Welcome to all Silver participants, parents and guardians:
Here you will find all the latest updates for your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expedition!
Silver Qualifying Expedition – Thursday 26th – Sunday 29th October 2017:
We’re excited to be welcoming you and are looking forwards to the adventure together!
We aim to be as responsive to feedback as possible to make the experience challenging yet still wholly achievable. The experience is meant to be a character building and an experiential learning opportunity, well done for signing up to the challenge in the first instance!
We can also confirm that BOLD Adventures will be providing maps. It would be helpful if you could bring along copies of pre-planned routecards if you wish to use them – download our Routecard template below.
Drop off participants at Clennel Hall Hotel at 8-9pm on Thursday (see map). We have a close relationship with the Hotel staff who allow us to camp on their grounds.
Following arrival, pitch your tents on the grassy area to the right of the driveway, close in to the hedge immediately before the Hall. The hotel is normally very quiet and we hope that once you have your tents set up and kit stored you can relax patiently in the bar area until our Leader, Chris, arrives with the other participants from Sheffield. When Chris arrives you can help to pitch their tents before enjoying a pre-expedition meal together from the Hotel. After the meal you will have the chance to plan your route for day 1, complete your kit inspection and ask any questions before going under assessment. Take this time to check and adjust your routes under the supervision of our leaders if required. We will also run through a brief kit check, outline your Expedition Aim and check your knowledge of the DofE’s 20 Guiding Principles before departing. Bring along copies of your pre-planned Route Cards if you have them.
All groups will be given the leaders’ contact numbers during their morning briefing for Checkpoint Update and emergency use only.
Base Camp/ Drop-off Point: Clennel Hall, Alwinton, Rothbury NE65 7BG
Start Point: 100m SW of Crossroads near to New Moor House GR NU 098061
Night 1 – Camp at Alnwick Rugby Club, Alnwick. OS Map 332, GR: NU 191119
Night 2 – Camp at Beadnell Bay Camping & Caravanning Site. OS Map 340 GR: NU 230296
Day 3 – Finish at Car Park NW of ‘Sea Lands’, near Bamburgh. OS Map 340 GR: NU 148 345
Collection from around 1330 – 1430 on Sunday once final Leader’s De-Brief completed. Transport back to Sheffield station, aiming to arrive by 1900.
We give you the chance to demonstrate your maturity and ability to meet the DofE Guiding Principles independently as far as possible. For this reason, Leaders will not be directly overseeing or chaperoning participants during this Qualifying Expedition. Although we will be meeting up to assess your campcraft, navigational awareness and relevant knowledge of the Award, we will use remote observation to monitor your performance during most of the Expedition. We feel that every time leaders visit groups is an intrusion; you know you can act self-sufficiently and show yourselves worthy of the Silver Award. Therefore our leaders are not camping directly with the participants. Our Leaders are inspiring mentors and we hope the groups will find them good role models during their time with BOLD.
We expect Groups will be ready to leave to go home by 1-2pm on their final day, dependent upon what time they reach the finish and how quickly we complete their de-brief. This final time with the Leaders is crucial, allowing for equipment being turned around, rubbish being deposited in our refuse sacks and then getting the opportunity to re-hydrate prior to a final De-Brief to complete your Assessment. It goes without saying all young people want to just depart and get home but we would appreciate patience from participants and parents in this process being given the due time it deserves. The finish point is nearby to a campsite with showers which you may be able to use if wished.
It is possible for you to preview, plan and share some route ideas with each other online. This website has an excellent tool for plotting routes using an OS map. You have the option to download a file of your proposed route, which you could send or screenshot to the rest of the group to check and discuss. Perhaps each of you plans one day which the others then agree upon?
Use the Grid References for each campsite supplied above. Download a copy of the BOLD Route Card template to complete if you wish: BOLD Route Card
Resources and Advice
Below are some suggestions for food, drink and kit during the expedition. Whilst this has likely been covered extensively already, we’d like to emphasise the ‘Big Seven’: Waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, sunhat, sunglasses, warm hat, alternative footwear (e.g. sandals/trainers/flip-flops) and waterproof rucksack liners/bags. Although the DofE do not designate all of these items as essential, we believe they are vital for a safe, comfortable expedition and strongly recommend they are packed alongside the other essential kit. We do everything for a reason; whilst under the supervision of BOLD Adventures all participants should try to meet our standards for kit and performance in order to gain the best outdoor knowledge and experience. Understanding the importance of having correct kit is all part of effective preparation and avoids us having to lend out items at the last minute.
BOLD Adventures Leader contact details
Main Office: 0114 268 6669
Chris Marlow, Leader in charge of Expedition: 07910 030 258
Mark Harrop, AAP Manager and Assessor: 07814 017 407
We are looking forwards to seeing your skills on show this week. After all the hard work and effort you’ve put in up to now we want you to succeed! The latest forecast suggests dry and settled weather from Thursday, but do bear in mind the unpredictable nature of conditions in England. Bring plenty of water; hat and waterproofs are also essential. Whilst out walking it is especially important to carry plenty of water and stay aware of hydration. Naturally all participants should come prepared for sudden changes in conditions as we learn to expect in this country! For a more detailed up-to-date forecast, Rothbury is the nearest listed location covered by the Met Office: Link here.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions are designed to ‘develop self-reliance and self-confidence through isolation and remote supervision, overcoming challenges and managing risk as an independent group’.
As part of this principle we state that mobile phones are for emergency use ONLY, so that participants do not risk compromising their team’s expedition approach and outcomes. Phones must be kept switched off except when being used to communicate with Leaders, allowing participants to focus on enjoying new experiences and engaged with the task at hand. BOLD staff will happily contact Parents/Guardians if any updates are desired.
Remember, no news is good news!