Duke of Edinburgh Season in Full Swing
A large number of Form III pupils are now in the midst of their Bronze DofE Award practice expeditions. These involve a 2.5-hour training session on the Wednesday afternoon before the weekend of their trip. This session covers basic navigation, rucksack packing, camping and stoves and food. This is followed by another after school session on the Thursday where equipment can be hired from the expedition stores and tents are put up.
Three separate groups went out on expedition in the Ochil hills over 12-13 May. These were very successful training trips that allowed for lots of practice of campcraft and navigation as the groups are accompanied by members of staff. They enjoyed some lovely evening weather initially, as they walked up the wonderfully named Wood Hill Wood between Tillicoultry and Alva. Then, halfway up Ben Ever, ominous cloud began to build. By the time the group reached the summit, they were enveloped in thick cloud, the wind had got up and it was raining: typical expedition weather! Pupils who had been out on the previous weekend’s expedition had been more concerned with how to protect themselves against the wall-to-wall sunshine and hot temperatures. The Scottish hills are unfailingly unpredictable.
Further expeditions are due to go out in the Ochils over the next two weekends, and these pupils will then take part in their assessed expeditions next term. The Silver and Gold expedition season then kicks off, with training and assessment trips planned throughout June.