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40 Hour Backpack Challenge


25 August 2017

40 Hour Backpack Challenge

40 Hour Backpack Challenge

This year the 40 Hour Famine was run a bit differently, as a Backpack Challenge. Seven Scotch students signed up for the challenge and raised money for people displaced through civil war and natural disasters.

The challenge involved responding to a series of SMS messages throughout the 40 hours which would change their circumstances immediately and significantly, requiring them to think on their feet, push on and find safe options for survival.

‘Living in someone else’s shoes for 40 hours wasn’t easy and it took some thought. The experience wasn’t as simple as sleeping on my floor and living out of a backpack – there were challenges along the way to push me to do things I wouldn’t usually find myself doing. The challenges, such as staying silent in dark space for 15 minutes, gave me insight to the emotion of vulnerability that refugees face in their uncertain journeys. It was a confronting, real and unpredictable 40 hours which put me out of my comfort zone. Knowing that I, with the help of my sponsors, did my part to help the 65 million people forced out of their homes globally is such a rewarding feeling.’

Isabel Jantzen


‘The 40-hour Famine was a great experience. I went without furniture for 40 hours and sleeping on the floor was not very nice. Realising that people face this every night is horrible!’

Imogeone Mons


‘The walk was okay but on our journey we kept on thinking how much worse it would be if we really were refugees. Instead of staying home, my friends and I decided to take a hike from Belair to Fullarton. We would later camp at the Fullarton scout hall to take care of children ranging from ages 8 to 11. This simulated young teenagers having to step up and be a parent figure. We had to build, light and maintain a fire as well as trying to stop kids jumping over the fire.’

Ethan Miotti


‘I started planning for the 40-hour Backpack Challenge a while before it happened. Unlike a refugee I had the luxury of having weeks of time to pack and plan. On Friday night I started living out of a backpack. Luckily, I could have one last home-cooked meal before it started. When Saturday came around I immediately noticed the entertainment options we rely on (TV, internet, etc). I also felt out of touch with the rest of the world.  None of these were available to me. That night my Dad and I walked to the park and got firewood to cook my dinner on. When Sunday dawned I slept in, ate breakfast and then the challenge was almost over! In doing this I really gained a lot and thought about people who are not as well of as us.’

Tom Venus

Between them, Isabel Jantzen, Ethan Miotti, Imogeone Mons, Chloe Morris, Ella Paddick, Tom Venus and Michael Xie have raised over $1,800, and some are still collecting.

This money will help provide food, clean water, blankets, tarps, temporary shelter and safe places for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Well done Scotchies!

Sherilyn Craven
Service Learning Assistant

That's a wrap on Term 4 and 2019! Enjoy the summer break and have a happy and safe Christmas!