Dear Parent / Guardian
Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Qualifier Expedition Saturday 15th Sept to Monday 17th Sept. I’m contacting you to confirm the arrangements. If they no longer can attend, please let the school know ASAP as this has an impact on the viability of their group.
I will be coordinating the event and will remain in the area all the time to support the staff. I’ll be on-duty overnight on the campsites and should be your ‘First contact’ if you need to get in touch with your child. I’d remind you that there is often patchy signal in the area that we will be working, (possibly no signal on the first campsite and none on the second one). You can leave a message and I’ll return it when I pick it up. You should also not be asking your young people to be ringing you to keep them updated. Assume ‘No news is good news’.
During the Qualifying expedition, each group will be remotely supervised by a team of 3 staff who meet groups regularly at checking in points along the way. Staff are not allowed to walk with groups. On most days, they will be out for at least 7 hours and be walking at least 12km and ascending about 400m. They will carry a 13kg rucksack which needs to be big enough to take some of the group kit (tents, cookers, fuel) They will be on remote hillsides and exposed to the weather. Please ensure that they have been keeping fit and well in the run up to this event and that they have good quality waterproof jacket and rain trousers. Please ensure they are bringing a watch – not just a clock on their phone. They need a wrist watch to help them time their walking and is an essential part of navigating and not getting lost.
If there are any changes to medical conditions you should have them checked by your doctor and declare them to the school.
Saturday morning drop off: 9am prompt.
Errwood Reservoir Car Park (Beside dam). Buxton SK17 6SX (click here for map)
There is limited 4G and therefore Google maps doesn’t work. Please download a map before setting off.
Monday afternoon pick up: 4:00pm.
Tesco Superstore, Bridgemont, Whaley Bridge, High Peak SK23 7PB (click here for map)
They may be later than this so please be patient and remember that if you are early you will have to wait until they are dismissed by their trainer at the end of their debrief.
Google Maps Alert – we have had problems recently with parents getting lost on the way to the drop off / pick up because they were using Google Maps and not a dedicated SatNav or SatNav app. Google Maps can struggle in the countryside as it relies on you receiving a 4G signal to update the map position. Please take precautions to download that area.
These are the campsites we are using in case you need to pick up a child.1st Night – Gradbach Scout Campsite
Peter Watson Camp Site, Old Hall Farm, Peak District National Park, Quarnford SK17 0SU
(Click here for map)
Campsite has showers. No phone reception as this is a narrow valley.
2nd night – Cold Spring Farm
64 Manchester Rd, Buxton SK17 6SS
(click here for map)
Campsite has showers
The Duke of Edinburgh Organisation recommend that we do not allow participants to have mobile phones whilst on expedition (day or night). There are many reasons for this:
The participants are encouraged to ‘un-plug’ from the outside world and focus on becoming part of their team by socialising and supporting each other.
Mobile phones don’t stand up well to rain, mud, being crushed in pockets. They run out of charge and there are no charging facilities on campsites.
There is patchy coverage in the countryside, and batteries die and so if you are waiting on a phone call from your young person and don’t receive it or you are trying to ring them to check on them, and they don’t call back – you get anxious for no reason.
For these reasons, we have always run and supervised expeditions in such a way that mobile reception is not required for supervision or safety:
Sometimes it is necessary for me to contact home if a young person takes ill or has forgotten equipment. I have all the emergency contact details that you provided the school with and can contact parents if I need to. You can contact me directly on 07980 306869 – please only do this if it is an emergency, and remember, I too will have patchy reception and so may not get straight back to you.
Thanks for your support.