Rachel Lakhanya started hiking with the MCSA CT Outreach Programme in 2015, and is now one of our regular volunteers. She officially became a card-carrying member of MCSA CT in May. Rachel also started climbing with Dream Higher three years ago and is now training to be a junior coach. She is sharing her love of hiking and climbing with a whole new generation of mountaineers. Rachel wrote about her experience of volunteering with an outreach outing, below.
Our trip to the hut with Lawrence House was so much fun. My experience as a volunteer was so different from when I was a participant. When you are a volunteer, you try and set up activities that allow meaningful engagement, creativity and group work. You want young people to have fun, and you want them to engage with their surroundings, as they are away from their usual environment. I believe these types of outings into the mountains are so important as they introduce a new world to young people who have only seen mountains from a distance.
When I was a participant, going hiking was an adventure to me, in the mountain every moment was fun and could be really breath-taking, especially when we reached the top of the mountain. Sometimes it was hard hiking, especially when we weren’t used to it, but with the outreach volunteers there it made it easier as they encouraged us to keep going and were really patient with the group at the back. Going to Du Toitskloof hut with the boys from Lawrence House was really worthwhile and fun, the boys learnt to pitch a tent, inspect insects with a microscope and then drawing some of them. The boys really enjoyed themselves and still had energy on their way home.