Wet and Wild DofE Expeditions
Over the past three weeks, assisted by a Birthday celebration on each trip, DofE Teams have braved the elements to complete their expeditions. LVI Form Gold Teams undertook their Practice in the Black Mountains, setting off into the rain with huge rucksacks and more food than we had believed it possible to fit in. (In some cases it did not fit in, but the contents of the embarrassing carrier bags were swiftly eaten for lunch). Over the four days their confidence and navigational prowess developed and they showed themselves well able to cope with tricky routes, steep hills, freezing nights, a gale and an inch of rain on a campsite liable to flood, torrential showers and bad weather paths that had turned into streams. Celebratory cakes marked both Izzy’s birthday – on a hard second day – and the safe arrival of all teams at the end. In early July the Gold Teams will be off to the Yorkshire Dales for their Final Expedition and we can only hope that conditions will be better.
All the LV Form Bronze Teams have successfully completed their Final Expedition weekends. Teams 4 – 8 on 21st-22nd April made excellent time and were able to spend time carrying out their expedition Aims, enjoy the views and dodge most of the heavy showers. Frankie’s Birthday was celebrated at the campsite and everyone was in their tents before the rain froze upon them. Up early on Sunday morning and very efficient with their campcraft, despite the frozen tents, all teams continued to make good progress, the final team finishing with 10 minutes to spare before a cloudburst.
Teams 1 – 3 showed true determination last weekend; never have such horrible conditions been encountered on an April expedition. Saturday’s routes were generally North to South, with a following wind, and the rain largely held off for pitching the tents, JD’s Birthday tea and cooking supper. In preparation for the night ahead, the best tents had been issued and these withstood the gale and rain, though the noise made sleeping difficult. Everyone retired to bed organised for the morning, emerging, fully waterproofed, only after breakfast had been eaten and rucksacks packed. Much to their credit, after a battle to get the tents down and safely bagged, all teams, armed with storm shelters, were off the campsite by 7.30am. Heading determinedly across the soggy countryside they finished at Urchfont – amazingly cheerful and smiling – by lunchtime.
All the LV Form girls are to be congratulated on completing outstanding expeditions. Their Bronze DofE Awards have been very well earned and we are delighted that over 30 of them have opted to continue to Silver.