The 4th June saw 7 teams of Gold DofE participants gather together in the Peak District to get to know one another over two days before heading out on expedition - either practice or qualifying. The first two days of training were based from a bunkbarn and saw all teams undertake training with their instructors, complete route planning and get to know team mates before Wednesday's departure on expedition. The sun put in an appearance on Monday and briefly on Tuesday but sadly disappeared in time for expedition departures on Wednesday morning and hasn't been seen since...! "Biblical" was how the rain was described over the week and it was certainly the wettest week for DofE we have seen in a very long time.
However, each team came out on top and it was fantastic to see the support that participants gave each other: in just a few days individuals had arrived on expedition not knowing each other but came together as successful teams to motivate each other and complete their expeditions in challenging conditions. Wet boots were stuffed with newspaper, hot chocolate and Haribo brightened up damp evenings and card game championships provided ongoing fun. Other notable events from the week were some great sewing skills when waterproofs split, inventive uses of duct tape, a birthday tent party, innovative sock drying and improvised rain shelters!
If you can complete your practice expedition in these conditions, then you're ready for anything that the qualifying expedition can throw at you...and more. A BIG congratulations to everyone - we hope you're taking a well earned rest today and feel proud of your achievements! A BIG thank you to instructors Dee, Tony, Foxy and Nate. in More pictures and info on our qualifying team from this week to follow...
Smiles all round at the finish!