Common Time 2019


Boy looking at Insects
Boys in a boat
Boy showing that he caught a Pirana
Boy by campfire

This Society was set up in 2005 to give Wykehamists the opportunity to travel and work in remote locations around the world. There are two main features that make these expeditions different from other School trips.  

The first lies in the level of responsibility given to the team members. They plan the expedition, raise the finances to fund it and, in the country, are responsible for all aspects of the venture. They control the budget and are also expected to arrange the accommodation, the food, the navigation, the travel, and the project work. They are accompanied by a School don and a leader from the providing company - but the role of these adults is to ensure that the team is not placed in danger, nor the success of the trip compromised. It is also their obligation to help the team members derive the most benefit from their experiences. In modern educational parlance, they "facilitate experiential learning". When the team first arrives in a country, there is a steep learning curve: mistakes are made and systems evolve. Team members usually take turns as leader, bursar, travel agent, interpreter, cook, health and safety advisor, and a host of other country-specific roles. They learn to look after each other and anticipate each other's needs. In short, they become a team.  

The second unique selling point is the inclusion of a Community Service Project. We accept that it is a great privilege to attend Winchester. This Project provides an opportunity for Wykehamists to "give something back" to those less privileged than themselves. When we were in Brazil, we stayed in a remote village deep in the Amazonas and helped to rebuild a dilapidated village hall. For many, the project phase is the highlight of the expedition as it provides the best opportunity for cultural exchange.

An expedition like this requires enormous preparation. The team works together for well over a year before their departure. They plan, research, gather equipment, and raise funds.    

Expedition History
2006 Morocco (High Atlas - Mount Toubkhal)
2007 Brazilian Amazonas
2009 Outer Mongolia
2010 Morocco (Junior expedition)
2011 Borneo (SCUBA marine conservation)
Cambodia and Vietnam
2012 Romania (Junior expedition)
2014 Ethiopia
2015 Finland
2016 Cuba (SCUBA marine biodiversity)
2017 The Silk Road (Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan)

Expeditions in planning:
2019  Little Cayman (SCUBA marine biodiversity)

The expeditions are organised by Mr Ian Fraser.