On Expedition!


On the 27th of May, we set off for our Duke Of Edinburgh qualifier expedition. We were very lucky as the sun was shining again and the whole group was in good spirits. We arrived at Chipping and gathered for a group meeting. During this time, we planned the routes with our team leaders and arranges where we would meet our teachers at the checkpoints. We were also given our route cards and maps. ​

Shortly after, we began our walk. At first, we walked through a small village lined with cobblestone cottages but then hiked up a hill that led us to fields and woodlands. As the weather was still hot, we found it difficult to carry on under the heat. Thankfully, my team was able to encourage each other on and keep going. We all made sure to drink lots of liquid to stop us getting dehydrated. After around 40 minutes, we welcomed the sight of the teachers at the first checkpoint. ​

After a much-needed break, we carried on our expedition. The next leg on our journey was mostly fields and farmlands. At this point, we stopped to have our lunch and to soak in the beautiful scenery. Near the end of our lunch break, we double checked our map and route card to be sure we were setting off in the right direction. Each member of my team took turns in map reading to make it fair for everyone else – we had learnt to do this from our practice expedition. The next leg of our journey was the most difficult part. We encountered lots of bogs and mud along the way. This made it difficult for us to carry on as we didn’t want to be drenched in mud. Another challenge was wildlife, mainly cows. Some of the cows weren’t happy about us walking through their field!​

The next leg of our journey was incredibly tiring. We climbed up Longridge Fell which was 350m high! Not only was the weather hot but the weight of our backpacks dragged us down. Luckily, we had our fantastic teachers stood at the top cheering us on.​

After hours of walking, lots of map navigation skills, multiple snack bars and challenges along the way, we arrived at the camp in the evening. As you can imagine- we were all physically and mentally exhausted. The most important thing was setting up the tents and cooking our food, so we all split up into small groups to make sure all the jobs got done. In no time at all, our tents were up, and we were sat in a circle eating our tomato pasta. After a quick game of football, we all got ready for bed and prepared for the busy day we would have tomorrow.  As the temperate dropped dramatically at night, we all made sure to wear lots of layers to keep us warm! We had had such an amazing day.​

After a chilly night sleep, we woke up and boiled the water for our porridge straight away. It was important that we kept warm.  As the sun rose, we got ready for the day and packed away all our equipment. Teamwork was very important during this process! After another team briefing, we set off on the second day of our qualifying expedition. We were very glad to see that the weather had stayed nice and sunny. Thankfully, this route was slightly shorter than yesterday’s one. ​

Although this route was shorter, the map reading was much harder, meaning that we took the wrong path a few times. Luckily, we managed to get back on track quickly! The second route lead us along the river which meant that the views were beautiful. We crossed bridges above streams and fields full of sheep. Due to being exhausted from the day before, all of our body’s ached resulting in us having breaks more often. Although, the thought on the finish line gave us motivation! The riverbank was lined with wild garlic and the sun was reflecting off the water. With only about an hour left on our walk, we met the other groups to enjoy a picnic by the river. This was a moment I will never forget. After long lunch break and lots of motivation from the other groups, we set off on the last leg of our walk. Every part of my body ached but I knew it was important to keep going for the rest of my team. We found that group karaoke helped us to keep walking!​

After hundreds of thousands of steps, many miles walking and lots of aches and pains, we crossed the finish line. I was so proud of my team for getting to the end and overcoming the many challenges.  This is an experience that I will never forget, and I was so lucky to be a part of. A big thank you to all the teachers that helped to plan and organise this memorable experience.