Duke of Edinburgh Award – Training Expeditions, Skills, and Student Feedback

This year, we’ve only got a small, nonetheless  excellent Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award group: Anya, Haeun, Lilly and Isabelle. They are all working on their different sections – they play hockey, ride horses, dance, cook, help out at the Junior School and Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary, draw and play instruments – and they have had a lot of navigation practice. On the second weekend in May, they had their training expedition, during which they explored the hills and woods around Harwood Dale. Read about their experiences!

Anya’s account of the first day:

“The other week I set off on my first ever Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) expedition. We had a quick kit-check and then we were off. We got on a minibus to Harwood Dale and then the four of us set off on the walk. It was a lovely day, but the forest was very muddy. Isabelle got stuck! In the forest the path kept stopping and disappearing because it had slipped into the river so we had to scramble up a hill.

We stopped for lunch next to the river, then we walked out of the forest. We had a quick break and checked the maps . Then we walked through a farm and up a big hill, which was horrible. Then we came to another hill called “Mount Misery”, and it definitely was miserable. After that we came to a long path with lots of little paths branching off, and we ended up taking the wrong one. We spent a long time checking our maps and then made our way onto the correct path. We then got to the campsite. We took off our backpacks and it felt like we were floating. We then pitched our tents, cooked our dinner and finally went to sleep.”

What is Isabelle doing for her Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE)?

“For my skills, I did 6 months of cooking on an online course. This was really fun – I completed this section in April.

For my physical I am doing horse riding which I do every week. I chose horse riding because I really like it.

I am doing my volunteering at Whitby Wildlife Centre. I clean out the cats and the hedgehogs. One of the cats snuggled up to me!

On the practice expedition, I really liked the evening when we hung out and cooked. The best part was the second day, when we walked up a hill and reached the end. I felt good because I made it through the walk!”

Some of Isabelle’s cooking (Skills section):

Isabelle horse riding (Physical section):

Students can opt to take the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award at Fyling Hall. As well as being a lot of fun, it is an excellent way to develop skills for life, build resilience and incredibly helpful for university applications. Get in touch for more information.