At the hectic end of a frantic term, over seventy keen expeditioners assembled at the Outdoor Education Centre ready to head off into the local countryside on their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Assessed Expedition. Lessons had been learnt on the practice expedition and bags were well packed, with hair straighteners, fluffy slippers and cabin trunks of makeup left behind. Once routes had been checked and gone through with the assessors, everyone got away in good time to enjoy a perfect afternoon’s walk in the English countryside – all very A.E Housman. The balmy evening in the campsites encouraged a few games of football and even the improvisation of rounders, using a Trangia pan lid held in a gripper.
Most participants enjoyed a peaceful night and awoke to another beautiful day for their return to School. A little mild “geographical embarrassment” resulted in a few routes taking a little longer than anticipated, but eventually everyone made it back in and had all the gear cleaned, dry and packed away by four o’clock.
All the Bronze participants are to be congratulated on their positive attitude and the friendly way they all pulled together, to not only succeed, but actually enjoy the experience. I was particularly pleased with the way that navigational skills had improved with practice and I very much look forward to seeing many of the same faces on the Silver programme next year.
Many thanks to the Gold candidates and numerous members of staff who came out to supervise and assess groups and particular thanks to Miss Linda Baily for co-ordinating the whole expedition.
Dr Simon Young
Head of Outdoor Education