iProj 2017: How Hiking Taroko Gorge National Park Forced Our Team To Bond

By Samuel Ng

Taroko Gorge National Park is one of Taiwan’s nine national parks. On May 2nd, our contingent hiked through a few trails at the national park – Shakadang Trail, Swallow Grotto, and Baiyang Waterfalls Trail. I am a student who spends all of my waking moments in front of computers, so trails and hikes are, truth be told, quite foreign to me. Through all the hikes, the scenery at Taroko National Park was as thought provoking to me as they were beautiful.

The hike challenged our ability to hike as a team as much as it challenged our physical abilities. In the beginning, we were instructed to hike in single-file formation, except we were like a young wild river. On our first hike, our “single-file” was wide enough to block other tourists, run into other people, etc. Rovers were walking at different paces, leaving huge gaps within the patrols were supposed to travel together. This made it hard to stay together as a team, and to communicate between patrols.

By our last hike of the day, we were traveling tightly within our patrols and in a fine narrow single-file. We had become the established river, powerful from the focused grooves. We were now able to reveal the hidden beauty in the rock. We were not blocking other tourists, and our distance with each other was close and consistent, making safety information propagate quickly throughout patrols.

More experienced hikers within the team constantly reminded the less experienced to stay hydrated. Even infrequent hikers, like myself, were able to finish the hikes without feeling dizzy or dehydrated. We watched each other’s back, warning of incoming cars, reminding each other of loose items. Traveling as a team forced the team to work together in order to arrive at the destination together. We felt compelled to not slow down the team, and we were all supported to finish the hike. Working in harmony as a team allowed all of us to enjoy the hike and admire mother nature.

Throughout the hikes at Taroko National Park, the emphasis on exercising teamwork, appreciating the nature, and leaving no trace reinforced my belief that our scout group is making a positive influence in this world. Taroko was a fitting site for our hikes; in the language of the indigenous tribe of Truku, “Taroko” means “human being”. The location forced us to work together as a team, and to connect with each other as a human beings.


One Response to “iProj 2017: How Hiking Taroko Gorge National Park Forced Our Team To Bond

  • Shelley Dyet
    10 months ago

    Samuel, thank you for sharing. It is always refreshing to hear the thoughts of someone new to any Scouting experience.

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