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.
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.
Early forecast for our Gold training expedition: high pressure is building to the north in the next week and bringing generally cool & drier conditions to much of the UK it looks like forecast models are suggesting the possibility of COLD and damp conditions for South Wales on the Gold training expedition late October/early November. Damp conditions might drift in to southern coasts, a particular threat for the Brecon area.
Expect cold frosty nights and cold conditions high up; combine this with forecasts suggesting some damp weather and we could be in for some chilly temperatures on the hills! Pack warm gear and plenty of layers.
On the plus side, westerly winds are WEAKENING and this means stormy weather is most unlikely. Weather is more likely to be Polar than Maritime for our trip to Brecon.
See the Reigate Grammar School weather station website for more details.
40 students successfully completed their Gold assessment hike across the mountains of Mid Wales. They trekked over 50 miles and coped with blustery showery weather as well as the ubiquitous midges! For most this was their last dofe expedition and they have been a particularly wonderful group who have been a pleasure to train and assist through their scheme. Well done! Now finish your Gold!!