotten to bring their food, so while we cooked, they begged Scouter Andrew to bring some cup noodles back to the campsite for them to eat. After some hesitations, he reluctantly accepted, and also brought in a new pair of shoes for Chloe, who broke her shoes on the hike.

We eventually got ready for bed at around 9 in the evening, and by the time we hit the sleeping sacks, all of us were as dead as logs.

Day 2: 26th May 2023

Getting Ready

After the initial disaster of the previous day’s hike, we were determined to finish our hours and complete the expedition journey requirements on this day. We set an alarm at 0630, and had already started preparing for breakfast and lunch by the time that the other groups began to awake. We tried to keep the meal preparations as simple as possible to maximize our time efficiency. However, it turned out that we had forgotten to bring oil to cook the eggs for breakfast. I tried using cheese as a substitute for oil, but it did not work and burnt the pot. Since it was the last time that we would be cooking, we just quickly rinsed the pots and pans, packed up all our equipment, and got ready for the hike.

The Hike

We started off at around 9 in the morning, where we hiked along the road to our old meeting spot at Pak Tam Chung PHAB Site. We took a short break here, and was about to continue upon our journey, when we received a transmission over the walkie that told us to stop. Mystified, we waited until all the other groups had caught up with us, and then realised that the instructors wanted all of us to take a group photo.

2. 20230326 103705
Group Photo at Pak Tam Chung

We resumed hiking along the path on the way to Yong Shu Au, our main checkpoint for the first half of the day. Since the rain was gone by now, it was quite a easy hike, and we had no difficulty reaching the checkpoint in around a few hours. By this time, however, everyone was starting to get tired due to the long distance we had hiked, so we stopped at a pavilion and ate our lunch. When the girls were preparing lunch, it turned out that they had packed a triple-decker SPAM sandwich for me, which was so hefty that I nearly puked.

After lunch, we resumed our hike. Our final destination was supposed to be at Tai Tan, where we would take a photo close to the sea to celebrate our success. However, everyone was very exhausted and on the verge of collapse. Seeing this, the instructors decided to allow us to take a break and only hike to Hoi Ha. Eventually, at around 1500, we reached Hoi Ha and took a group photo, before taking a minibus back to Sai Kung town and back home.

image 3
Group Photo at Hoi Ha

Overall, this AYP expedition journey was a massive success, with us learning how to react to certain situations and to respond accordingly, and review all the hiking and camping skills that we have picked up over the year. It was truly a rewarding journey that all of us enjoyed. This year, our AYP expedition group pretty much stayed the same, and I cannot wait to see what the new assessment journey has in store for us! Let’s continue to challenge ourselves!

Signing off,

Jasper Yam, Scouts Author 1

Similar Posts