By: Blonde One
In Devon schools and amongst teenagers there seems to be an ongoing debate about which is harder: Ten Tors or DofE. And some even go so far as to say that a Bronze DofE expedition is easy! This weekend I’ve had the pleasure of working with and assessing a new Bronze group and witnessed how their expedition was far from easy. All seven of the team were experienced walkers who had all completed the 35 mile Ten Tors challenge. They expected the expedition to be easy but just a few hours in they realised that it was going to be quite a challenge.
Here’s some of the things they discovered:
The style of navigation is completely different. The valleys and tors of Dartmoor were replaced by confusing footpaths and junctions.
Self-discipline is needed to resist the temptation of rushing through each checkpoint.
The route card timings are to be adhered to rather than used as a rough guide.
Instead of navigation being the only focus, on DofE you have an aim to work on. This group successfully managed 3 aims! They took photographs of the changing season, they made sure they had a photograph of something natural for every letter of the alphabet and they created a board game with the things that they found or had with them.
I hope they now realise that DofE expeditions are different rather than being easier than Ten Tors. Whatever the outcome in their mindset I saw a change in them through the two days and it was an absolute pleasure to assess them. They worked really hard to make sure they had fulfilled the 20 conditions set by DofE. I hope the success was as sweet for them as it was for me.