Chatswood High School Silver Qualifying Pack & Paddle

Chatswood High School Silver Qualifying Pack & Paddle
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  • CHS Silver Qualifying P1 Pack & Paddle 11th October 2020
    October 11, 2020 - October 13, 2020
    7:00 am - 5:45 pm


Please find important information below about your Silver Qualifying AJ. 

All participants who undertake the Award MUST also take part in comprehensive Preliminary Training as stipulated in the Award Handbook (further information below in regards to the Preliminary Training).

NOTE – Programs are for Chatswood High School students ONLY. 


YouthAdvance pride ourselves on developing challenging and rewarding adventurous journeys for all participants. Our qualified and highly experienced Program Coordinators and Guides will work with you through the required preparation and training prior to your first Adventurous Journey, then teach you skills like navigation and camp craft on your practice expedition, and finally assess your skills on your qualifying expedition.

Our staff do not lead from the front, they mentor and instruct from the back of the group to ensure that you and your group have the opportunity to work as a team and make sound judgements based on your training and our staff’s leadership. You’ll be required to take responsibility and make decisions for yourself while under supervision from experienced and qualified outdoor professionals.


YouthAdvance create physically and mentally challenging expeditions for our participants. Each day, participants will hike or paddle up to 12 km carrying their pack and all their equipment. Students are encouraged to start training and develop their fitness in preparation for these physical requirements, including weekly walks carrying their pack and wearing their hiking boots/shoes.

All of our programs satisfy the time requirements of the Adventurous Journey stipulated in The Award Handbook by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. In addition, we strive to make our AJ’s lots of fun as well as imparting knowledge on the Australian bush to help our participants make lasting memories as well as new friends and new experiences.


YouthAdvance’s partner company Remote Safety Solutions is a leading remote area risk and emergency management specialist. Safety is paramount for all of our Adventurous Journey’s. All of our risk management procedures, emergency planning and the routes will be provided to the school prior to the program.

Emergency communication and first aid equipment along with satellite tracking will be carried by each YouthAdvance staff member while on the program.


  • Transport to and from the venue;
  • All camping and national Park/State Forest fees;
  • Instruction and supervision from our experienced and qualified Outdoor Educators;
  • Group communication devices i.e. InReach, EPIRBs and satellite phones;
  • Group remote area first aid kit;
  • Preliminary Training;
  • On trip pre and post briefing;
  • Participant maps, map cases and compasses (1 per participant);
  • Stove and pot set (1 set per 2 participants) – not provided due to COVID rental and purchase options available;
  • Canoe/Kayak, paddle and lifejacket.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW – Marramarra National Park

This Silver Pack and Paddle Adventurous Journey will run out of Marramarra National Park, just north of Berowra NSW. Marramarra covers rugged bushland, with dramatic sandstone cliffs and a variety of natural habitats. Marramarra is a fantastic hiking spot to get in touch with the elements and out in the Aussie bush navigating a number of ridge lines, creeks and other terrain features.

With the program starting at the entrance to Marramarra National Park, the first leg is on foot and will take us out into the untracked ridge lines. With some challenging navigation and sections that will require teamwork, participants will be rewarded with stunning views across the leg forDay 3. The route will then go through the “Jurassic Park” region, so called due to the old growth sub-tropic flora and then up and around several Indigenous sites.

Day 2 will see participants to east, paddling downstream on the Marramarra Creek into the stunning sandstone cliff-lined valleys of Berowra Creek. While safe in the confines of the creek, participants will refresh their water safety procedures before heading out into the wider bay and camping on the water’s edge. Day 3 take the participants further south down Berowra Creek where we will explore shorelines in several locations and finishing the program on the beautiful Berowra Waters.


The below program rundown may alter slightly, however the rundown, particularly drop off and pick up times, will be confirmed prior to each program.

Day 2
Day 3
7.00 am – Participants arrive at school 6.30 am – Participants prepare breakfast, break camp 6.30 am – Participants prepare breakfast, break camp
7.15 am – Bus departs school for Program Location 7.30 am – Participants morning brief (P)  7.30 am – Participants morning brief (P) 
9.00 am – Bus arrives at Program Location 8.00 am – Participants start Leg 2 Paddle- planned route (P) 8.00 am – Participants start Leg 3 Paddle – planned route (P)
9.00 am – Participants morning brief (P) 4.30 pm – Participants arrive at camp 3.30 pm – Participants arrive at designated finish point
9.30 am – Participants start Leg 1 Hike – planned route (P) 4.30 pm – Group debrief session (P) 3.30 pm – Group debrief session (P)
4.30 pm – Participants arrive at camp 5.00 pm – Participants setup camp, prepare dinner and Night Session on risk management
4.30 pm – Group debrief session (P) / recap of  paddling and safety procedures session (P) 8.30 pm – Participants in tents 4.00 pm – Bus departs program location
5.00 pm – Participants setup camp, prepare dinner and Night Session on risk management 5.45 pm – Participants arrive at school
8.30 pm – Participants in tents

Average Purposeful Activity (P) = 8.5 hours

YouthAdvance will collect all participants from school and return them to school. As such, please meet at Chatswood High School.

DROP OFF: 7.00 am, Day 1, at school.

PICK UP: 5.45 pm, Day 3, at school.

If you are going to be late, please let us know on +61 487 003 440 so we don’t depart without you. Please ensure you monitor traffic conditions and that arrangements are made for a prompt pickup of participants.

NOTE: The expedition WILL NOT be postponed because of forecast “unsettled” weather. However,  in the event of unseasonably very bad weather, or if a weather warning is issued in the program venue, the expedition may be postponed to ensure the safety of our participants. You will be notified of this via email. 


Students will not be permitted to join a YouthAdvance Qualifying Journey if they did not complete the preliminary training. If you were unable to make the training, please contact us.

Route planning preliminary training will still be required and you will be emailed the link to this prior to the program.


Your child using appropriate gear is instrumental in ensuring that they have an enjoyable and comfortable experience – we CANNOT stress this enough! If you are unsure whether your child’s equipment is suitable, please contact us for clarification.

More information on equipment will be provided in your confirmation email, including an equipment checklist. In addition, we will advise what equipment is supplied by YouthAdvance and how to hire or purchase gear from our Equipment Store. **PLEASE NOTE that at the moment with COVID-19, in order to mitigate the potential for spread of the virus, YouthAdvance will be providing single tents only and packs for hire per program and will maintain vigorous cleaning procedures between programs. Tents and packs are available on the hire equipment page so please either book in to hire one of ours or source your own. Further, unless participants reside in the same household or special provisions are given by parents and/or the school, there will be NO tent SHARING between participants. 

Note that we have a 50% off on hire of single tents at the moment…first come first served.

Please refer to the following page for additional information on Equipment for Adventurous Journeys (Equipment Resources).


Each participant will be responsible for planning, supplying and preparing their own meals for the duration of the hike. At least one day’s emergency rations should be carried by participants.

Additional information on meals, including sample menus and meal planning will be sent to you following registration and is available here: (Meal Planning Resources). Pre-packaged meals are available for purchase at discounted prices for all YouthAdvance participants here: (Meal Purchases)

**Please be aware that there will be no stoves or pots provided due to COVID-19. Students may choose to bring their own cooking equipment, purchase or rent from us OR they can plan a non-cooking meal instead. 

All participants should start with at least three full 1 Litre water bottles. In dry weather periods, water can be difficult to source so this is a minimum amount. You will be advised in the registration email if you are required to bring water purification tablets. 


In order to partake in this Adventurous Journey, you are required to seek approval from your Award Leader on the Online Record Book BEFORE you get on the bus. 

Please us the following details as your assessor:

Assessor: YouthAdvance Guide name if known or use Jacqui Harvey

Phone: 02 8957 5428

Email: [email protected]

Assessor signoff will be completed in the ORB following your hike once your request assessor approval.

Award Leader signoff WILL NOT be completed until your AJ report has been submitted and uploaded into the Documents section of the ORB. Please ensure that you use the appropriate template.


Following registration for this hike, you will be sent a link to CareMonkey to setup a profile. If we do not have a profile that is up to date (within 2 months), your child will not be permitted to board the bus.

We use CareMonkey to collect medical information about each participant. Please take the time to fill in this form accurately and honestly in each of the data fields. Accurate medical data is important in the event of an unseen medical emergency occurring while on the program. 


Please select the “Register” button next to your preferred dates and follow the prompts. 


If you have any questions, please contact our team at [email protected]


Venue Website:

45 Bloodwood Road, Fiddletown, New South Wales, 2159, Australia


Marramarra National Park is a one of the Hawkesbury’s best-kept secrets. It’s great for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, cycling, camping, bushwalking, picnicking and birdwatching.