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Duke of Edinburgh Gold Practice Expedition

On a cold Thursday morning at 6am, fourteen Year 13s joined Mr Smith, Mrs Byrne, Miss Keitch and Martin from D of
E for a trip to the Peak District, where we spent 5 days and 4 nights.

Two minibuses packed with rucksacks, camping equipment and happy students drove to the training centre for their D
of E Gold practice expedition. A quick stop at the local Tesco in the Peak District and we met our first challenge of the trip when Mrs Byrne & Miss Keitch couldn’t locate the parked minibuses, but thankfully our students are so well trained that they were able to guide us to the parking bays.

After celebrating Connie Chana’s 18th Birthday, the students met their instructors who will be taking them to Poland in July. We started a short walk to the campsite, and as we all know there is no such thing as a short walk in D of E! Sadly the rain decided to join us for the rest of the day. Students arrived at the campsite excited and a little bit wet. They cooked their first hot meal and put up tents, ready for the first night.

Friday morning was a beautiful day with the sun shining. Students got up early, had breakfast and they were ready for the first full day of walking 20km. We could hear students singing all over the peak district. Their next location was ‘Rolly Farm’. The farm had lovely views and a very muddy field for camping. On Saturday and Sunday students trained hard and walked in sun, rain and wind, but thankfully no SNOW. The weather reports had threatened us with snow all weekend and we had Mr Smith on snow watch, checking weather reports hourly!

On our last day, Martin did a snow check at 5am and all was clear. We had been lucky, but at 6.03am the snow started and didn’t stop until 11am. The students packed up their tents, had breakfast and played in the snow. We arrived at the training centre to plan the map routes for Poland in July 2018. There had been lots of challenges over the five days but the three teams worked well together and achieved so much.

The students are now all ready and really looking forward to the amazing trip to Poland in July 2018.

Good Luck!
Maria Byrne
D of E Co-ordinator