BG Energy Challenge ’08 Captures the Spirit of Determination of More than 200 Participants

The annual big event sponsored by British Gas and organized by CARE International which commenced on Nov 13th and successfully concluded on Nov 16th witnessed the participation of 200 people representing various companies all in the field of energy, sending them on challenging missions that displayed their most intricate physical and mental abilities and talents in two days of hiking in Mount Catherine and Wadi Masala; Gabal El Banat.

As challenging as it was for all, the annual event, aimed mainly at raising well-needed funds for CARE Egypt, was awe-inspiring for volunteers, participants, and all those who took part in it, engaging participant teams in lots of activities tailored specifically to develop unique teamwork spirit, decision making abilities, and many other skills all promoting willpower and determination to face up to and conquer challenges and difficulties.

The event captured the challenge spirit of about 32 teams, successfully raising a significant amount of funds for CARE, the prominent international charity organization that works on fighting poverty and suffering while improving the conditions of impoverished and developing nations across the globe with a particular focus on war-torn nations and epidemic-stricken countries where communities are challenged with a set of difficulties ranging from injustice, extreme poverty, spread of diseases, to lack of basic medical supplies and many other life essentials.

Split into Caring and Daring teams, participants were given the opportunity to choose the routes that best suit their levels of fitness, bearing in mind that the entire contest is meant to “challenge” their capabilities. So while some participants joined in without any expectations whatsoever, some had a bit of a clue about what they’re going to face over the two- day event, which made them somewhat prepared for all activities included.

Hala Youssef, Challenge Events Manager at CARE International in Egypt, and the one who successfully and tactfully planned and led the team organizing the contest, took the striking annual event to a new “challenging” level, which was encouraged and hailed by the organizing team as well as the volunteers. It was also supported and appreciated by most of the participants, even those who found it tough and somewhat off their limits of endurance. Some participants weren’t very much prepared for the event’s level of “challenge”.

Living the four seasons each day, the 32 teams hiked for two consecutive days watching a number of the most beautiful and picturesque sceneries in Sinai.

On the first day, participant teams left Morgan Hotel starting early in the morning, hiking through Wadi Masala, Gabal el Banat, descending one after the other to have a light and tasty lunch prepared by the Bedouins at Sheikh Jameel’s very famous Al Karm Ecolodge.

The Second day included a hike with several stops at different checkpoints divided across Mount Catherine.

Third day included a friendly and heartwarming Bedouin night that witnessed the distribution of awards and dancing of a huge gathering of organizers, volunteers, the highly-skilled Bedouins who took part and contributed to the event, and the participants, all happy and satisfied to have conquered all those unexpected challenges they were skilled and spirited enough to overcome.

Fourth day and right before shuttles depart, the Hotel reception seemed like a warm and friendly platform gathering all participants, volunteers and organisers team exchanging tales of adventures as well as contacts and phone numbers, to stay connected even after the event…

The planning phase started a few months prior the launch, and involved facilitating the routes through which participants hiked over the course of the event- also logistics; organizing the shuttles that will be transporting the volunteers and participants, room reservations, and many other related matters…

Most importantly the planning phase also involved tailoring team-building exercises that took place one day prior the kickoff, warming up participants’ physical fitness as well as mental capabilities.

The event was indeed a thrill for all those who took part in it. For organizers, they spent sleepless nights arranging for the trip, planning the routes within the mountains, and getting prepared for all possible scenarios and possibilities to be able to handle any surprises or difficulties that could arise in the course of the event.  Also a good amount of credit for the success of the event goes to the volunteers who, although, were assigned to handle a great deal of the events’ headaches, looking after major and minute details, have greatly enjoyed each and every moment of the two-day contest, maintaining a cheerful spirit that spread fast and effectively among all participants.

The event concluded successfully; not just for having managed to raise substantial funds for CARE which will be reflected in many charitable work enhancing the lives of thousands of people, but also for generating a good deal of positive energy that channeled all those who organized the “challenge” and those who lived it.

Maha Youssuf
— First published on Sahara Safaris’ Web Forums

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