A enriching adventure for our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh participants
On 14th & 15th May, 30 pupils embarked on their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award expedition in Wymondley, a trip of a lifetime which will be a topic of conversation for many years to come. Following extensive training with Mr Lowrie, they put their orienteering, camping and cooking skills into practise as they set off on the routes which they had planned.
Students were pushed to their limits while they walked up to 18km a day carrying a heavy backpack containing their tents and other items such as clothes, snacks, water bottles and even eyelash curlers for one student. The use of mobile phones was prohibited, so students had a survive without modern technology for the next 30 hours and rely solely on maps and compasses to navigate themselves along their pre-planned routes.
We met at 08:30 on Saturday morning and the weather was glorious. Obviously, sun cream had to be applied and then we were off, embarking on our adventure like Frodo and Sam ready to overcome whatever trials and tribulations there were along the way. With stunning scenery and beautiful weather, what could go wrong?
To be honest, nothing really went wrong! A few incorrect turns were taken, a couple of falls and general tiredness of carrying the heavy backpacks. Students were in good spirits throughout the day, stopping to eat along the way. Word games, conversations and occasional Spanish revision took place as students walked to reach their goal. Once they arrived back at the Scout Camp, they had to put up their tents and cook their own dinner over a small camp gas fire. They played badminton and other various sports before singing round a campfire and toasting marshmallows over the campfire. It was one of our student’s birthdays and Mr Lowrie had bought cakes to share for everyone.
We woke up bright and early to the sound of birds and rain. Breakfast was made outside while it lightly drizzled. By 08:30 all tents had been cleared and the students were off once again on their adventures. The only difference was that their teachers were not in tow but monitoring their progress through GPS trackers and occasionally meeting them at check points. Imagine their worry when one student suggested they should put the GPS tracker on a cow… By 16:30 all groups had returned to base and had been collected by their parents. Their resilience and perseverance through the rain was amazing.
The students should be very proud of their achievements, and we hope that they will remember this weekend for many years to come. A big thank you to Mr Lowrie for organising such a wonderful weekend and due to his careful and diligent planning, it all ran smoothly.
This is what what Libby P, one of the participants, thought about her experience:
“DofE was an experience to say the least. However, it was an incredible way to challenge communication skills, teamwork, perseverance and motivation. We started the expedition slightly nervous but extremely excited for the weekend that followed. As we knocked more of the miles off our route on the Saturday morning, the sun got a lot brighter and so much hotter; we were thankful for any shade we could get – but when you are in a field of slightly angry cows that’s near impossible! As we kept getting lost, it was definitely a challenge to keep going; especially on Saturday when it got up to almost 26° but also on Sunday when we were battling with the rain. Nevertheless, with the help of Hamilton, Frozen, Lion King and a million and one campfire chants we were able to complete it with a smile on our faces, soaking wet or not. Once we arrived at the campsite, a game of rounders and badminton unfolded pretty quickly, with everyone getting involved.
Overall it was a brilliant experience, and I would definitely recommend it.”