Silver DofE Expedition

On Thursday the 29 of October almost 40 Year 11 students crammed into three minibuses and went straight to Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds to complete our Silver DofE expedition. 

After a long 4-and-a-half-hour journey, we finally made it to base camp, “The Wildings”. We attempted to put our tents up in the dark and headed to a local pub to have our last cooked dinner for the next three days…

We got woken up bright and early at 7:15 by Mr Crossley and Mr Pollard banging on our tents. After a reluctant decision to get out of our sleeping bags we made breakfast and tried to organise ourselves for the challenging day ahead. After collapsing our tents and packing up our clothes and food we started the first day of our DofE assessed expedition.  

We climbed hills, waded through fields of tall grass and, for one group, got chased by horses through a field. The first few hours of our first day were great… until the rain came.  Unfortunately, a few of our groups got caught in the torrential rain which, we found out when we got back to camp, caused many tents, sleeping bags and clothes to be wet. But that wouldn't stop us, instead, we laid out our sleeping bags and clothes in a dry place and waited for them to dry before we got changed and got ready for bed.

Like clockwork, we were again awoken by Mr Crossley and Mr Pollard getting us out of bed and delivering us exciting news, it wasn't going to rain today.  This got most of us excited and definitely helped us get prepared for the long day ahead of us.  Soon just like yesterday, we were off on our 14K walk, except for the fact the weather was beautiful. The assessors really left us to it today which caused a lot of us to lose our way. But, as Mrs Whittock told us, we sat down and talked about it and thankfully all of our groups made it back to camp on time! It was a great achievement and we were all very proud of ourselves. We unpacked our bags, put up our almost-dry tents and settled down for our last night in the Cotswolds. 

Finally, we saw the dawn of our last day, we were all raring to go and finish our Silver DofE. We set out from camp and headed on our journey, luckily the weather was lovely again which put us all in a good mood.  Our last walk consisted of walking through the town of Bourton on the water and witnessing the beautiful architecture within. Finally, after a long and gruelling three days, we made it back. It was like seeing paradise when we saw the three minibuses in the busy car park. We were all very glad to be on our way back home 

Here are some of the group's reflections on the trip:  
‘We want to live here when we are older’
‘Awful weather, beautiful landscapes’
‘We enjoyed working as a team’
‘We loved all the pretty landscapes, we hated getting lost’
‘We will definitely come back again!’ 

And finally a big thank you to Mr Crossley, Miss Fell, Mr Pollard and Mrs Whittock for helping us through our silver DofE and for making sure we didn't get lost in the middle of the Cotswolds!

By Amelie L