On Saturday the 26th of August, the majority of the NCO team and 33 Senior Cadets embarked upon the 7 hour Minibus drive towards the Lake District, the most visited National Park in United Kingdom. Here, many were hoping to take one step further in completing their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s award and a select handful were hoping to achieve the most prestigious of them all…Gold.
Once we arrived in Glenridding, we had the standard task of offloading all kit from the various vans and setting up two large tents for the Silver and Gold girls to sleep.
We were then briefed on the various duties we were to carry out and given free time until dinner. We used this relaxed environment to further bond and learn more of each other. Also watching DVD’s in the evenings.
On Sunday it was an early start for the Silver groups who had to complete a further practise on the Mountains before their Expedition on the Tuesday. But for the Gold groups, we had a slight lie in for we were to venture to the well-known town of Keswick. Here the two groups went into various mountaineering stores to buy kit that would aid to completing their expedition.
This evening we were to then meet David Lawson, a Gold Duke of Edinburgh assessor who would track our every move making sure we were staying to our planned route and in sane mind.
Monday morning and those completing their Gold Expedition began trekking through the harsh English wilderness for four days surviving only on their wits and training…also the copious amounts of food bought the day before.
On Tuesday the Silver groups too began their expedition across the Lake District. Leaving the remaining Staff and SNCO’s to rejoice in their absence for the next two days.
Thursday afternoon, and the majority of groups arrive at the Bunkhouse in Glenridding smelling terribly, sweating and contaminated with generous amounts of the British countryside. But not for long as everyone swiftly scrubbed down and were able to feast on a brilliantly cooked Lasagne, the best meal some had tasted for days.
Awaking with aches and pains, we enjoyed our last day by all journeying to Bowness a town on the shore of Windermere. Filled with golf, sweet shops, clothes stores and many restaurants it was very clear Bowness is a tourist fuelled town.
Our final morning in Glenridding saw us all tidying our accommodation and packing away all kit into the MT. On completing this, we all pilled onto the minibus to venture us home, 7 long hours away…