Last Saturday morning, 41 eager girls congregated at school to embark on their assessed expedition for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Our minibuses took them to their start point, where they picked up their group kit and began route planning. A long hike to the campsite took them along part of Pilgrims Way, North Downs Way, and other footpath routes. Once at the campsite, tents were pitched, dinners cooked and stories exchanged, before crawling into very welcome sleeping bags.
There was an early start on Sunday. After breakfast had been cooked and eaten, and once everything was washed up and tents disassembled and packed up, it was back on the road again – metaphorically rather than literally. Sunday got hotter, tempers just a little frayed, and everything more challenging, but early in the afternoon the first groups arrived back at school after six hours of walking; the girls were tired and had a few aches, but the general consensus was a feeling of pride in their achievements. Others found the day more taxing and were hindered by health challenges and navigation setbacks, but all made it back to school successfully later in the afternoon; it all came down to some excellent team working in order to triumph over the challenge.
Mrs Fiona Payne