By: Blonde Two

The Two Blondes had a marvellous week last week with the treat of three whole days up on Dartmoor.  We were there with two teams, both hoping to achieve their Silver Expeditions (both were successful).  The issue of challenge came up a number of times and it is interesting to think about who faced which challenges and how they dealt with them.

The Girls – When we viewed the weather forecast early on in the week, the Two Blondes’ faces were a picture.  Dartmoor was going to do (and did do) its favourite “I can’t see anything” mist trick.  Our lovely ladies had been lucky enough in practices to have good weather and although fair navigators probably didn’t really know what they were letting themselves in for.  After Blonde warnings about not panicking if the whole world suddenly disappeared, they did really well.  They walked off their bearings a bit on a couple of the open moorland sections but worked things out the first time and asked for help the second.  They also had an argument with a Dartmoor bog which I am pleased to say they won.

The Boys (plus one lady) – These guys were all experienced Ten Tors veterans and, to be honest, could probably out navigate me in the mist.  Finding suitable challenges for them (apart from slowing down a tad) was an issue but they had to wild camp on their own for the second night.  This included selecting a suitable campsite and, as it turns out, dealing with lots of midges.  They did this admirably and admitted to enjoying the more relaxed approach to Dartmoor that this expedition offered them.  They certainly came back smiling and we gathered to talk about Gold expeditions the next day.

Blonde Two – To be honest, I probably had things the easiest last week.  I tried to take the honour of being “Wing Man” seriously and did my best to navigate (some of you will know that I find car navigation tricky) Blonde One around the Dartmoor lanes, encourage the kids (and Blonde One) and generally be the support crew.  My biggest challenge was definitely dragging Blonde One away from the kids’ campsites in time to make sure that she (and I) got some dinner – I had to be quite forceful at times!

Blonde One – Unless you have ever been the person with your name at the top of the piece of paper, it is difficult to imagine the weight of responsibility that taking youngsters out into a potentially dangerous environment can place on your shoulders.  We have all heard tales of things going wrong and have all prayed that it won’t happen on our watch.  Blonde One’s challenges were many last week but I think that the thing she found most difficult to deal with was leaving the kids on their own to camp while we went back to our cosy bunk house.  I know that she didn’t sleep well either night but she kept her calm throughout the week and it paid off – eleven youngsters came home after potentially life changing experiences.

I am a firm believer in challenge being the key to an interesting and fulfilling life.  As T.S. Elliot said, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”