Julie, Seth, Meg and I decided to complete our Expedition Badge. 

We started planning this expedition in April which gave us time to prepare and plan for this expedition. To complete this badge we had to walk 6-8hours per day on unfamiliar and challenging terrain. We decided to plan two expeditions simultaneously just in case anything was to go wrong. Plan A was to go to French Island and the idea was to hike around the island and Plan B was to go to The Great Ocean Road. 

Planning took a long time as we had to plan for 8 people. The planning included a route, printing maps, budgeting, creating a menu, organising permits for campsites, creating an emergency plan, organising equipment, making sure expeditioners who were not a part of Scouts Victoria sign the Youth Member Application Forms and to create a consent form.

One of the challenges we faced while planning was communicating: we had to make sure everyone received the message and were able to give their input.

A week before the hike we called Parks VIC to confirm our bookings at French Island–they advised us 2 out of the 4 campsites we originally wanted had been decommissioned. 

After the phone call, we had to contact the group and set up a meeting with parents to discuss changes and how the hike would come about.

We received feedback from parents of the expeditioners who requested that we set up a Facebook page to share photos and send updates of our whereabouts during the hike.

A week before the camp we arranged all our camping gear and the food that we would need for the camp.

The camp took place on the 5th- 8th July on The Great Ocean Road. 

All the expeditioners met at my house at 7 am, we had breakfast together and packed all the bags and equipment into the car. The drive to our destination was about 4 hours: we had to stop halfway to have food and have a stretch. 

When we reached Blanket Bay Campsite we set up our tents and started to explore the local surroundings: enjoying a long walk on the beach and taking a lot of photos.

Before sundown, some of us went to find firewood. When we returned we started the fire and prepared dinner: bolognese pasta. 

After dinner, we cleaned up and went down to the beach again staying by the fire to look at the amazing night sky. 

In the morning after packing up the campsite, we had breakfast; coffee and cereal and then began our hike towards Parker Hill. 

From Parker Hill, we hiked to Cape Otway and then onto Rainbow Falls. 

The ride home took approximately 4 hours; arriving back at my house to drop off all borrowed equipment and to be met by our parents.

Throughout the camp we had to face various challenges; on the second night an expeditioner dropped half of our uncooked mac and cheese on the ground and we had to salvage what we could for dinner–to avoid this next time we will practice cooking in the triangia.

We were also unprepared for the amount of food consumed: we did not pack enough food to fill us up, but we did have snack packs that helped with the hunger–to improve this next time we will communicate more with everyone and cater to individual appetite. 

Preparation for this camp was a bit rushed and more time to plan every detail would have improved our organisation–we could improve by making sure we call Parks VIC and confirm campsites available for us.

Overall the camp was successful with a few minor setbacks in the organisation and planning. We had a great experience being a part of such a big hike with a lot of people.

 This was an unforgettable camp and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

-Emma Year 11