Silver D of E Weekend
Y12 Silver DofE Practice Expedition - Nr Buxton, Peak District
At the start of the Easter break, two teams of Sixth Formers undertook their Silver DofE Practice Expedition.
All members of the group were kit checked on arrival, with anything determined unnecessary weight left in the minibus during the weekend and were shown how to effectively pack their rucksacks including their group kit. After a bit of map work, it was straight to the (rather soggy) campsite for the night, where the students were shown how best to pitch the tents provided.
Students were up bright and early on Friday for the start of the practice expedition, and the Sixth Formers were raring to go. Breakfast was made, tents were taken down, rucksacks were packed, and many waterproofs were donned. The students were taught about navigation in action as well as first aid whilst following their route for the day with Stephen, the Expedition Instructor. They remained in high spirits all day despite the weather and arrived at the second campsite more confident than they had left the previous one. Tents were well pitched, dinner was well cooked, and following a hot shower, our sixth formers retired to bed.
On Saturday morning, more motivated than the day before, students again prepared for the day ahead. For this day, they split into two teams and were given the opportunity to navigate solely, with Instructor Stephen meeting them at close intervals. Both teams made some small navigational errors and self-corrected, which was observed by Stephen from a distance during remote supervision, putting into practice the training they received. After arriving at the final campsite of the expedition, both teams set up camp and then planned their routes for the final day, adding to their complement of newly developed skills.
The final day of the expedition was the first time the sun had shone, and this really reflected the mood of the day. The two teams were once again in high spirits; they made breakfast and took their tents down in record speed and set off on their own for the first time, still under remote supervision by Stephen. An hour from their finish location, Stephen joined back up with the teams and debriefed them about their experiences and contributions to the team over the course of the expedition. The Sixth Formers were understandably tired when they reached the endpoint, although not too tired to thank Stephen for the weekend, and definitely not too tired to sing in the minibus on the way home; an excellent end to an excellent Practice Expedition.
Over the course of the weekend in the White Peaks, the students faced - and importantly, overcame - many personal and team challenges, having great fun along the way. They're now looking forward to their Qualifying Expedition in June.
These students were a credit to themselves, and our School and this was a great start to the Expedition Season at North - the Expedition Baton now passes to Year 9 for their Bronze Practice in May!