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Silver DofE Award Assessed Expedition

After successfully completing their training and practice expedition, this year’s Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award cohort were ready to undertake their assessed DofE expedition. On Thursday 30th June, the 22 Silver DofE participants set off in the school minibuses, their destination Ty Rhosyn Coch Campsite in Glasbury, Powys, Wales. The journey was long, and at times we encountered black clouds and torrential rain, but nothing dampened the spirits of this group of resilient Year 10 students. They were on a mission to conquer a 3 day journey, travelling down the River Wye in canoes, whatever the weather unleashed.

On arrival at camp (slightly later than planned), the group quickly put up their tents and organised their kit. After a briefing from the expedition leader and some free time, the students settled down for a good night’s sleep in preparation for the journey ahead. After a quiet night, the Silvers arose bright and early, made their breakfast and packed their kit into dry bags and water-tight barrels. After one last check of their route for the day with their instructor, the groups were ready to embark on their journey. One by one, they carried their canoes to the riverside, stored their kit inside, clambered aboard and set off down-river. Throughout the day, the expedition instructors met up with the groups at pre-arranged checkpoints to check all was okay with the students and to make sure they were progressing as expected. After a tiring, yet rewarding day (with only one capsize), the Silvers were happy to reach their second campsite in Whitney-on-Wye.

On day 2, the Silvers set off again. With the first part of their journey completed, they were confident, in good spirits and looking forward to the day ahead. The weather was on their side and all groups were travelling at a good pace. The instructors reported back to me throughout the day and kept me informed of their progress, and apart from one capsize, their journeys were fairly calm and uneventful.

The morning of day 3 started with a quiet determination. A mixture of tiredness, ‘teenagerness’ and sunburn had affected a number of the Silvers and they were all having to dig deep to find the resources and energy to get on the water and complete the last day of their expedition. In true GMS style, the cohort summoned up some reserves of grit and resilience to embark on the last leg of their adventure. Once in their canoes, the pace and the mood picked up and all groups managed to reach their destination point in Hereford well ahead of schedule. After pulling their canoes onto the riverbank and organising their kit, the Silvers had a debrief with their instructors and delivered a presentation they had put together over the weekend as part of their expedition experience.

Proud moment.

The expedition leader was pleased to inform this year’s Silver DofE cohort that they had all fulfilled the 20 expedition conditions required by the Award, and had all successfully completed their assessed expedition.

Huge congratulations to these students on achieving the expedition section at the Silver level of the award. I hope they continue to make us proud and progress to the Gold level next year.

Miss H Murray

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Manager

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