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This weekend saw our Gold DofE students volunteering as assessors for our younger students completing their Bronze expedition. They reflected on what the experience did for them and how it is preparing them for their own expeditions and future leadership responsibilities.

We are currently working towards our Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and we offered our help with the Bronze qualifying expedition over the weekend. During this we had to keep track of every group to ensure they are staying to their trail and weren’t lost. While doing this it allowed us to see how people actually react while participating in the expedition, as we have previously done the same as them. It showed us how dramatically people react compared to how we remember our own experience! It also showed us how stressful it is for assessors to track down groups, even if they aren’t lost. This is because we aren’t sure where they have taken the wrong track, which means they could be anywhere around where we last saw them. (Rachael Wootton, Molly Waring, Bria Fielding & Rebecca Edwards, current Y12 students)

Walking through the Yorkshire countryside brought its own challenges (not because it was Yorkshire but because not all students walk at the same pace or indeed on the correct path!)

You must have really good map reading skills to do this, to be able to find them as it is hard to spot walkers while on the move. We also realised how on the expedition we never really understood how fast or slow we moved, but by being able to assess the bronze groups it shows how slow some groups actually can be! With such groups we had to have a calm and reassuring approach so we could motivate them to continue. This is yet another thing that assessors must do, which we previously didn’t realise and possibly took advantage of. Even when all the walking was done, setting up camp and cooking is also stressful as we had to keep watch of students to make sure they didn’t leave the campsite and that they were always in sight.

A great time had by all!

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