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Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh Expedition 2024

A fitting 'team' photo after some challenging weather!

On a grey and drizzly late May morning, 81 Year 10 students began to congregate and get into their expedition groups at Waddecar Activity Scout Camp. Tucked away under the lumbering hills of Beacon Fell and the Parlick and Fair Snape Fell horseshoe in the picturesque Forest of Bowland, our students were in battle mode with the weather conditions as they set up camp and strode forth into the countryside for a day's navigation and map skills training. Never a clear sky in sight, the sheets of rain ensured that their efforts were finally rewarded as they trickled back into camp at the end of the day. The thought of noodles and pasta for their evening meal kept them eager with the headlong zest of a hunter for the game. And the rain continued into the blackness of the night, as sleep and exhaustion lulled the camp into silence.

Then onto assessment, with training complete, the groups headed out once more following preplanned routes that stretched over Beacon Fell and beyond. With rain now a familiar companion, and muddy tracks guiding the way the participants began to feel comfortable amongst nature and embraced the whole experience. For some the challenge showed them that they were capable of steely determination and resilience and by the end of the first assessment day noodles never tasted so good!

The final day of assessment was a complete contrast weather wise - the sun's early morning rays brought smiles to everyone and after some interesting porridge and hot chocolate breakfast combinations, groups headed out for a final time. On returning to camp they packed all kit, did a 'leave no trace' tidy and went home contented in the knowledge that they had passed the expedition section with flying colours. The Sam Sykes instructors were extremely complimentary about our students as Lead Instructor Mark commented "the students at Stretford Grammar are amongst the most well-behaved and polite young people that I have had the pleasure in guiding. They have really embraced the challenges of the DofE expedition and I hope that they go on to take the next step in terms of the award. Good luck to you all in the future".