Young People from Watford and Three Rivers complete their Bronze DofE Practice Expedition
30 June 2016
42 young people from across Watford and Three Rivers who are working towards their Bronze DofE awards took part in a very successful practice expedition during June. ‘Expedition’ is one of four required components of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme, the other three being Volunteering, Physical and Skills.
The young people have been attending weekly DofE projects with Youth Connexions (based in YouthPoint, Watford and West Hyde, Three Rivers), and for the last six months have been taking part in expedition training. Sessions have focused on navigation skills and map reading – including how to read a compass and plan a route. Training has also been given on basic first aid and teamwork skills, with practical sessions on how to put up a tent and cook on a trangia.
The Three Rivers group set off from Tring to Hudnall Park Centre, which is located about 12km from Hemel Hempstead.
On the big day of the expedition itself, the young people from Three Rivers met up at Tring railway station, while those from Watford met at Hudnall Park. They divided into their groups and then all walked approximately 9km, either cross country or in a circular loop, carrying all their equipment, food and provisions on their backs, all meeting up at Hudnall Park to stay the night. They then pitched their tents and set up their trangias – cooking warming fare ranging from pasta and rice to porridge and hot chocolate.
The following day, despite the variable weather conditions, the young people remained in good spirits and packed up and set off on their journeys back, covering around 10km. Members of Youth Connexions staff met them at various check-points en route to ensure that they were headed in the right direction and pass on words of encouragement!
Tired but proud to reach the station after their trek
At the end of Sunday, all the young people were tired but justifiably proud of their achievements. “Although it was wet”, commented one young person, “as a team we were able to complete it successfully. We are now looking forward to our qualifying expedition.” This is scheduled to take place in September – where the young people will be walking in the Aylesbury area.