Inevitably spirits were a little jaded at the end of a long and testing term, so it was understandable that excitement was tempered with a degree of lassitude as the Lower Fifth Bronze D of E expeditioners met up down at the OEC for their final check prior to heading out to the Surrey Hills.
Fortunately spirits were soon revived by the gorgeous weather and the teams soon settled into the time honoured pattern of stop – look at the map – head off in completely the wrong direction – stop – realise the mistake – try a slightly better heading – rinse – repeat. Eventually this iterative process became a little smoother and navigation more proficient. No teams were horrendously late into camp and a pleasant evening was had all round, relaxing in the company of friends.
Tired backs and feet meant that progress was a little slower on the second day for some groups, but lighter loads and greater navigational confidence resulted in all the groups getting in at a sensible time and being signed off by their assessors.
This cohort has come a long way since their practice at the start of the Summer term and I sincerely hope that many of them will go on to Silver once they have completed their Bronze Awards.
As ever thanks go to the many staff who gave up their much needed weekend to supervise and assess the teams, in particular Miss Baily who oversaw the whole event.