It has been a bumper year for the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Salesian with more interest in the award than ever before, especially since we started welcoming Year 9 students into the Bronze award programme.
March saw the first group out on their expedition in the Surrey Hills, with the Year 9 bronze group being joined by the Year 11 silver students to make 77 students. The final climb up Box Hill on the Saturday really tested their mettle! Worn out from their day of trekking, we enjoyed possibly the calmest overnight camp ever experienced during DofE expeditions. However, the incredible positivity of the students meant that all the staff volunteers and students had a really enjoyable, if tiring, weekend.
Not to be outdone, the Year 10 bronze group of 71 students ventured out in April with the experienced Year 12 gold volunteers for company. Through skilled teamwork and navigation the groups made it to the Bentley Copse Scout Campsite to settle down for the night, as pictured in the gallery below. A massive thank you goes to Father Marco for delivering mass at the campsite for our spiritual sustenance, before the students cooked up their evening meals; the food on offer ranged from simple pasta or rice to steak!
Most recently a smaller number of staff took the silver students to the South Downs to explore beyond the county boundaries for the first time ever on a Silver expedition. All students greatly impressed with their positive attitude to the less familiar surroundings and improved each day to rise to the challenge.
The students on all three expeditions have been a credit to themselves and have grown in confidence, teamwork skills and campcraft to name but a few. They have been a pleasure to work with during training and their practice expeditions. None of this would've been possible without the dedication of the rest of the DofE team this year. A massive thank you goes to Miss Hunt, Miss Barnsley and Mr McCann, as well as all the teachers who give up their weekends to spend time supporting the students.
With the Gold expedition due to head out to the Lake District in a few days time, we are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather is with us!