The silver practice expedition was scheduled for the busiest time of a very busy term. Fortunately all the participants were well organised, having packed their gear the night before and were able to make it down to the OEC on Saturday afternoon as soon as their matches were finished.
All the groups were soon champing at the bit and made a very efficient start, navigating successfully over to Whipley Manor Farm, getting their tents set up and food on, just as the light was going. Even those with the longest routes were within sight of camp as night fell.
Sunday morning dawned grey, but drier than the dire prognostications of the Met Office and everyone was on their way before the drizzle drifted in. This failed to dampen the groups’ spirits and soon passed, making the crossing of Blackheath and the pull up St Marthas much more pleasant. By evening the sky was clear and after a very dogged day everyone made it into camp, near Farley Green, in excellent time, having shown an impressive range of navigational skills.
On the final day, we were blessed with fabulous spring weather, making the tramp back to School a really enjoyable experience for those who could forget their tired feet and aching shoulders. Again, all the groups worked efficiently both during the walk and on return to School for the all-important post-expedition admin.
All the participants are to be congratulated on a very slick and efficient expedition, undertaken with great humour and in a really positive spirit. As ever, thanks go to Mr Pidgeon, Miss Singleton and Mr Jenkins for staying out to support, encourage and guide their groups over the three days. Particular thanks need to go to Mr Bryant on this, his final expedition, prior to his well-earned retirement. For over 25 years he has been a much loved and stalwart supporter of the Award at Cranleigh.