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DofE Gold Practice Expedition - Student Report

7 May 2024
Student Report
Written by Student

From the 22nd to 26th of April, the students participating in the DofE gold programme, travelled to the Brecon Beacons, or as it is now known, ‘Bannau Brycheiniog’. This was the first of two trips to Wales with their second in late June, all the way to north Wales: Snowdonia. They spent the week being taught important skills and traversing the Brecon hills.

After a (long) 6-hour coach journey to the first campsite, the participants met their group leaders who they would be spending the rest of the week with. On arriving in the Brecons, they were greeted with sunshine - luckily no rain. Once they had pitched their tents and had been briefed by their team leaders, they were permitted to spend time on the campsite getting unpacked and used to the Welsh air. As it was the first night, the students were delighted with their takeaway pizzas which were ordered, collected and eaten just as the weather took a turn for the worse. They spent what was left of the first night huddled in their tents in readiness for their first training day.

The students were accompanied by the company Adtrex, who were there to teach essential skills in map-reading, understanding bearings and many other important skills. Each team had their own team leader (who they were all very sad to say goodbye to at the end of the trip). On the first day, the students walked up to their first peak which enabled them to see Pen y Fan, the tallest mountain in the south of Wales. That night their practice expedition officially started with the use of a Trangia – a cooking stove and cooked their own meals.

The following two days consisted of a lot of walking in various weather conditions with two of the five teams travelling up to mountains Fan Llia and Fan Dringarth, which stood almost 650 metres (about twice the height of the Empire State Building) above sea level. The teams were exhausted but continued walking and working as a team to complete their expedition. No one was going to give up!

The final day of walking ended with a sad goodbye to the team leaders, Adtrex Scott, Adtrex Connor and Adtrex John. During the trip, the students encountered once-in-a-lifetime views and experiences found nowhere else. They then endured another long 6-hour coach journey back to Kent where eagerly awaiting parents were there to greet the weary walkers and take them home for a well-deserved rest, hot showers and something other than rehydrated food.

Arthur WG – Year 12