On Monday 14th June, most of the LV (Year 10) set off on their Bronze DofE expedition hoping to complete their first DofE Award. Each team met their instructor from Wild Country Consultants and had a full kit check including water, hats and sunscreens before leaving school. The weight of the backpacks was quite a shock to some and Elea won the award for the heaviest backpack her instructor had ever seen.

For the first day, each team was accompanied and trained by their instructor. Some of the footpaths had been built over recently and the maps not yet updated, so many of the teams had a long and very hot time getting out of Calne but eventually found their way into the open countryside and made it to the campsite via a water stop as it was so hot.

Once at the campsite, training continued with tent pitching and stove training and the girls cooked an evening meal before enjoying playing outside as the temperature cooled. School staff encouraged girls into their tents as darkness fell and, thanks to the thin tent walls, we discovered which girls have the loudest voices!

Due to the heat, teams were up at about 5am so they could pack away, cook breakfast and clean stoves before making an early departure to walk in the cooler part of the day. The instructors were able to assess the teams who all walked independently. Staff helped lost teams get back on track and provided extra water frequently as it was hot with little shade for most of the route.

By early afternoon on Tuesday, all the teams had reached Avebury and were able to sit down in the shade and be debriefed before heading back to school on the coach for an ice cream from the school shop. Annabel won the award for heat protection by wearing a large army waterproof with the hood up! All the teams did extremely well in very hot weather and should be delighted with passing their Bronze Award. Many girls chose to progress to the Silver Award now and they should make a start on their Skill, Physical and Volunteering sections over the summer.