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Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

05/07/19

The Hottest of Camping Trips

Last weekend, 29th & 30th June, saw temperatures rise to 35C in some parts of Kent, and for 110 pupils this was the heat they undertook their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award in! Pupils from three Swale Academies Trust schools arrived at Meopham Secondary School loaded with heavy backpacks and plenty of water. At 9am they began their 15km hikes in the beautiful countryside of the North Downs.

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Each team had organised a personalised route which passed through at least 3 checkpoints dotted around the countryside. A group radioed in after an hour to say they’d had a bag break but they were going to carry it to the next checkpoint and could a replacement be dropped off.

This shows the resilience and independence they had rapidly developed during the previous months of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The first group arrived back to Meopham School at around 4pm a little hot and eager to setup camp and cook their dinner.

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Pupils took their tents and setup camp for the night. Pupils worked completely independently of staff; pitching their own tents and cooking their evening meal. The temperature was still in the high twenties at 10pm and some had decided sleeping in a tent was far too hot and decided to camp under the stars.

The Sunday morning saw pupils waking early, cooking breakfast and taking down their camps ready for another full day of walking. The first team left just before 9am and the last team returned by 4pm all having completed 12km of cross country walking, as a team.

The teams had to undertake a “project” while out walking. They had decided that they would attempt to collect something from the landscape beginning with every letter of the alphabet. As a result we ended up with a rather unusual collection of road side debris including; a number plate, a toy zebra, a leek and a length of rope!

The pupils showed great resilience throughout the weekend and worked excellently as a team to complete their Bronze Awards.

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