Posted: 9th September 2021

Over the 3-5 September, our Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh students embarked upon their qualifying expeditions in the New Forest.

After an early start and having to pack the group equipment into their bags, they were all set to go! The scenery and wildlife on arrival was beautiful and the students were blessed with clear, dry weather for the duration of their expedition.

Having already taken part in their practice weekend, the Silver groups were quick to get moving, showing off their expertise to the external assessors. While the Bronze team quickly found that communication was the key to success and that they would all have to work together to complete the expedition. A special thank you to Holly G and Daisy M who, despite already qualifying, put others before themselves and completed the Bronze Team last minute.

On the first night, the four teams set up their tents at Ocknel Campsite, and were eager to get cooking after a long day’s walking. Morale was high as the sun set and the camp was visited by a group of New Forest Deer. Tired but happy, the students settled down to sleep, recharging their batteries ready for the following day’s second hike.

After getting up at 6am, having breakfast and packing up their camp, the second day went very smoothly with teams establishing a good walking pace. After triumphantly overcoming the trials and challenges of the two-day expedition the Bronze team returned home on the Saturday for some rest before the start of term, having successfully completed their expedition. The Silver Teams marched onto Foxlease House where they spent their second night. By the last day the teams were organised, focused and determined to finish!

We are all so proud of the effort and commitment that the students put into the weekend, and they too should be very proud of their accomplishments. Ms Haynes, Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator, would like to thank Dorset Council and Leweston staff for their support and for giving up their time over the weekend to ensure our DofE groups completed their expeditions safely and successfully.

Well done to all the teams who qualified.

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