Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
Telephone - 01628 483 752
Company Registration No.07690054

Bronze DofE 2023 Training Weekend

The Bronze DofE 2023 training weekend took place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April at Braidwood Scout Campsite in Asheridge near Chesham. The students spent both days learning the skills required to successfully complete a Bronze hiking expedition. The training was delivered by experienced activity leaders from WithDave expedition company.

On arrival at camp on Saturday morning, the students were briefed about the training they would receive and reminded about the requirements and expectations of the DofE Award. They were notified of which groups were staying in camp on the first day and which groups would be heading off-site. Once the plans for Saturday had been established, the Bronzes set about erecting their tents with their tent mates. With some experienced campers and some novices taking part, this activity produced varying levels of success, but under the instruction of the WithDave leaders, any mishaps and wonky tents were soon straightened out and the camping field was scattered with groups of tents, ready for a night under the stars.
Once camp was set up, each group was allocated an activity leader and started their training. Half of the groups set off, armed with maps and compasses, to spend the day out of camp in the beautiful Chilterns countryside learning how to navigate their way along a planned route. The day off-site would also teach them about the Countryside Code and help to develop their teamwork skills.

The groups remaining on-site spent the day learning essential camping and expedition skills: first aid and emergency procedures, camp craft, cooking and nutrition, health and safety and kit expectations and ideas. All vital skills to learn in order to have a successful and enjoyable expedition.

Late in the afternoon, when all groups were back in camp, the stoves were lit, and the Bronzes cooked themselves a well-deserved evening meal. Once the washing up was completed and camp was tidy, the students gathered with the leaders to have a debrief of the first day and then some free time in the evening. With mobile phones not permitted, the students enjoyed some social time with their friends. Some students found an unexpected burst of energy after a tiring day and improvised some physical games, while others were happy to sit and chat or play card games. As daylight faded and the temperature started to drop, the students completed their bedtime routines and gratefully crawled into their tents and snuggled into sleeping bags. There is nothing like a busy day enjoying the fresh air and the great outdoors to ensure a restful night’s sleep, and the Bronzes soon settled down and slept.

On Sunday morning, the campers were up bright and early, prepared for day two of their training. After making and eating breakfast and tidying up camp, the cohort split again and the other half went off-site to perfect their navigating and hiking skills, while the others remained in camp learning camping and expedition skills. The Bronzes had another busy day and by the time parents and carers arrived to collect them from camp, all of them had successfully completed the expedition training required to undertake their practice expedition in a fortnight’s time.

This year’s training weekend was a great success. Despite the weather forecast predicting a wet weekend and two of the Bronzes both breaking a wrist shortly before the event, the training went smoothly, and our amazing students conquered the first part of their DofE expedition section. The skills that young people learn in preparation for their expedition such as first aid, cooking their own food, finding shelter from the elements, and navigating their way across the countryside are powerful life skills that they and others will benefit from for the rest of their lives.

Miss Helen Murray

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin