By: Blonde Two
In theory Gold DofE expedition teams are completely independent, they journey, complete an aim, camp and look after themselves on their own, solving problems as they come to them.
This year’s Gold Exmoor team were just that. They arrived at each checkpoint (without knowing which ones we were going to be at) on time, looking strong (and smelling quite bad!) The only thing that we helped them (due to the extreme heat) with was deliveries of fresh water when we could get it to them (the rest of the time they had to use purification tablets and the rivers).
Blonde One and I chose to make one such water delivery at the top of Dunkery Beacon (in order to avoid ‘minibus syndrome’ – the negative influence of the presence of a perceived ride home). This, of course, meant that we had to carry said water 1.5 km up the hill.
It didn’t take too long, despite us stopping regularly to swap hands; and we found ourselves with a bit of time at the top of the hill. As well as admiring the mist, trying to guess where Wales was and laughing hysterically when we remembered that we still had our sunglasses on; we decided to amuse ourselves by pretending to the team that we had left the water carrier for them and gone back down the hill.
We wrote a little message, placed the water near to the team’s planned footpath and snuggled down to giggle and hide on the other side of the Beacon.
It didn’t work of course, youngsters these days are far too intelligent and they came looking for us almost as soon as they arrived. They did, however, appreciate the game and I think it helped them on their (very successful) way!