• Relentless Adventure

Duke of Edinburgh's Award Bronze Training and Practice - 1 to 2 May 21

Updated: May 9, 2021

It's been a busy weekend here at Relentless Adventure as we were down on the South Coast working with a Portsmouth based school on a practice expedition, in order to prepare their year 9 students for success on their forthcoming Duke of Edinburgh's Award Bronze Expedition.

As could be expected current Covid-19 restrictions have posed a significant challenge to our delivery of Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditions, however the adaptions available to the expedition section have helped hugely and as such we were able to work hard to enable the school to be able to progress.

Saturday morning dawned rather warm and sunny as we met the students in Rowland's Castle. Two keen and enthusiastic groups of year 9 boys, ready and eager to learn. The day begun with an introduction to the expedition section, and building on training the school had received during their virtual lockdown training.

DofE Walking in Hampshire
Hampshire Hills DofE

14Km of day walking through beautiful rolling West Sussex hills, practicing navigation, timing and emergency procedures ensued, before the candidates still in high spirits arrived at Queen Elizebeth Country Park, and our 'Virtual' campsite for the evening. A myriad of exciting (and some not so exciting) meals were cooked, and tents erected the groups headed home for the evening.

Setting up DofE Campsite
DofE Campsite Preparation

Early Sunday dawned a little darker and more menacing as the groups arrived, breakfast was quickly prepared, followed by striking camp before the groups headed off on their unaccompanied phase.

Setting the teams back off from QECP, there's always that daunting moment as an instructor, when you reflect on everything you have taught, and hope that it has been absorbed. Both teams made great timings to the first checkpoint.

A few small issues with hot spots were quickly resolved by the groups themselves and both teams made their way to checkpoint 2 and potentially the toughest navigation leg of the day. Successfully passing checkpoints 3 and 4, both teams were going great, and well on track to complete ahead of schedule, the sun even broke through the cloud for a short time.

Footpath walking DofE
Hampshire Walking Footpaths

As lunch time passed the weather sadly but predictably begun to change. The first team arrived at checkpoint 6 over one hour ahead of schedule, and following a short debrief walked the final 2Km to the finish, arriving over one hour ahead of the planned return time, much to the joy of waiting parents.

The second group experienced a few minor navigation errors as they approached checkpoint 5. This caused them to fall slightly behind, having to make up the time they had lost once the error was identified.

Morale was a little low as the rain continued, but once at checkpoint 5, with the end in sight, the team dug deep, and seeing the end in site, they completed their debrief and prepared to set off for the finish, arriving only 30mins behind schedule.

All in all a fantastic effort by both groups, who are going on to complete their qualifying expedition in just two weeks, and clearly have all the tools they need for success.

We here at Relentless Adventure wish them the very best of luck.

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