D of E: Jonny Reports on Bronze Award Expedition


Over the past year a number of Lower Fifth pupils have been taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, which consists of 3 months of volunteering work, 3 months of skill work, and 3 months of physical work.

The aim of the program is to teach young adults teamwork and to make them into fit, independent and respectable citizens.

The volunteer work teaches compassion, the skills work teaches participants to develop themselves, and the physical part is to show the importance of fitness.

I'm not sure what the gruelling 2 day trek is for, but it better be something good!


We spent several weeks getting ready for this last part - the assessed expedition - which consisted of 16 hours of walking over 2 days, pitching a tent to sleep in and cooking both our supper and breakfast without disturbing the peace.

During our preparations we undertook two practice expeditions, one in Ashdown Forest and one on the South Downs near Chichester, with the focus of these being camp craft, fitness and resilience - qualities we all needed along the way!

During those practise expeditions we had to cross around 500 metres of thick mud, climb over a barbed-wire fence and survive a hair-raising moment when one of the groups was chased by a very large herd of cows!


Once our Mock Exams ended earlier this half-term, the time had come for the real thing: our three groups decamped to the stunning New Forest and hijinks predictably ensued.

My group were once again forced to skirt away from anything with four legs, Kirsty fell into a bog but came out smiling and Ashti would every so often flail around because of the hundreds of midges hungry for blood!

After completing the Bronze Award successfully, I have to say that I have enjoyed it very much and would deeply recommend the whole experience to anyone.


Congratulations to the other groups that passed, and roll on DofE Silver!


Learn more about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at Bede's >

Learn more about life in the Lower Fifth at Bede's >