The Duke of Edinburgh programme is now well underway. The twelve students involved have embraced the programme and impressed us all with their determination and perseverance during recent training and practice expeditions.
As part of their training the boys have covered map reading and route planning, rucksack packing, cooking safely outdoors, choosing a site, setting up a tent and clearing the camp ground afterwards.
For some of the boys, the practice expedition was the first time they had experienced camping, let alone hiking and outdoor cooking.
Duke of Edinburgh coordinator, Mr Shaw, has commended the boys for their excellent performance on the hiking segment of the expeditions despite the adversity of carrying 65 litre backpacks containing all the necessary equipment for an overnight camp. Some of the boys surprised themselves by what they were able to achieve.
All the boys did well setting up camp and enjoyed making their own dinners on a gas burner -with mixed results. As Mr Shaw rightly pointed out, at least with outdoor cooking, there is no need to worry about setting the fire alarm off!
For almost all of the boys, the overnight camp was the most challenging part of an experience which placed them well outside their comfort zone. Mr Shaw is hopeful, however, that once they reflect upon their adventure, they can build upon this experience and rise to the challenge.
We’re still in the training phase, but the next step will be the expedition assessment, which will take place after the summer holidays. The five boys working toward the Silver Award will cover approximately 22 miles over three days/2 nights camping, and the seven aiming for the Bronze Award will cover 15 miles over two days walking/1 night camping.
Good luck to all those taking part!