Triglav CAS Project: Ascending New Heights with the VIA Spirit25. 10. 2023
The IB Diploma Programme’s hallmark component, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), emphasizes immersive learning experiences. Over an 18-month period, students passionately undertake projects that span the arts, sports, physical, and service areas, pushing their boundaries and expanding their horizons.
Recently, one of our Year 13 students, Julia Krapenc, showcased the true spirit of CAS by achieving a long-held dream, backed by the unflinching support of the Vector community. Below is Julia’s heartfelt recount of her remarkable journey:
“To climb Slovenia’s highest mountain, Triglav, with an altitude of 2,864m was a challenge I had long wished to undertake, yet had no one to go with to ensure I reached the top and made it down safely. A team of Vector teachers made this challenge possible, converting what was just a dream to, by far, the most challenging CAS experience I’ve undertaken. With our physics teacher who’s an experienced alpinist, our German teacher, and our principal, we planned a trip to Triglav.
Waking up at 3am on a Saturday, driving to our meeting point at 4am, and starting the hike with head torches at 5am, with a few rests in between, we reached the peak at 1pm. Despite the challenges of climbing to the top, and later exhaustedly hiking back down, the positive energy didn’t leave the team, laughter and jokes were heard all the way to the parking lot which we reached at 9:30 pm. The adventure ended with a clear view of the stars as we shared snacks and reflected on the day.
To me, this was more than just a CAS experience that taught me to be persistent, to not give up when I started to feel weak, and to push myself to my limits; it was an experience that taught me just how connected the Vector community is, and how teachers are genuinely willing and ready to put in a large effort to help students achieve their goals be it during or outside of school hours. Being able to reach the top of Triglav in itself was something I truly didn’t believe possible, and to climb to the top with a team of supportive teachers is what made this experience so much more unreal, unique, and memorable.
Those who will read this article and are not part of Vector will likely find it hard to believe all that I write of and will think that it’s exaggerated. But those who had the opportunity to be a part of this small, tight-knit community know that at Vector, students and teachers become a second family. This trip certainly proved this. It was the day I finally became a true Slovene, and like the first man who planted his flag on the moon, I proudly held Vector’s flag (our tote bag) on top of the highest mountain.” – Julia Krapenc, Y13
Julia’s extraordinary journey and the supportive role of the Vector faculty beautifully encapsulate the ethos of our academy. At VIA, it’s not just about individual aspirations but about the collective endeavor that makes dreams a reality.