DofE Gold Qualifying Expedition 2022
If we need a great example of our school values; Respectful, Resilient and Ambitious – the core values that underpin everything we do at Brookfield, then we need look no further than the 10 outstanding Year 13 students that made up the Gold DofE team for 2022.
After 3 days of practice walks and training on first aid, route planning, camp set up and cooking amongst other things, they were all set for their DofE Gold Qualifying Expedition in the Peak District.
Read more about how they smashed it out of the park!
Day 1 – Hathersage to Abney Moore and Eyam.
Day 1 was a dark and moody autumn morning, with plenty of light showers in the skies. Not the start that the teams were maybe hoping for. The weather didn’t deter them and they set about preparing their kit and checking routes for the final time before they set off on their first hike of the week. The route took them from Hathersage out to Abney Moore and the final checkpoint and campsite in Eyam.
On arrival at the campsite the weather had worsened, and those light showers had turned torrential. Teams had to quickly get their tents up to keep them as dry as possible, hampered by the low light at this time of year. The prospect of cooking in the heavy rain, with strong winds and murky light would discourage most – not this team though!
Day 2 – Monsal to Mandale
By Day 2 the weather had started to clear and we woke up to a beautiful sunrise. After a hearty breakfast, cooked on the trusty trangia stove, teams packed up their tents, checked their routes and set off for Monsal for the day 2 hike. Unfortunately the good weather didn’t last and the heavy rain and strong winds hampered conditions again and would be enough to dampen most people’s spirits – not this team!
Thankfully the Day 2 campsite had a dry room, well other than a leaky roof and puddle big enough for a family of ducks, but it was somewhere to dry off and warm up nonetheless, and it also gave us all a bit of well needed social time to lift those spirits and build morale. Overnight the rain cleared, which gave teams the chance to pack the tents away and cook staying nice and dry. Once they had checked the routes, they set off towards Youlegrave for Day 3’s hike.
Day 3 - Mandale to Youlegrave and Barn Farm
The day started and ended with some lovely autumn sun. The hike was shorter with the main focus of the day being the teams working on their overall aim for the expedition. Team 1’s aim was to document as many unusual animals they would encounter on their journeys, and Team 2’s aim was to use the What3Words App and screenshot this at each checkpoint and write a poem using the words, not an easy task.
With the weather holding out, the teams were making good progress and arrived slightly early to campsite 3 – hot showers and a chance to dry out in the afternoon sun provided much relief. Spirits remained high, but with the prospect of the coldest night so far, most would be bitter with the thought of a night in a cold, wet, shivering tent – not this team!
Day 4 - Barn Farm, Chatsworth and Baslow.
On Day 4 we woke to the first frost of autumn, a meagre 2 degrees, contrasted with a stunning autumn sunrise. Showers, a cooked breakfast and a final route check and off the teams went on their final hike. This time the thoughts of a home cooked meal, central heating and a warm, comfy bed giving the teams all the motivation they needed to get them to the end point. The finish line – the quickest day of walking by far, and a welcomed bit of sun, a break from the wind and rain. The bus shelter at the edge of Baslow Nether End car park, a familiar sight to most who venture out from Chesterfield to the Peak District. A perfect place for the teams to present their aims and share a celebratory drink!
Massive well done Ella B, Kieran B, Jack D, Benjamin G, Alex H, Jake H, Jacob H, Marcus K, William M and Jacob S.