On the weekends of 5/6th and 12/13th May students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh bronze award completed their practise hikes over the South Downs. It was a chance for them to put into practice the 20 conditions of training required, such as skills in map reading, teamwork, learning to use hike tents and stoves, first aid, the correct way to pack a rucksack, and choice of menu, that they had been taught in after school sessions since January.
It was a tale of 2 very different weekends weather wise, with the first weekend being the hottest early May bank holiday in 10 years. The 6 teams out on this weekend did fantastically well to be out in the blazing sun for 6-9 hours on each of the days. The 4 teams out on the second weekend had hoped for cooler conditions but not the rain they were given! They also did amazingly well to put up with the constant drizzle and wind of the weekend. The teams hiked from Patcham or Stanmer Park to meet at Plumpton College where they camped overnight. The next day they headed back to whichever of the locations they hadn’t set off from the previous day.
The Red team had a fantastic weekend, although they did find it a bit too hot. They enjoyed getting to know other people in their year group, playing cards and laughing and joking while they rested in the evening. They were unanimous in saying that it was the sense of achievement on completing that they valued the most. They also had a hilarious encounter with some chickens which is still making them laugh today!
As they plan to head back out for the real thing on the weekend of the 7th/8th July they are hoping the weather will be a little cooler, but would rather it was hot than raining. They have also learnt from this practise exhibition and will only be taking essential items and will distribute the weight more evenly between them.
This practical exhibition is one part of the Duke of Edinburgh award and the students are also all partaking in volunteer work and learning a skill to ensure that they meet all the requirements to achieve the bronze award.
Thanks for both weekends must go to Mr Davis, Mr Briscoe, Mr Griffiths, Miss Freeman, Miss Heane and Mr Suckling, for their fantastic support.