One of the highlight experiences for many of the Kokoda Kids in the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program is the peak experience. Traditionally, the kids would be travelling to Papua New Guinea to walk the real Kokoda Track in the footsteps of our Australia diggers.
But due to COVID restrictions, the kids took on an all-Aussie adventure in Far North Queensland to visit significant WWII sites and also to learn about Indigenous culture and conservation work that’s happening around the Great Barrier Reef. We pulled aside Kokoda Kids Ash & Pia during the last day of their donkey trek to ask them about their Kokoda Challenge Youth Program experience. These two champions had just walked around 62 kilometers over 6 days to visit historical mining towns and learn about the history of the Kokoda Campaign along the way. Here’s what they had to say about their time in the program:
What has your Kokoda Challenge Youth Program experience been like?
Pia: I learnt new team developing skills and how to socialise and work with people even when sometimes you don’t agree with them you learn to build that trust and connection to overcome certain issues work with people together to achieve one goal.
Ash: Just meeting so many amazing new people. Learning to get along with everyone and anyone. Just always being able to have someone around you that you know will come and help you and you can trust and talk to them whenever.
Has this experience helped you learn about the Kokoda Campaign in 1942?
Pia: A sense of independence in a way. I’ve learned how to cope with myself when I’m struggling and when I’m having a high or having a low, you learn to work through it either way. I think I’ve gained a bit more respect for myself, because it does teach your limits are just in your head and you can push through most things if you put your mind to it.
Ash: Your limits are something that you think are true and real and even it’s something like an injury or something like that or maybe if you’re sick it is something that you can push through, you just got to believe in yourself. Start believing that you can and believing in others around you that they can too.
If you or someone you know is looking for the adventure of a lifetime, then register your interest to become a future Kokoda Kid in the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program.