Girls set off on Silver D of E expedition

Last week the L5 took part in their practice silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition in the Wye Valley. We set off on Sunday 25th June and finished on the following Tuesday at the picturesque Symonds Yat viewpoint. There were happy and tired faces all around.

We began the first day all guns blazing excited as to what was to come. The first day ran pretty smoothly despite some minor navigating issues from myself and a few other groups which left us slightly puzzled as to where we actually were. But, nevertheless, we worked as a team and made it to the checkpoint only a few minutes later than the last group.

With water bottles refilled, we set off on the next leg of our adventure visiting the small village of Christchurch along our way. After walking through the scenic English woodlands, we successfully arrived at our campsite. A huge sigh of relief from myself and my group as we began setting up our tents for the night.

Once we’d completed this we instantly began lighting our trangias to create our dinner, frankly one of the most important parts of the day. My group chose to have a classic spaghetti and tomato sauce whilst other choices ranged from hotdogs to freeze dried vegetable chilli. All filling us up after a long day of walking and readying us for the following day.

Day two commenced at 8.30 am with porridge in the tank and sweets at easy access for when we really needed that energy boost. Nothing a Percy Pig can’t solve, right?

Our navigation had come on leaps and bounds from the first day and a sense of confidence shone as we became more familiar with using our maps and compasses. Perfect weather made the day even more enjoyable.

Having my lunch in the spectacular countryside looking over the rolling hills, chatting and laughing with my friends is a memory I will never forget.

Day 2 concluded with games of Cricket using tennis balls and planks of wood found around camp and hours of laughter relaying comedy moments from the day before we settled down in our tents ready for a well-deserved long night’s sleep.

Energy levels were high on the final day as the idea of seeing family again and a warm shower creeped into our minds. With songs from our childhood playing out through our small speaker keeping us going through these last few hours.

At around 1.00 pm we arrived at Symonds Yat viewpoint. A small run of victory up the hill to the top of the viewpoint and yes we’d done it! Many hugs and excited cheers were shared before we headed to the cafe for a celebratory slice of cake.

The coach arrived as we packed ourselves in, ready to eat all our leftover snacks and spend time with our friends. We arrived back at school and said our goodbyes ready to go home to a warm cooked meal and our own beds.

Overall this was an experience that I will never forget as my group and I look forward to the real thing in September.

Report by Amy (L5)