‘12 Hours of Walking and a Very Wet Tent’ – Jade’s Duke of Edinburgh expedition experience


Every year we take a group of Young Leaders on an outdoor expedition for several days as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

To gain the award, young people are required to complete 2 days of walking and 1 night of camping for the Bronze award, and 3 days of walking and 2 nights of camping for the Silver award.

This year we had both a Bronze and a Silver group, with eight young people taking part in total.

In this blog, Jade, part of the Bronze group and a current Youth Work Apprentice at Salmon, tells us how she found the whole experience…

We started planning for Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) around March last year because we had to do six months of a particular physical activity and a particular skill of our choice, as well as volunteer for a year beforehand.  

For the expedition, we planned all the stuff at Salmon on the day and then drove up to near Poynings in West Sussex. My group did six hours of walking every day over a two-day period.  

As part of the award, you have to pick something to concentrate on during your walking time and we chose to do an examination of people’s moods. We recorded the new experiences we went through during the expedition and how we felt about them.

I didn’t enjoy the camping outdoors because it was raining and cold and water fell through the tent. The worst part of the experience was losing my phone on the first day within about 30 minutes of walking. 

The best part was also losing my phone! Not because I wanted to lose it, but because it gave me the chance to actually get off it and enjoy the experience because I’m always on my phone! 

I did DofE because I wanted to build my map-reading skills, and have more time outside, and prove to myself that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. In the process I’ve learnt patience and teamwork.  

This was my seventh time attempting the Bronze Award and I finally did it. It took a lot of hard work but it was worth it because I learnt new things.

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