By: Blonde One

The latest DofE expedition was with my new school and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I didn’t really know the participants that well, or the staff, or the Young Leaders. I wasn’t familiar with the paperwork system, the transport arrangements or the expectation regarding kit. Despite all of this I managed (obviously)! There was a subtle mix of old and new in this expedition that meant that systems have been refreshed, staff have been re-enthused and new routines have begun. They say that change is as good as a rest!

Here’s some of the things that have changed:

The system of paperwork for taking a trip out is new. There are extra forms and tasks to cover the ‘students that board’ element. Easy and essential.

The kit requirements are different in that participants are more responsible for providing their own kit rather than relying on a school kit store. This makes life easier when it comes to checking back in the various items of borrowed kit, but not so easy to keep tabs on who’s got what and is it of the required standard. I’ll get used to this one probably but I think I’m going to create a school kit store nevertheless.

Staffing and Young Leaders are in plentiful supply. I’m used to working with a VERY small pool of extra help. Don’t get me wrong this help has always been of the finest quality, but it’s been in very short supply. I now have to get used to the fact that there are a wealth of people (staff, students and parents) that are eager and ready to assist. This is a fantastic and exciting new aspect to my expeditions!

Transport is now a help rather than a hindrance. I now have lots of lovely colleagues who are minibus trained and willing to give up a bit of their time to drop off or pick up a bunch of excited teenagers. Simply fantastic!

Here are some of the things that remain reassuringly the same:

The campsite is still there, with its amazing valley views, friendly staff and newly refurbished ablution block. The cockerel still wakes us up in the early morning, closely followed by goodness knows how many birds that make up the tweeting dawn chorus. There is one little change to the campsite that I’ll tell you about another time.

The teenagers (participants and Young Leaders) are still a pleasure to work with and show true DofE spirit.

The lanes and tracks in the area remain familiar and unchanged. We still saw our favourite ‘s’ shaped hedge, we marvelled at the quite dry ‘chocolate river’ and were grateful that ‘nettle lane’ wasn’t too nettly.

Obviously the one thing that remains constant is the support and assistance of Blonde Two!

All in all, the Trinity School expedition was successful and I know that I’m going to love the new changes and be reassured by the old routines.