Fully equipped rucksacks, loaded full of everything required to be independent and self-sufficient for a two-day journey with an overnight camp. Teams set off across the forest following different routes, met along the way by their team leader. As you can imagine the journey for each team varied in experience from straightforward to heading in the wrong direction for a few hours before being discovered and correcting their mistakes. Arrival at the campsite, therefore, spanned across a few hours in the evening leaving some teams more exhausted than others. No time to waste, tents up, and cooking stoves on to pack in that all-important meal prior to bedtime.
The challenge of this weekend was compounded by the extreme record breaking heat of an early May Bank Holiday. Whilst the rest of the country are basking in and enjoying the sun, our teams were wishing for weather which was a little cooler!
The whole point of the practice expedition is to ensure teams are ready for their final assessment. For a small number of pupils the practice expedition does reveal that the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition is not for them, it cements in the greater majority a wonderful experience to be treasured for a great many years. One thing that can almost certainly be guaranteed is that the assessed expedition, (timed to take place during the weekend of the end of May Bank Holiday) will not have such good weather. Watch this space!