Over the weekend of the 27th June students from year 10, 11 and 12 embarked on their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.
On the Friday, Silver Award students including myself took off from Newlands Corner at 0900 with the weather on our side and in high spirits, despite the heavy rucksacks crammed with food on our backs. Progress along the planned route to Ranmore Common campsite was swift, with the map-reading skills and fitness playing a vital role. We arrived at the campsite between by 1800 with sore legs and backs. The evening consisted of dinner, roasting marshmallows over a fire and card games, followed by well-needed sleep.
The following morning began with an early start met by bleary eyed students. After a quick breakfast and the dismantling of tents, we were ready to set off for the next campsite of Bentley Copse. The Bronze students set off from Newlands Corner with the same destination as the Silver students. Throughout the day the weather became increasingly worse, with torrential showers occupying most of the walk. To add to this, the now drenched students had to navigate along sketchy paths in dense forests, resulting in setbacks and frustration. However, through perseverance we all arrived at the campsite as the weather cleared. After tents had been put up both Bronze and Silver students enjoyed their evening meal and took the chance to unwind after a taxing day.
On the final day of the expedition, everyone woke up ready to reach the finish point of Gomshall Station, packing their bags and tents away quickly. Before we set off a Mass was conducted outside by Fr Marco, preparing us for the final stretch. With the sun shining and temperatures rising, the students set off, covering the ground hastily now that the end was so close. The first groups began to arrive at the station at 1130, ready to collapse into the back seats of their parents' cars for the journey home. The weekend was a great success; all the students met the challenges presented to them, proved their endurance, and above all had a great time.