26 April 2022
Charlotte S, Lower Sixth
At the start of the Easter holidays, eight Lower Sixth students completed a demanding, but very rewarding, practice expedition in the Brecon Beacons for our Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
After arriving at our bunkhouse, following the long drive to Wales, we met our instructor, Heather, and did a kit check. For the rest of the day we relaxed and cooked dinner. There were lots of bedrooms in the bunkhouse but we all decided to share, which immediately brought us closer as a group.
The next morning, a delicious full-English breakfast cooked by the lovely lady in the café set us up well for the day of training ahead. We packed our bags and, in sunshine, set off with Heather. It was crucial for us to master all the skills we would need to complete the expedition successfully. Heather taught us how to read a map and use bearings to know which direction to take. She also gave us expert advice on planning our days most effectively. We walked around 9km to get to the camp, where we put up our tents and sat in the sun playing Uno. We made dinner and when it got dark, we got ready for bed. The sky was wonderfully clear and we could see so many stars.
Over the following days of our expedition we climbed several mountains, including Sugar Loaf and Crug Mawr. Although the days were long – we walked around 18km each day - our group spirit kept us going. And lunch breaks were rewarded with incredible views after our climbs.
Millie celebrated her birthday during the trip. We had cake when we were back at camp and gave her a card - she could not have had a better birthday!
Our practice expedition was an amazing opportunity and a wonderful experience. Even though it was hard, it was very rewarding and I would recommend it to anyone who gets the chance. We pushed ourselves physically and mentally and achieved things we never thought we could do. We have all made so many lifelong memories and strengthened our friendships.