24th May, 2022

DofE Silver Award Practice Expedition

Forty five Year 10 students completed their practice expedition around Waddington, Lancashire, with a real mix of weather.

This time it was Year 10 who were out in Waddington to complete their practice expedition. After some heavy rain on Friday night it was a little soft underfoot in places but the weather generally held up and some students even caught the sun.
With our brand new coloured rucksack covers the team set out on clockwise and anti-clockwise tracks on a 12.2km circular route, with groups crossing over somewhere around the middle. It was easy to track the groups from afar, especially the ‘rainbow pride’ group in their multi-coloured packs.

Most of the groups stayed on plan and on time (1 group mistakenly adventured into Clitheroe on the wrong side of the river but found their way back) and got up and around the hillside. They will have seen some amazing houses including the multi-million pound Cob Manor estate and Eaves Hall Hotel, even walking across some lawns (on official footpaths).

There was a tricky stream crossing where a few got a wet foot and only one mishap of a fall into the shallow water (cue uncontrollable laughing from their teammates and Mr Foulkes and Mr Harte slipping and sliding everywhere while trying to pull them up!) and several interactions with cows.

All groups got back to camp well within the timeframe expected and were blessed with a dry and sunny campsite. Tents went up and there was plenty of time for a game of ‘jumpers for goalposts’ football (using nice new raincovers!). It wasn’t exactly City vs Liverpool but it did the job in tiring most of the students out.

All the group threw themselves in to the challenge of cooking dinner on the Trangia stoves. There was a vast array of Super Noodles complemented by beans on toast, pasta and sauce and even the odd sausage. Gadgets of the evening was the stove-top toasting rack and the self-stirring hot chocolate mug.

We lit the fire once more and students enjoying making s’mores provided by Mrs Craven.

It was much warmer than the last time we were here and apart from the hoot of some local owls it was a pleasant evening for people to socialise and have some fun. It did come to light that there were 5 girls trying to sleep in one tent so a spare was quickly erected using the lights of the Land Rover and they could spread out.

The sun was up at 04:57 and the drizzle had arrived so most students were awake early. There had clearly been issues for some in actually getting decent sleep but as this was the first time camping for many this was not surprising. There were some grumpy heads that’s for sure.

The first group were away by 8:30 and made good progress on the linear route to Bashall Barn. All groups were there by 3:30 so it was a good day of walking with great weather. There was a bit of a delay in the coach arriving after the road being blocked but we were back at school just after 5pm. Students went home to rest and dry tents. The next expedition in even longer!