Some of our Lower Sixth Form students are currently preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Gold practice expedition scheduled for the 22nd – 26th June in Snowdonia.
The qualifying expedition with take place in the next academic year between the 14th and 18th of September, in the Brecon Beacons.
Jenny Guo, one of the students who completed the Gold DofE experience last year, gave us a glimpse into what it’s like to undergo a Gold DofE expedition.
” DofE is a unique opportunity for you to do something different, consisting of five components: volunteering, skill, physical, the expeditions and residential. I volunteered at Oxfam, participated in Young Enterprise as my skill and went to the gym once a week as the physical activity. I won’t lie, DofE requires commitment and time but it was worth it because you gain many valuable skills during the whole journey including team-work, leadership, organisation and perseverance.
The expedition was one of the most fun and tiring things that I have done. Shopping for food to bring on the expedition was always funny, as once our trip to Tesco was over; we returned back to the boarding house with bags of snacks, pasta, dried fruit and cereal bars that would make a feast fit for a king. For our practice expedition, we set off to the Brecon Beacons for a four-day practice, unfortunately, mother nature was not on our side as we trekked through hail, rain, snow and heavy winds and unfortunately we got lost which set us back by two hours; by the end of the day all we wanted was rest and a warm shower. Lucky for us, at the camp there was a shower room available and waking up early next morning to the sun shining on us with stunning views surrounding us made the pain worth it.
Our real expedition took place in Snowdonia and we wild camped there with better weather this time. The scenic and peaceful atmosphere was a nice break from our day to day lives and climbing up the mountains was actually fun as the views were simply mesmerising. One of the great things about DofE is the bond as a team that strengthens throughout the journey, as despite all the hardships we faced we overcame them together. There were many laughs – moments included when we were chased by cows or the evening chilling time as we toasted marshmallows and sipped hot chocolate.
I would definitely recommend DofE to anyone looking for a challenge but something also memorable, unique and fun, you don’t have to be an extremely athletic person to participate. Anyone can do DofE – you just need to have perseverance and be willing to commit time and effort to achieve the goals! ”