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The Bronze and Silver Award groups both undertook their Practice Expeditions in the Peak District. First to venture out were twenty four pupils in Year 11 and seven staff who travelled to the Hope Valley and Edale for four days in the first week of the break, during which they had instructions to further develop their campcraft and navigation skills.
Luck was generally with them as the weather turned out to be dry and unexpectedly sunny for most of the time. It made for good visibility, easier navigation and spectacular views of the landscape. All pupils coped well with the physical demands of carrying heavy rucksacks over the hills and organising themselves in the campsite, especially as they proved to be very enthusiastic and keen to develop their teamwork. Even the heavy rain on the last morning did little to dampen spirits. These pupils will aim to complete their three-day Qualifying Expedition at the start of the Easter holiday.
The Bronze group, made up of fifty Year 10 pupils headed out to the Hartington area for their first experience of expedition work, they faced a rather different challenge. It rained… And rained! While the general air temperature was reasonably mild, the pupils tried hard to set their tents up to protect them from the heavy rain and to cope with wet clothes, wet boots and mud. Over the three days, they had lots of navigation instruction and practice while out trekking and they gained experience of other campcraft skills, such as cooking and pitching tents. The rain curtailed the plans on the third day and the whole party arrived back at Trent for the attempted clean-up in the soggy conditions. However, despite this, most pupils remained upbeat and determined to enjoy the experience.