- Location: Mid-Wales
- Time: 13-17 August
- Groups: 6
- Transport: coach, minibus, foot
- Weather: dry throughout, warm at the end
- Total distance: 50 miles
- Max elevation: 752m
6 groups completed their Gold dofe qualifying expedition in Mid Wales in mid august in outstanding dry sunny weather. Staff agreed that they were a delight to organise and supervise and we were really pleased with how they performed and especially with their cheerful and spirited approach to the whole venture. What a pleasure, thanks all.
Your assessors, John and Peter, were also happy with your technical performance and attitude and were delighted to pass all of you for whom this counted as qualifying. Don’t forget to complete the rest of your dofe now that you have done so well in the expedition section. You completed a verbal presentation at debrief so there is no need to do a write-up.
Gold dofe training to S Wales. 6 groups trained over 4 days around the Black Mountain. Weather good first few days, then low visibility for trek over hill tested navigation skills. Groups did well but camp craft needs attention for the qualifying expedition.
85 5th year students trekked off in 14 groups across the South Downs, catching the train to Lewes, hiking for 3 days and then getting the train out from Arundel. For the most part this route is not navigationally challenging but the hike presented groups with plenty of hills and some long distances on breezy ridges, and hopefully gave some a taste of why people like to hike even when not earning an award for it! Weather was dry but chilly in the northerly wind especially if groups stopped in exposed places. Every group performed well, supporting each other and working increasingly independently as the hike progressed. Staff think this year group has been a special pleasure to work with, always polite and positive and spirited despite the challenges. Well done all.
4th Years completed their 3 day Silver training expedition 28-30 June. Conditions warmed up through the 3 days as 14 groups trekked across the North Downs and thence across the Surrey Hills. Groups improved their navigation and camp craft and staff were pleased with their positive approach throughout. Well done!
125 students and their Gold Award Leaders trekked off on their Bronze practice hike May3-4. The two day expedition covered 15 miles over the local North Downs area around Reigate and included 5 different camp locations. The weather started wet and then improved to excellent walking conditions: cool and breezy. Groups performed well and supervising staff were pleased with their navigation ability. A few groups went wrong but they corrected themselves effectively. Camp craft was also pleasing with groups cooking some interesting meals, keeping a tidy camp and “leaving no trace” on departure. As this was their first Bronze expedition it bodes very well for their October qualifying expeditions.
Over 130 students embarked on their Bronze dofe expeditions 10-11 October. They walked and cycled and canoed to various campsites, scout camps and farms around the North Downs, Medway and New Forest areas. The weather was showery and there were thunderstorms overnight that woke many up. This was the largest number of students ever fielded in one expedition by RGS.
Two pioneering canoe groups from Reigate Grammar took an adventurous journey down the River Wye and Severn for their Gold canoe training and qualifying expeditions. They found it rewarding and challenging, on one occasion paddling over 45km in one day! They became a superb team together and the photos show what a great adventure they had. Well done all and I hope this encourages others to take up the amazing opportunity of canoeing for their DofE award scheme which is available as an expedition option for Bronze, Silver and Gold award groups.
Nearly 50 RGS students successfully completed their Gold qualifying hike 16-20 August in Mid Wales. A blustery storm warranting a severe weather warning for high wind started this expedition on a rather inclement note. 3 groups were re-routed below the summits for the first day due to gusts of 50mph forecast on a high route that would take them above 700m for most of the day on an exposed ridge. After the first day the weather was cool and breezy and a bit showery but ideal for walking and the groups rose to the challenge and performed well. Staff were most impressed with their positive spirit throughout the expedition and they were an especially pleasant and fun year group to assist through the challenge. Well done all! Thanks to all the staff and external leaders and assessors for your help with this expedition.
68 students trekked 30 miles over the North Downs from Dorking to… Dorking! The groups went via the North Downs (chalk) towards Guildford, camping at the stunning Chantries camp. They then crossed the clay vale to the extensive Heaths and woods of the Greensand Hills (Greensand) to Peaslake and Holmbury St Mary to a farm camp site under the south slope. The final day saw them trekking over the summit of Leith Hill back towards Dorking, finishing at North Holmwood. Weather was good, warm and dry and most groups avoided the worst downpours on the last day, finishing around midday. Well done all, good hiking with most groups improving their navigation.
Silver qualifying expedition to South Downs: 76 students completed this expedition in sunny warm conditions on a relatively easy route navigationally-speaking from Lewes to Amberley. They performed well, camp craft improved throughout and departure on the last day was efficient. The route includes some really beautiful bits of the South Downs. Many thanks to the students who always make this a most enjoyable expedition.
Remember you need to send in a REPORT and complete all parts of edofe and submit all sections for approval to complete your Silver Award: please do this before the end of term. Students wanting to enrol in Gold should look out for notices early next term in September.