Here is a letter from Kevin Beattie from Venture Out with regard to the Silver practice in June. Any concerns before the trip contact myself Mandy Hickman on firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact(on the expedition) in an emergency only:
Tel: 07980 306869 Email: email@example.com
Dear Parent / Guardian
Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Training Expedition on 8th to 10th June Friday to Sunday. I’m contacting you to confirm the arrangements. If they no can longer attend, please let the school know ASAP.
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 training expedition, each group will be assigned their own trainer who will stay with them most of the first two days, training their navigation, group skills and campcraft to a higher level and risk assessing them. As this is a training course, the focus will be on training input and not necessarily on doing big distances each day with full kit. But on most days, they will be out for at least 7 hours and be walking at least 12km and ascending about 400m. Only on the first day will they not have to carry the group kit (tents, cookers, fuel). Please ensure they have understood that this training is to be harder than Bronze Qualifier and that their fitness, equipment and food need to be good. A good waterproof jacket and rain trousers can make the difference between staying well and getting sick when walking in the rain on a hill for a few hours.
Please ensure they bring 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. Please also check that the equipment that they had from Bronze is still appropriate, they may have grown out of a few things. We have found that young people often don’t want to ask their parents to buy new/replacement stuff for them as they want to impress them with their independence and prove that they can do this. (and that they didn’t get their first choice of kit wrong)
Friday morning drop off: 9am prompt.
Sunday afternoon pick up: 4:00pm.
Drop off and collection at the same place: St. Pauls Church, Huddersfield Rd, Stalybridge SK15 2PT
These are the campsites we are using in case you need to pick up a child. Please check with Event Coordinator before setting off which site your child is at.
Well-I-Hole Rd, Greenfield, Saddleworth OL3 7HY (google map)
Crowden Camping & Caravanning Club site
Woodhead Rd, Crowden SK13 1HZ (google map)
The Duke of Edinburgh Organisation recommend that we do not allow participants to have mobile phones whilst on expedition (day or night). There are a number of 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 the number above – 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.