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Bronze Weekend - Practice Expedition

21st - 22nd May 2022

Congratulations to our Year 9 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh participants on completing their full weekend practice expedition. Nearly seventy students completed the two-day expedition, hiking from Bolton Bridge to Ilkley and completing a circular route on Ilkley Moor. 

From Saturday morning, our students had to overcome many challenges including the weight of their backpacks (containing all their food and equipment for the weekend), independent navigation along the route and, in the case of one group, a surprise invasion from a herd of cows. This first day had students walking accompanied by a member of staff for guidance, although they were instructed to allow the challengers to get a little bit lost to ensure they were on the ball.

Overnight, the students set up camp on the school playing fields, gaining vital experience in pitching tents and cooking their own food on the mini camping stoves. Surprisingly, the students were all awake bright and early on the Sunday to cook breakfast and staff were delighted to see some groups packed and ready to go by 8:00 am.

The second day proved more challenging, with students having to navigate between staffed checkpoints without supervision for any of the route. There were a few blisters, bruises and other minor scrapes but all the groups made it to the end, potentially thanks to the extra motivation of finishing in time for the final round of Premier League fixtures kicking off at 4:00 pm that day!

A special mention should be made of group nine, who spotted a lamb trapped in a fence along their route and went out of their way to notify the nearby farmer, saving the young sheep in the process.

This conscientious attitude was shared across all our participants, who should each be very proud of their approach to the challenging weekend and of what they have achieved so far.

The final qualifying expedition takes place 25th - 26th June.

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