D of E June 2019

D of E June 2019

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze a stern test for year 10s

The elements were not on our side over the weekend of June 15th and 16th, when our year 10s undertook their practice Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Expedition.

Though Saturday started well and the teams enjoyed spectacular views over Newhaven and Seaford as they climbed onto the South Downs, the weather gods deserted them by late afternoon. They had to put up tents in continuous rain the intensity of which only increased as the time to cook (outside) arrived. Luckily, staff had brought a gazebo along.

The night was mercifully dry, but even without the drumbeat of raindrops on nylon, some students awoke with the light – about 4am at this time if year. A two hour wait was ahead for some as no breakfast cooking was allowed before 6am. By this time all Trangias were lit and the air was filled with the aroma of porridge and bacon. All the groups were packed and away by 8am – just in time for the first rainstorms of the day.

Most arrived at lunch tired and bedraggled; some were wondering what they had signed up for. In the end the sun did emerge, as tired legs carried what seemed like increasingly heavy rucksacks to the finish line. We departed Bishopstone bathed in warm sunshine, and the students were able to reflect on a challenge accepted and overcome. It was not an easy weekend, but it did show what grit and resilience can achieve.

Now just for those year 10 exams this week …

Thank you to Mr Langford for organising the weekend.

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