Cadets attempting their Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburghs expeditions in August attended a final training and practise weekend on 24 – 27 July. This weekend saw the cadets wild camping on the Friday and Satururday nights in the glorious landscape of the Lake District.
The first day saw the cadets navigating from HardKnot Pass to Sampson Stones, a remote and desolate spot below Scafell, a 3000′ mountain. In this area of the lakes, far from the popular tourist paths and routes the navigation is challenging and the lack of easy river and street crossings makes the need for precise navigation apparent.
The cadets carried all they needed to survive (including tents, food, and stoves) in their rucksacks, giving a signifigant and relistic practise of the 3 and 4 day expeditions ahead. This also meant their culinary skills where challenged to make tasty meals from the issued ration packs.
On the Saturday a high level route was followed, with all groups ascending Scafell on a very benign day weather wise (several cadets and staff tanning nicely). The groups then followed a variety of routes to the next camp area at Green Hole, situated below the impressive peaks of Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.
On the Sunday the weather changed dramatically and all were awoken by a steady downpour of rain. This was just what the Instructional Staff had ordered to test admin and team skills in adverse weather conditions, and challenge to which the cadets rose.
The teams then navigated back to the MT and returned to London, with Sgt Dutch and Cst Goldman getting a “shout out” to the OC on Radio 1s top fourty show, which made up for Sgt Dutchs fiddling with the van she was in air conditioning system!