On Friday 31 March, two groups of girls from the Lower Sixth left for Yorkshire to embark on their Gold Assessed Expedition. This was the peak of their Duke of Edinburgh experience; the final expedition before they earn their Gold Award.
Having had a training expedition in October, they were prepared for all the challenges that the expedition may have brought, and headed off with a spring in their step. For the most part, they were fortunate with the weather and had sunny, clear skies (although that did mean some cold and frosty mornings). The one exception was their first day, when they climbed one of Yorkshire’s three peaks, Inglesborough. Despite the damp weather, they kept their spirits up as they adventured through the mud. They all survived - though minus one pole, which got bent and served as a great source of laughs on the way down. After a pretty tough day, they made it to camp, tired but proud, ready to pitch their tents and go to sleep.
Afterwards, the weather brightened up, which meant they got to see some truly stunning views over the next couple days - from walking along the limestone steps where some of Harry Potter was filmed to walking down valleys and across hills, the landscape around them was always truly beautiful. This also helped them to navigate; now they could spot points of interest from the map and use them to guide their journey. During this, the girls kept their eyes on the geography and wildlife of the area, as they were cataloguing this for their expedition aim. They heard skylarks singing as they walked across the top of the hills, and saw some very hardy trees growing out of the side of valleys.
The girls' Gold Assessed Expedition was an amazing experience - one that presented a physical and mental challenge, but also the reward of getting to walk in such beautiful places and enjoy nature. They highly encourage any girls in the younger years who may be reading this to give DofE a try - yes, it is a challenge, but it is one that teaches you many things and is immensely rewarding.