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Duke of Edinburgh's Award 2010

Following the success of last year’s expeditions, 2010 was another very impressive year. With over 50 boys registered and over 40 completing the expeditions, the logistics were complex. We ran two training expeditions simultaneously in the Lake District and Snowdonia, and then reversed this for the assessed expedition only a day later. One was overseen by EJNR, the other by NPTL.
 
Each expedition was staffed by some Eton staff as well as some external mountaineering instructors enabling boys to receive some professional training before being released on their own. As with previous years, many boys seriously underestimated the nature of the physical challenge.
 
For the training, there were two, one day expeditions to focus on the skills, followed by a two day self-contained expedition in which the boys were shadowed and received further instruction where required. The assessed expedition started with one more training day, and then a three day self-contained expedition. This culminates in a celebratory barbeque when the boys give their presentations on their chosen topics.
 
The weather was mixed with strong winds being the main challenge in both locations. A number of tents were shredded (including EJNR’s) and, when coupled with the rain, some boys were close to hypothermia. It was testimony to their teamwork and determination that they all pulled through. The weather for the training was calmer which enabled a more relaxed approach, though the boys were unable to experience navigation in poor visibility until their assessment. However, the better weather enabled some boys to undertake some scrambles including Sharp Edge on Blencathra and the North ridge of Tryfan.
 
All boys will have walked some of the most impressive and serious mountainous terrain in England and Wales – covering both a considerable distance and some technical ground. Most of the boys (depending upon route) will have climbed both Scafell Pike and Snowdon, have traversed the full Helvellyn ridge, walked over High Raise, as well as the full Carneddau ridge, the Glyders ridge and Moel Siabod.  Those who are familiar with these areas will be aware that this is a major achievement for a group of 16 year old boys with full packs. A number of boys commented that this was the hardest thing they have ever done, both physically and mentally – including some of the rowers. Most impressive was the level of teamwork – helping to carry each other’s kit when blisters became unbearable, sharing the cooking and so on. Although these expeditions are considerably in excess of silver DoE, all participants will receive their silver award. Well done to all concerned!
 
Thanks should be extended to the Eton staff who helped: NPTL, PKM, JM, RNE, SGPT, JWFS, PDAM and KLH. MAT also assisted in the Lakes. Some photos will appear on http://ejnr.net in due course.
 
EJNR
Date Posted: 02 September 2010
2010

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