Twenty-two Award participants, together with three Award Leaders of Hopetown Girls' School, Dehradun, visited Har Ki Doon, a valley situated at approximately 12,000 feet in the Himalayas from 25 to 29 April as part of the Gold Award. It was a moderately difficult trek and the participants showed remarkable grit and determination by trekking for approximately 60 kilometres with their rucksacks over four days. They pitched their tents each night, cooked food and washed their own dishes. During the visit, the group slept in tents with the sound of the river flowing, gazed at infinite stars each night and woke up to witness the breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains. They also saw different hues of the rhododendron, the blue pine and walnut trees that added to the exoticism of the location.
The experience was a major turning point in the lives of the participants; something that has left unforgettable impressions on their lives. The participants showed undaunted courage and crossed two glaciers. Backed by remarkable leadership, teamwork, resilience, communication, and positive attitude to survive, they experienced being in the lap of nature with minimum resources available to them. This helped to develop great camaraderie between their peers and teachers and gave them a bag full of memories to cherish for a lifetime. For most of them, it marked a new approach to looking at life. Inhibitions and anxieties about taking up challenges were replaced by confidence, leading to a sense of achievement. It made them discover their hidden potential and transcend boundaries of their comfort zones willingly to know the unknown. Loaded with memories, the participants found the experience almost magical.