2021 CAS Trip

The 2021 CAS Trip was held locally from 6th to 10th December with great success. Students traversed Hong Kong from east to west, explored the remarkable culture and landscape that the city boasts, pushed the limits of their physical endurance and served vulnerable groups with self-initiated activities. 

Day 1/2: Coasteering

Venue: Clearwater Bay Country Park

Scope: Activity

Learning Outcomes:
2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

Coasteering is a thrilling sport that involves various physical activities along a rocky coastline. This experience was particularly challenging as the coast was very rocky and had a steep slope. Another challenge was that we had to walk bare-handedly for most of the trip. 

This journey was scary yet remarkable. It began with walking down a canyon that led us down to the coast. The instructors told us to keep our center of gravity low so that we can easily retain balance in case of slipping or tripping. After reaching the coast, we moved along the coast through various means: hiking, rock climbing, abseiling and zip-lining. In one instance, we were instructed to climb up slopes that were meters tall without any equipment. Occasionally, I didn’t step on the rocks and nearly slipped. I even got hung on a tree branch 2 meters above the ground when I misjudged that there was a rock below when there was none.

Coasteering pushed me to my extremes and forced me to challenge my capabilities. Before this experience, I had never walked on such hazardous landscape, ziplined through the air or abseiled meters above the waters. I am thankful that the coaches believed in me and encouraged me to be brave. The joy of accomplishment upon the whole journey outweighed the obstacles along the journey. I was also unscratched, miraculously.  

Day 1/2: Dialogue Experience

Venue: Dialogue Experience, D2 Place ONE; Star Ferry Central Pier

Scope: Creativity, Service

Learning Outcomes:
5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

In this experience, we experienced the lives of people with hearing and visual disabilities.  

In the first part, we were required to wear headphones that eradicated most of the sound and disabled verbal communication among each other. It was quite hard as we had to express ourselves just by eye contact and body language (we couldn’t lipread as we were wearing face masks). The deaf tutors at Dialogue Experience taught us some sign language, which we used to solve puzzles, mystery games and do role play. It was surprising to see how impressive the deaf tutors could communicate through sign language.

Subsequently, we were led into a completely dark complex. It was very terrifying as we were unable to see anything at all. We had nothing but a walking stick to detect obstacles, and a guide who directed us through the complex. It was quite a big step in overcoming my fear. As a group, we completed several tasks in the dark environment and truly understood the daily experiences of the visually impaired. We panicked as we reached out for our next step, yet our guide directed us with ease. Originally, I thought the guides had gamma ray glasses or night vision goggles. Astonishingly, in the sharing session, they told us that they were actually visually impaired. 

We learnt a moral that replenished our hearts: “While we are visually competent in the light, we lose our visual ability in the dark. The visually impaired, on the contrary, are blind in the light, but are more capable than us in darkness. Therefore, they are not people with disabilities, but people of differences.” The clear and direct juxtaposition between the guides and us expresses the solid message: we are all equal and should be treated equally.

After the two experiences in Dialogue Experience, we set off to experience these differences in reality. We wore ear plugs as we rode the subway from Lai Chi Kok to Tsim Sha Tsui, and were blindfolded as we boarded the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience that broadened our knowledge about people of differences and how their lives are significantly different from ours.   

Through these activities, we experienced how it is like to be people of differences and learnt how to cope with these difficulties. It has made us more aware of this globally significant topic and has empowered us to be empathetic and supportive towards people of differences in the future.

 

Day 3: The Go Game

Venue: Hong Kong Park

Scope: Creativity

Learning Outcomes:
1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

The Go Game is an app that was used for this activity. We formed teams of four to five and completed around twenty missions using the app. The missions consisted of trivia questions, creative photography/videography missions, team challenges, secret agent missions and location-based tasks.

This experience allowed us to rediscover our identities and personality traits. 

In one instance, someone from my group accidentally clicked the wrong button, losing 15 marks. While some blamed each other, others delivered words of encouragement; in another instance, we had to produce a video that introduced a bird species in the park. The perfectionists made sure everything was correct, while the optimalists believed that nothing can ever be perfect and encouraged the team to proceed to the next task.

Through a journey of self-awareness, we were able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of ourselves and work on areas of improvement. Most importantly, the games developed our creative mindset and equipped us with the boldness to tackle difficult challenges in the future.

Day 4-5: Sunshine Action- Packing of Fortune Bags

Venue: Diocesan Boys’ School

Scope: Service

Learning Outcomes:
3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

In the Sunshine Action volunteering service, students helped Sunshine Action to pack fortune bags that were to be delivered to the elderly and other underprivileged groups. Students split up into groups to pack more than 1600 fortune bags, each consisting of more than 10 food items, hygienic and healthcare supplies. Through this activity, students were able to cooperate with each other, while spreading kindness to the elderly.

Day 4-5: Elderly Home Visit

Venue: Tung Chung Silverjoy Residential Care Home

Scope: Service

Learning Outcomes:
3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

We prepared several events for the elderlies to enjoy during the visit, including a Canto-Pop Karaoke session, a handicraft workshop and a mini Christmas concert. As an introvert, trying to talk to strangers has been a major struggle for me, not to mention being the emcees for one of the events. With no experience in hosting such an event, I tried my best in making the elderlies more involved in the event but had little confidence in it. Fortunately, the staff at the elderly home encouraged them to take part in the activities and they began to clap according to the rhythm and even sang along with our students! It felt so heartwarming when I witnessed their enthusiasm. When the seniors complimented our singers after the activity, it made it all worth the hard work. Most importantly, we brought some Christmas joy to them. One of our classmates dressed up as Santa Claus and distributed presents prepared by us. It was absolutely fun during the process. I had never thought that such a small-scale activity can bring so much joy to them and it feels nice to show our care to the society through such simple acts.

 

By Gary Chow, Elison Lee and Andrew Wong (23′)