Over 100 students trekked off for their two day Bronze qualifying expedition 9-10 October in fine settled weather with misty damp autumn mornings. Most groups performed very well in expedition skills. Groups met the standards required in navigation and camp craft and, where they met difficulties they mostly fixed these independently. In particular, assessing staff were pleased with teams LEAVING NO TRACE at their camp. As is usual, navigation skills varied somewhat but we could see an effort to improve in groups lacking natural navigators. A willingness to improve and persevere with expedition skills is important for those going on to silver. Remember that DofE expeditions are not a race and that safe, considerate and purposeful travel across the countryside is the priority, not raw speed. Visiting every single check point is critical to safe travel, as is communication with your assessor if something goes wrong. Groups arrived at the end between 10am and 2pm, which is usual. It was heartening that many found the time to say thank you to their assessors and supervisors who had looked after them and camped out too. Well done all!
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.
This weekend pioneering Bronze students completed paddle training with Dynamic Adventures. They were training for their Bronze canoe adventure which is later this month. Canoe training was completed on Tilgate Lake, Crawley and the River Wey in Godalming. Students enjoyed tremendous weather. Well done! (Many thanks to Rob Crossing for sending in these brilliant pictures).
120 Bronze students and Award Leaders set off from RGS on Sunday for their training expeditions. Groups were impressively well organised this year and staff were pleased with their especially positive and cheerful approach to the hike. They trekked to various local campsites up to 15km away, and completed their hike on Day 2 with a 10km hike ending at Reigate Hill. Groups had some navigational hiccups but learned from their mistakes. Campcraft was generally good, though some needed to get slicker with their tent building. Bronze groups usually have a steep learning curve regarding “leaving-no-trace” at camp, especially cleaning away after cooking, but staff were impressed with the cooperative way students picked up the idea of keeping their site tidy and organised. The great weather helped but it was still noticeable how this Bronze hike went especially well. Staff were very happy with you all, well done groups!
I look forward to hearing about the Bronze, Silver and Gold canoe training which also happened this weekend: please send in a report and photos if u have any.
Thank you to students, parents,. friends and governors for coming to the RGS award presentation evening on Friday. It was great to see so many students getting their awards.
The highlight was our 4 excellent Gold Award speakers: thanks to Luke, Hannah, Harriet and Jess for their inspiring talks.
well done – wear your badges at school with pride!
5th Year silver meeting concert hall 4-5pm
Bridge course silver 4-5pm. Room 12
3rd Year bronze: MUST register on eDofE; meet your Award Leader anytime this week for final expedition organisation.
Kit store opens this week to collect your kit: you must check it.
please note: 3rd form Conservation Day this term is WRONG in the calendar: it IS Friday June 28 (not July5)
28 RGS DofE students starting their Bronze Award completed a full day of conservation activities on Reigate Heath. They worked hard all day and staff from RACV and school were most impressed with their team work. They were instructed by Simon Elson from RACV on safe working and the purpose of conservation on Reigate Heath and then they got to work. A large number of Silver Birch trees were removed to encourage the regrowth of rare acid heathland flora, a habitat which supports several threatened and rare birds, reptiles and insects . Well done to all the students who took part: we were impressed by your enthusiastic approach to the tasks!
20 4th Year students braved sub-zero temperatures to do some valuable conservation work on Redhill Common. They “scalloped” the edges of a footpath, previously over-grown, to create a more attractive and secure avenue for walkers through the woods. The felling of invasive alien sycamore and laurel improves the habitat for native species such as oak, silver birch and hawthorn, allowing light to penetrate to the forest floor giving younger saplings and woodland flowers a chance to grow through and thrive. In addition, the edge habitats thus created improve niches for nesting birds and raptors to feed in woodland glades. Creating a patchwork of habitats improves the diversity of species in an area. Felled logs and brashings left lying give reptiles, hibernating insects and amphibians a safe environment and food availability for higher species of birds and woodland mammals. Our students did an excellent job today and achieved significant progress in very cold conditions: well done!
Over 160 students embarked on DofE activities. Silver 5th form students enjoyed a multi-activity day at Tilgate Park, Crawley hosted by Dynamic Adventures. They had a day of team building tasks including cycling, orienteering, raft building and kayaking. 90 Bronze students finished their Bronze expeditions and most groups were absolutely superb, performing well in their navigation but most importantly showing staff that they are ready for more independent expeditions at Silver and Gold level. They clearly demonstrated the skills and attitude required to take care of themselves and the people and environment around them. Well done to these groups, staff find it a pleasure to work with you and help you pass your dofe and you are a credit to RGS and the DofE scheme.
Bronze: meet 9am playground
Silver meet 9am PMH
Bronze: hand back your tent at the end of the hike on Saturday (for use on Gold). You MUST please also hand back your STOVE and rucksack on Monday. Other students need these for their Gold expedition which is very soon.
14 groups completed their Bronze training hikes. Sunday was cold, grey and showery, overnight temperatures fell to near freezing and most had a chilly night. Monday dawned bright and groups set off on their own to tackle the last stretch. Navigation was generally sound and most errors corrected quickly, apart from some notable exceptions on Day2! Camp craft, leaving no trace and keeping facilities clean was accomplished to a good standard by most groups after some reminders. Few items were forgotten and rucksacks were mostly sensibly packed. Overall, a good hike with a spirited performance from everyone in unusually cold May weather.