Over Easter 15 Abbey College Cambridge students travelled to sunny Wales for their 4 day Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award practice expedition. The expedition is perhaps the hardest section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award physically. However it is important to remember that it is only 1 of the 4 parts of the award and the shortest in duration. Students also have to complete the Skill, Volunteering and Physical sections of the award for 12-18 months. The expedition requires thorough planning and in preparation the students worked in teams to plan their routes, book their campsites and organise the equipment they would need in small teams.
Students have to be completely self-sufficient during their expedition so have to carry their food, clothing and tent as well as all of their other equipment. This is, in some cases, the most our students have had to carry in a rucksack. Also carrying it over hills for 4 days is no mean feat.
Each group set off on Tuesday 4th April with the aim of getting all of their team safely through their 4 day expedition. The Snowdonia National Park has the tallest mountain in Wales and England, Snowdon, standing 1085m tall and being the second most visited mountain in the world. They were tested with wet and windy conditions on day one as well as beautiful sunshine on others. All groups have to walk/be active for 8 hours each day to travel a considerable distance and are encouraged to explore the area focussing on a purpose for their expedition such as nature or local landscape.
This was the furthest some had ever walked, covering over 50km in the 4 days. There were ups and downs but all have learnt a lot about navigation, teamwork and resilience. It was the perfect preparation for their trip to the Yorkshire Dales in the summer for their final expedition. Well done to all of the students involved.
The Duke Of Edinburgh’s award is respected as a significant challenge and commitment and is recognised by all universities as a very desirable qualification. Any Abbey College Cambridge student over the age of 16 can participate in the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as part of our unique ‘ABC’ extra-curricular activities programme. Participation in a number of our ABC clubs count towards the four individual parts of the gold award.