Going for gold - DofE 23

Dated: 11 July 2023

Woodhouse has a long history of participating in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, with hundreds and hundreds of students getting their badges over the last 15 years. This year is no different and we are currently running both Silver and Gold expeditions this summer.
Last week, 22 of our adventurous students headed for Great Langdale, a valley in the Lake District National Park in North West England, for five nights of camping and three days of walking on their practice expedition.
Woodhouse physics teacher David Feldman, who accompanied the group explained…
“It’s called the Lake District for a reason - and we had a lot of rain. Some of the students were not properly equipped, turning up in shoes rather than hiking boots, or showerproof rather than waterproof coats, but then that is what the practice is for… and a lot of learning went on.
The students follow a route independently, without guides, but they are supervised from afar and observed with binoculars. Each group are equipped with a GPS tracker so we can find them if they get lost. They had one night of wild camping (literally in the wild, not on a campsite with toilets and running water) in a really great location nestled in the hills.
 Mr Feldman explaining how to use a Trangia correctly without starting a pancake fire...
Students obviously have to bring and carry all of their own food for the expedition, and cook it when they camp. This year, one group brought some pancake mix… not the easiest to cook in the rain. They borrowed some oil to try and fry them but managed to start a Trangia (portable stove) fire instead, and had to chuck water over it, but again, a learning experience.
Everyone arrived back at basecamp safely and the students should be well set up now for the assessed expedition at the end of August.”
 Mila (3rd from left) with her D of E Gold group
Student Mila (who may or may not have had the incorrect footwear) told us…
“It was undoubtedly a team-building experience! Despite the discomforts of surviving on half-cooked rice, burnt pancakes and dodgy hotdogs - and practically sleeping on a rock - it was the energy, support and the 'we're all in this together' mindset which got me through it all.
I would do it again, even if it means waddling on wet slippy rocks.”
Many thanks to Mila for the photos.

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