Bronze DofE Qualifying Expedition by Pippa, Y10

On the nineth of May, the Duke of Edinburgh groups gathered, kitted out with rucksacks, walking boots, and a surplus of snacks. Boarding the bus, we travelled to Camp Waddecar, where each group met their enthusiastic instructor who helped us divvy up tents and Trangias. With favourable skies, the groups set off, following winding country lanes, muddied paths, and fields full of non-pulsed sheep. The scenery we had the joy of walking through was picturesque – bluebells and daffodils coated the fells in numbers that Wordsworth would be proud of, and light trickled through the canopy of the woods, a bright echo of the stream nearby. As the day went on, the maps became more and more familiar, and the compasses began to fit comfortably in the palms of our hands.

At the end of the first walk, the groups demonstrated their tent-constructing abilities (and shortly afterwards, applied their tent-deconstructing abilities). Against all ill-winded odds, we managed to cook our dinners over Trangia fires, before returning home.

The welcoming sight of grey skies greeted us all the next day, but after checking on our waterproofs (which would soon be tested by downpours and hail), the groups set off on our new routes. Once more, we found seemingly forgotten side paths and overgrown stiles, each new area more akin to a Beatrix Potter book than the last—which may have been helped by the increasingly North-western weather. Some groups were lucky enough to catch brief sightings of deer, hares, and disgruntled rams along their journey. Despite the deluge that afternoon—an event that really added to the experience of the expedition—all the groups returned in time to the sound of rumbling thunder and enthusiastic cheers. Tired, but successful, we spoke to our instructors, thanking them for their support and guidance, then rushed to shelter inside, laughing with friends, while we shared stories and awaited our return to a slightly drier Lytham St. Annes.

Pippa, Year 10