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Summerhill School

Summerhill School

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition

Lucy Jones, with the adventure of the Duke of Edinburgh award.

On the 20th May we completed our bronze Duke of Edinburgh award;  it was a feeling I would never forget, the memories we made and the laughter we had will always stay with us for a lifetime.

We all knew what to expect having completed our training and practice expedition, which was a total of three days, and I can honestly say I was definitely out of my comfort zone, being the girl that prefers self-tan and fake nails.  We arrived on the Saturday morning at approximately 8:30 am and proceeded with our undertaking. Our group was in high spirits, joking, laughing and singing.  The chosen song of the day was “He's got the whole world in his hands”.  Until we reached the bottom of the hill and realised the challenge ahead. With the support and encouragement of the leaders they got us to the top.

Back at camp we assembled our tents and made sure all our kit was stowed away, before taking our showers. Evening rations here we come!  My chosen food was chicken noodles, which was surprisingly easier to prepare and cook than I expected.  Everyone came together in team spirit to talk about their experiences so far.  It was time for us to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.  The leaders organised our games and entertainment for the evening, which created a great atmosphere.  10:30 pm: we were all exhausted and hadn't realised how annoying sheep can be when trying to sleep!

6:30 am: sun shining and the birds singing.  It was a lovely start to the day. Breakfast was a must, to set us up for a long trek.

Backpacks on, all buckled up and away we went.  Five hours in, tired, exhausted, my limits definitely being tested and feeing like we couldn’t go on anymore, our biggest challenge faced us.  I now know what mission: impossible means.  The only thing we could do was encourage each other on… and on…  

We did it!  The view was breath-taking and worth every second.  I have made some amazing friends and bonded with special people who I will always fondly remember.  Only on completing the award will it become clear what an overwhelming, immense sense of satisfaction the completion of such a challenge can bring. Silver here we come!

Special thanks and regards to Den, Stu and all the staff, who trained and supported us through this experience and a massive thank you to Ava (with the sweet tub).