By Kavita Prashar
On Wednesday 5th July, fourteen Year 12 students began their Gold Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition in the Peak District for 5 nights. Upon arrival at the first campsite, everyone seemed apprehensive at the prospect of 5 nights of camping, yet we all thoroughly looked forward to the unique bonding experience and physical challenges that were to come.
The first training day at the campsite was physically and mentally demanding, especially for those who had not previously undertaken the Bronze and Silver awards. However, we pulled together as a team and enjoyed stepping outside of our comfort zones in this unforgettable experience. We had the opportunity to put our navigational skills to the test the next day which was our first full day of walking. Having started off uneasy at the prospect of independently navigating through the tricky hills of the Peak District, we soon realised that we had the skills and determination necessary to reach the required checkpoints. Morale and encouragement remained high through the day, despite the fact that our endurance was constantly being tested whilst climbing the steep gradients.
The following days were even more enjoyable, having thoroughly settled into the outdoors lifestyle. Spending time at the campsite after a long and strenuous day of walking was a great opportunity to bond as a group, whilst cooking dinner for the night with our stoves and trangias.
Overall, the Gold DofE expedition was a challenge; however, it is the perfect opportunity to truly push yourself to the limit. Speaking on behalf of the whole team, we thoroughly look forward to the trials, challenges and memories that lie ahead in our qualifying expedition in August.