Bronze D of E – Practice Expedition

The cooks in action at the overnight campsite

The cooks in action at the overnight campsite

Last weekend, I was working for my friends at Gateway Outdoor providing instruction and supervision for a Bronze D of E expedition in South Shropshire.

The first day was spent looking at navigational skills and allowing the team to take more and more responsibility for the route finding. The biggest challenge for me was to get the team to use the information they were taking from the map and applying it on the ground, which did take some time! However, it did eventually sink in and I was able to take a back street role and left the team to find their own way to the campsite from the last checkpoint, which they were extremely proud about when they arrived. Then a quick recap on tent pitching and safe use of stoves and it was time for them to cook their evening meal and fine tune the route cards for the second day.

For the second day, the group were to walk from Pennerley to Pontesbury unsupported but passing through manned checkpoints on the hill. My group went the wrong way a few times but were able to put themselves back on track and successfully made their way to Pontesbury. The debrief was hilarious as the team explained in great detail where they went wrong and how they would approach things differently next time (stop chatting, focus on the job, double check navigational decisions, have a plan, speak up if you think the decision is wrong) all good stuff really and I would like to wish them all the best with their qualifying expedition later in the year.

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