A mother’s perspective of our 2018 Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge . . .

Hi Everyone,

I have put off writing to you, because I don’t know where to start or how to use the right words for what i would like to say.

Thank you so much for your amazing organisation and the opportunities you give people. My dealings with you all were fantastic and you never made me feel silly when I had a million and one questions I needed answered.

I was so lucky to have both of my twins go to Kokoda with you. I was a little nervous sending them both, but that’s just me.

We live 3 & 1/2 hrs from Sydney and i was surprised to have non stop chatter all the way home. they loved every moment of their experience, the good and the bad. They had so many amazing stories to tell and the friendships they have made will be with them forever. Lochie told us about being sick, and how they just had to keep going. The experience has made them appreciate their lives differently. I am extremely blessed to have the children I do, 99% of the time they are wonderful. Jake our youngest has CP and is in a wheel chair and has a communication device, the twins are amazing with Jake. He was so happy to see them on
their return that he burst into tears.

On the Saturday they were asked if they would do it again, both said yes, however Jacinta piped up and said “Not today”. Thank you for making her dream come true, she waited 2 years to be able to apply to do it.

Thank you doesn’t do justice to what you have done for Jacinta and Lochie, you have helped cement their values, qualities and characteristics that are making them into the wonderful young adults they are becoming.

They have both been put in situations since being home, where they have stepped out of their comfort zone to help others.

They both speak so highly of the experience and the people who helped them along the way, it will be something they will never forget.

Thank so so much.
From a very proud and grateful mum,
Mary Ballard

Adventure Kokoda and the RSL Services Clubs Association are very proud of you Mary and we look forward to keeping in touch and monitoring their progress. (more…)

Kokoda Pilgrimages for Schools

 Our Kokoda pilgrimages for schools incorporate:

  • Student-Parent Treks,
  • Historical Treks tailored to suit school curriculum, and
  • Youth Leadership treks.

Student-Parent Treks

There is no greater bond of mateship, or commitment to one another, than that developed between soldiers in the crucible of war. Barry and Tom OFarrell Isurava April 2008Shared adversity, extreme conditions, privation, reliance on each other and the dry humour that develops in such situations combine to forge lasting personal bonds.

In a similar way, the Kokoda Trail offers the unique opportunity to experience elements of this bonding and relationship building for students and parents in a way that cannot be replicated in normal society.  The Kokoda Trail is wilderness trekking in its most pristine form. The pilgrimage is free of the distractions of everyday life that so hinder relationships in today’s busy world.

The relentless terrain, testing climate, perceived dangers (all carefully managed) of unfamiliar jungle, river crossings and grinding climbs will challenge the mental and physical tenacity of participants as they conquer their own self-doubts and replace them with self-confidence. The awe of walking in the very footsteps of our heroic ‘diggers’ who fought and died along the trail will put their own struggle into perspective and inspire them to conquer whatever obstacles they will inevitably face.

For the diggers Kokoda was a profound personal experience that established lifetime bonds: for student-parent groups it offers a similar opportunity to experience the power of a shared struggle in a unique learning environment. (more…)

The Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge

The RSL Services Clubs Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge is a peer group leadership program based on the Kokoda campaign.  Young people are selected from their local communities to participate in the program.  Licenced clubs in NSW, WA, SA and Qld have recently joined the program. A young female participant, Simone Norris, recently wrote to her trek leader, John Nalder, on the impact of the experience: (more…)