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In the last two days of term before the half-term break, 84 pupils from Year 10 set off for the Peak District to complete their Bronze qualifying expedition. Being the end of May, it was reasonable to expect some warm weather. However, winter had still not finished tormenting Trent’s 2013 expeditions and the groups faced some wild weather as they made their way along the chosen routes. Strong winds with frequent squally rain and hail storms battered the groups, creating an extra challenge. However, they were all successful in navigating themselves to their campsites where they pitched their tents. Even this was affected by the weather, with a strong blizzard (complete with proper snowflakes) blowing in just as some groups were getting their tents sorted out. This pattern of storms continued through the night, but morning came with slightly drier conditions, allowing the teams to get up, cook, pack up and set off without getting soaked. Day two continued with very strong winds and some heavy rain. Despite a few navigation issues, all the groups made it successfully to the finish and to the debrief with their assessors.
The groups did well to cope with the adverse conditions and the supervising staff were impressed to see considerable determination, resilience and good humour from all the participants. It was also clear that they had enjoyed the experience and learned much about expeditions. Thanks must go to the 14 Trent staff who assisted with supervising the groups and to the 4 external assessors who came out to help. The final challenge for the participants is to get the various sections in their D of E booklet signed up and entered into D of E, so that they can complete their Bronze Award.