By: Blonde One

As Blonde Two has already said the recent Bronze DofE expedition was a success. It was a success in the normal way: novice participants learned all of the skills that they need for their independent expedition in July. They can now navigate fairly well in the lanes of Devon, they can camp safely, cook using gas or meths stoves, and generally have the ability to make their expedition fun.

But the biggest success for this trip was Search, Numbers and Brummie, our Young Leaders. It was their turn to be assessed. For the last year they have been working on an extra A level in Outdoor Leadership. They have juggled their regular studies, their part time jobs, their social lives and their love of the outdoors to successfully complete their BEL Award. They took the lead in all aspects of this expedition: including the paperwork, risk assessment, planning, preparation, kit, and finally the actual expedition … and they were fantastic!

They had all sorts of issues and tricky situations thrown at them and they dealt with them like the confident and capable leaders that they are. All three of them proved that their dynamic planning skills are very finely tuned and each new situation was sorted out efficiently. It has been hard work for us all fitting in this extra study time; there have been times that I have asked myself ‘what am I doing this for?’. This week has provided the answer. It has been such a pleasure working with these three. Watching them grow from novices to experts has (without hyperbole) been the highlight of my teaching career. It’s a far cry from the ‘day job’ of teaching an academic subject but most definitely an aspect that I would have been poorer without.

I will miss Search, Numbers and Brummie as they embark on the new chapters of their lives but I will be satisfied with the odd message about their adventures, expeditions and explorations. My hope for them is that they will heed my favourite message for them: “Get out there; see the world.”