Despite current restrictions on School expeditions, fifteen of our girls had the opportunity to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award expeditions over the summer using Approved Activity Providers (AAP) who are not governed by the Department of Education regulations.
A group of eight took part in bell boating. They completed a practice in mid-July on the Kennet and Avon Canal and a tough qualifying expedition paddling upstream on the Thames during the strong winds towards the end of August.
They paddled 61 miles in total, upstream against 45mph winds in some places. According to the organisers, AAP, it was the worst weather they have ever experienced on a Gold Award expedition and were extremely impressed with the girls for keeping their spirits up and successfully completing the trip.
“Friday and Saturday were particularly tough days- we paddled 21 miles on Friday when it was the most windy so it took us 15 hours to get to camp. We arrived at 9pm so ended up cooking in the dark! Fortunately the weather picked up Saturday afternoon where the wind was behind us so we used umbrellas to sail as well as paddling.”Izzy, Year 12
Seven girls, who had opted for a walking expedition, completed a long and arduous 3-day practice expedition around the Chilterns. The six hour rainfall that followed made the first day a challenging trek through waterlogged fields.
“Despite the rain and having soggy walking boots for the following days, we helped keep each other’s spirits high with plenty of snacks and laughs. The final day was a complete contrast to the first, sunny enough for sunscreen and caps! Overall, it was a great way to finish the summer and we are all looking forward to completing our qualifying expedition soon.”Head Girl, Imogen
Meanwhile for the residential expedition, two of the Gold Award group travelled to the Field Studies Council Centre, near Kingsbridge in Devon for a Marine Science camp to explore the coastal margins of Devon.
Congratulations to all seventeen pupils who completed their expeditions.