Students bond – and get some good nights’ sleep – on silver DofE practice expedition

Students bond – and get some good nights’ sleep – on silver DofE practice expedition

20 June 2023

During half term, 25 Year 10 students got to know the New Forest in Hampshire well – and one another even better – during their practice expedition for the silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, as Waishe explains.

Waishe M, Year 10

Early on Sunday 30 May, we set out from school to the New Forest for our practice expedition. We were met at our first campsite by the team leaders who would help us on our journey across the next three days.

On our first day, there was lots of singing and lively chatter to be heard, but that certainly got less and less as the days went on! A day’s walking in the very scenic New Forest soon refreshed our orienteering skills. On arrival back at camp, we set up our tents, cooked pasta and noodles on the gas trangias and enjoyed many mugs of hot chocolate between us. Then came the camp games, with dance battles and truth or dare the most memorable. We were pretty exhausted so, after washing up and planning our next day’s route, we all fell asleep very quickly.

On the second day we woke up at around 6am, took down our tents, made and ate breakfast and set off on our way early. This time, we were navigating on our own, only meeting our instructors at certain checkpoints. We powered through, completing our route very quickly, and had a two-hour lunch break because of it, which was one of the highlights of the day.

Our second camp consisted of a lot of napping, sunbathing and games including classics such as splat and bulldog. Again, everyone was very tired, so we all fell asleep with no problem.

We set out early again on the third day. This time, however, we got lost, which was an issue we hadn’t experienced before. We managed to sort it out as a team and made it to the last checkpoint on time, where minibuses were waiting to take us home.

Our time in the New Forest was a very enjoyable experience, and one that came with a lot of bonding and new memories. I am definitely looking forward to the upcoming qualifier.

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