Silver Duke of EdinburghPosted on: 25/04/2023
The Silver Duke of Edinburgh students spent last weekend completing their Qualifying expedition. Below is an outline of their weekend.
A coach collected the students from Blenheim at 8:30am on the morning on the the 21st, and transported them to a drop off point in the centre of the Chiltern hills. During the journey, the coach was filled with stories of Bronze expeditions, and speculation as to what to expect for the weekend ahead. When they arrived at their drop off point – a beautiful lake in the heart of the countryside – the students re-familiarised themselves with the skills they had learnt during their practice expedition of map reading and navigation.
Group by group, they then set off across the hills excitedly. After a full day of navigation and walking, the students arrived at our first campsite. They wasted no time in setting up their tents and trangias, and cooked their well-earned evening meal.
An early morning wake up call from pheasants, roosters, red kites and a nearby horse meant that the camp was awake shortly after sunrise. After cooking their breakfast, and in some cases, lunch for the day ahead, the students methodically packed their bags and tents and tidied the camp ready for the day ahead. Following a quick brief from their group instructor, the students exited the camp and completed their longest day of walking during the weekend. Despite a few wrong turns, navigational errors and sighting of a “dinosaur”, the students arrived safely at campsite two in good spirits. The campsite had four schools in total camping during the night, but the Blenheim students quickly established that they were the group to follow! Independently, they set up their camp, cooked, cleaned and went to bed without prompt, which impressed the instructors greatly.
On the morning of the 23rd the Blenheim students again outshone other groups, and had cooked, packed and left the site by 8am. The skills they had learnt during their practice expedition had clearly been developed throughout their qualifier, as all students were able to navigate successfully to the pick-up location.
The students worked with four Adventure Expedition instructors throughout the weekend, and each one could not comment enough on how lovely the groups were and how they were a credit to school and staff.