Practice makes perfect for Duke of Edinburgh students


After a blustery training day on the school field learning everything from pitching tents to make hot chocolate on the trangias, the day of the much anticipated practice expedition had arrived. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and spirits were high as we began our trip and headed to Forton.

Upon arriving at the campsite we pitched our tents, had a quick snack and after receiving a brief crash course on map reading, our journey commenced. We trekked through idyllic woodland carpeted by wild garlic and bluebells, wandered along quaint country roads and strolled through picturesque farmland. After a few hours of careful navigation through the countryside, we stopped for lunch to replenish our energy and appreciate the surrounding wildlife before continuing along our route. Whilst en route we discussed numerous important topics such as the countryside code and what to do and what not to do in the case of an emergency, also stopping briefly to experience conditions inside a group shelter.

When we returned to the campsite, we eagerly began cooking our evening meals which varied from bolognaise to curry and everything in between followed by dessert and hot chocolate. Afterwards friends gathered to play games under the setting sun with a spot of stargazing before bed.

The following morning, after a crisp night, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and a short briefing then headed off on our journey to the final destination-Cockerham. We each took turns navigating and tried not to get lost along the way. Our route took us along the scenic Lancaster Canal, beside which we stopped to eat our lunch before heading off once again. 8 miles and 22,000 steps later we reached Cockerham – ahead of schedule – where one-by-one we watched each team arrive and caught up with our friends, filling each other in on the wonderful experiences we each had.

Overall, I can honestly say that DofE has been such an amazing experience. The practice expedition was simply perfect! – I had so much fun, it was such a wonderful trip and one I will certainly never forget. I had a truly amazing time and can’t wait for the final expedition!

Many thanks to the amazing teachers and alternate adventure leaders who led the trip for providing us with this wonderful opportunity!

Ruby Burgess Year 10