Bronze Exped 16-17th June: Letter from Venture Out

Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Qualifying Expedition on 16th & 17th June, Sat and Sunday. I’m contacting you to confirm the arrangements. If they can no 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 campsite 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. 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’.

On the Qualifier, they be out walking for 7 hours, whilst carrying their own stuff, plus the group kit (tents, cookers, fuel), roughly 13kg bags for many of them. There will be no trainer with them this time, but they will meet staff at regular points along their route (every 30-45 minutes). This is called ‘Remote supervision’ and is a requirement of the Award. Be reassured that staff are always nearby, groups are given an emergency phone with our numbers to ring if there is an incident or they are seriously lost and  my company has invested in phones that have a GPS beacon on them for locating the rare really, really lost group.

On the training weekend, each group had a trainer for the 2 days who will have done a learning review with them on the last day – and all students will have gone away with a list of things that they needed to do differently on the Qualifier, maybe better equipment, food, fitness or navigation. Please ask them what their individual needs were and support them in improving these areas. 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. 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).

Photos of the Training event are available on our Facebook page and I’ll post photos of the Qualifier here too on Sat and Sunday evenings. (click here)

Saturday morning drop off: 9:00am prompt.
Charlesworth Village Green, 35 Marple Rd., Charlesworth, Glossop. SK13 5DA
They will meet their assessment team, be given their group equipment and maps and set off walking to the campsite.

Sunday afternoon pick up: 4:00pm.
Buxworth Basin, Brookside, Buxworth, High Peak SK23 7NE There is limited parking here and there is a pub car park. If you park here please go in and buy and ice cream or a coffee to keep the landlord happy. Thanks
Your child’s group may be late so please be patient and remember that if you are early you will have to wait until they are dismissed by their Assessor at the end of their debrief.

Campsites
These are the campsites we are using in case you need to pick up a child. It is the same one that they stayed at for the training weekend, but they will be walking into to it on Sat.
Linnet Clough Scout Camp
Gibb Ln, Mellor, Stockport SK6 5NB
Campsite has showers. No phone reception as this is a narrow valley.

Mobile phones
• 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
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.

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 campsite 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, and so, if you leave a message and it is not returned immediately, this should not alarm you. 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, part of the Expedition ethos is for them to be ‘offline’ and engage with the team and experience. Assume ‘No news is good news’ and they will tell you all about it when they get back.

Thanks for your support.

Kevin Beattie
Programme Manager