Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Practice Expedition 2019

The much loved children’s book The Cat in the Hat begins by saying, “The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day.”  Replacing the word house with tent would help to understand last weekend’s D of E training expedition along the Wirral Way. Despite the rain, hail and storm force coastal winds the boys coped admirably. There was no complaining and the vast majority of the boys had heeded our advice and came very well prepared with waterproof over trousers and jackets. Many had practised putting up tents beforehand which helped in the windy conditions. One of our guiding philosophies on D of E is that the boys should be as independent as possible, unlike in other D of E centres on the Wirral. They all walked unaccompanied and there were very few geographical mislocations. The boys showed Anselmian grit in some truly challenging conditions and as usual did the College proud with their fine behaviour, conduct and pluck. They even had the energy for a spirited game of manhunt on Saturday night, played using headtorches.
The boys should take several learning points into the assessed expedition in June:
• Bacon can be cooked more than 1 piece at a time
• Socks are a useful substitute, but gloves are better when your hands are cold
• Bringing a pack of cards or similar is a good idea when conditions are poor
• Putting down a map in storm force winds may cause it to blow away
• Pancakes are not easy to cook on a Trangia
• Aluminium tent poles are not infallible
• There are alternatives to bringing tinned food, especially the sort that looks like the canine variety
There was a strong staff turnout (thanks to Miss Browning, Mrs Meadows, Mrs Rawsthorne, Mr Davis and Miss McKinley) who also braved the weather from their warm and dry hut. We were with the boys in spirit. Many thanks to all parents for helping the boys with kit and transport. I look forward to the summer expedition in June.
Mr Gott