By: Blonde Two

I do like lads … I like girls as well, but there is something particularly convivial about the banter that you observe (and often are expected to join in with) when you spend time with a group of teenage lads.

On day one of our recent Bronze DofE expedition, Blonde One gave me the most laddish of the teams to walk with and train (I was pleased!). They had two experienced Ten Tors trainees amongst them and already had a fair few of the required skills sorted before we started. We worked on a few important things: lane navigation (very different from moorland navigation), road crossing (lads generally just wander across roads), speed (DofE requires a much steadier pace than Ten Tors), emergency scenarios and ‘appreciating nature’.

‘Appreciating nature’ isn’t necessarily a DofE expedition requirement but I was appreciating it that day and felt that the lads should too. They were actually very appreciative of the wider landscape but didn’t quite relate to my comments about leaves and flowers. In fact, after I had observed out loud the beauty of the new spring leaves on a beech tree, they spent the whole of the expedition making me a favourite subject of their banter. At camp we went round a circle and each participant gave their favourite moment so far; the other teams mentioned friends and teamwork and laughter, mine responded (with cheeky grins), “I loved the pretty flowers Miss.” and “The leaves, I couldn’t stop looking at the leaves.”

So naughty! But at the end of the expedition they presented me with a sprig of cherry blossom as a memento so they are forgiven!