The Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition took place from 10 May until 12 May. Mr Thomson, Mr Ewing and Mr George accompanied the participating pupils, alongside 8 external supervisors.
Day 1 (Training Day)
All groups arrived at the CCF hut at 8:20 AM to start their training. They were put into their different groups, attached to their supervisors immediately and sent in minibuses to the Pentland Hills to start training. This included navigation, outdoor toilets, 'Leave No Trace' policy, and what to do in an emergency if lost. The boys availed themselves admirably to this and were then ready to start route card planning and packing backpacks in the afternoon.
With a reasonable finish time on Friday, the boys were up very early for breakfast, departing by 8 am in the minibuses. After a quick toilet break at Callander, the groups quickly made it to the start location in good time to begin their expedition planning and navigation. The weather was cloudy with sunny spells, but the conditions were improving rapidly, with blue skies and good sunshine by the end of the day. Very cold conditions were forecast overnight and the boys were grateful for their hats, gloves, and 3/4 season sleeping bags!
All groups woke up to frosty tents, but with excellent visibility and early morning sunshine. With the intended finish time of 12:30 pm, many groups were up and walking by 7:30 AM. Each group had learnt an awful lot about camp craft and wild camping etiquette, with many of the boys taking great pride to leave no trace and make a sharp start to the final day expedition.
A quick turnaround in the Village Hall at Lochearnhead had made for a speedy return to school, where I was most impressed with the boys conduct in packing away the equipment and returning the stores to their normal functioning state.