Our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s group completed their qualifying expedition last week despite some very challenging weather conditions..
Mr Taylor managed to dry out sufficiently to write up his report for us before venturing out on yet another expedition with the Silver group on Monday – they all arrived safely back this afternoon but the story of that adventure will have to wait! Here is how our intrepid (and rather damp) Bronze explorers fared last week…..
‘Our groups hiked along the Manifold Valley, camping at Beresford Dale on Wednesday night before returning along the Dove Dale Valley. The weather over the two days was changeable to say the least, with torrential rain at times on Wednesday and thankfully a much more pleasant and drier day on Thursday..
Wednesday provided a bit of a shock for one of the groups when a dry river bed flash-flooded while the group were visiting the nearby Thors Cave..
We had left our equipment near the banks of the dry river bed and got rather a nasty surprise when we returned to find 4 rucksacks and their contents completely soaked and the 5th rucksack swept away. After a bit of head scratching (and a discussion involving a few interesting words) the calamity was overcome by the group working together to transport the heavy, water-laden rucksacks back to the bus before carrying on along the route without them. This detour extended their journey by another 2 miles and meant the group had no spare clothes to change into or dry sleeping bags to sleep in. As all the groups arrived at the campsite they were greeted by yet another torrential downpour and a lot of disgruntled looking cows in the next field – we knew exactly how they felt!!
As the rain eased, tents were raised and hearts lifted as food and hot drinks were prepared..
A hunt for spare sleeping bags and a mercy dash to Aldi at Buxton by Mr Lawrence to buy some more sleeping bags meant we could all have a dry(ish) night. Thursday was much more pleasant, we even saw the sun on occasion..
This was a fabulous effort from everyone involved in what were quite difficult and demanding circumstances for some. There were even smiles and positive comments as the groups gave their presentations at the end and some students even mentioned doing their Silver award next year, so it hasn’t put them off!
I would like to say a huge ‘thanks’ to all the staff involved for making the expedition a positive, safe and enjoyable experience, despite the weather.
We think Mr Taylor and the other staff deserve a special award of their own!! On top of this week’s 3 day Silver expedition, they are all set for the big 4 day Gold adventure in North Wales next week – what a way to end the term!!!
Please see our Facebook page here for more great photos and keep an eye out for news of how our Silver and Gold groups have done…..