Gold Practice Expedition Letter from Kevin at Outlook

Dear Parent / Guardian


Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Training Expedition on 13th to 15th July. I’m writing to you to advise you of a change to the pick up point. All other information from the previous letter is the same and I will repeat below. The new pick up point is listed below. Please also ensure that you have read the letter about the critical kit that they must bring and not having it will result in yourselves being asked to bring it to the expedition area or them not being allowed to walk (e.g. boots not shoes, waterproof over trousers, asthma medication.) They must bring water proofs regardless of recent weather. It is warm at the moment but temperatures are due to drop to normal levels by next weekend. If they did not, we have ways of shortening walks, lightening bags and providing extra water. The girls need to be asked to have sun protection with them – hats, neck scarves, sun glasses. It’s better for them to bring too much and then leave some heavier/warm clothing with me in my van than to leave it at home.


I decided to change the pick up point away from Malham Tarn car park, where there are no facilities, to Malham village. This village will be crowded with cars but will also have mobile reception and toilets. This will enable you to come earlier and have a walk to Malham Cove and get an ice cream or food in the local hotel. It will also allow the students to get to the toilet and have an ice cream after their walk and before their drive home.


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, and I may not get a message from you for hours. 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’. They will stay at 2 different campsites on their walk.


During this training expedition, their trainer will stay with them for the first day and a half, training their navigation, group skills and campcraft to a higher level and risk assessing them. On most days, they will be out for at least 8 hours and be walking between 14- 18 km and ascending about 500-600m. Please ensure they have understood that this training is to be harder than the Silver training they attended and that their fitness, equipment and food need to be good.


Please ensure they are bringing a wrist 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.


Drop-off point:

Friday 13th July 9:30am

Stainforth Village Car Park

The Hollies, Stainforth, Settle BD24 9QD

Click here for map


Pick up point:

Sunday afternoon pick up: 5:00pm.

They may be later or earlier, please understand that they may get lost or be slower on their last day as they will not be walking with the trainer that day. (Remote supervision is required).

Malham National Park Centre

Chapel Gate,

Malham BD23 4DA

Click here for map


Getting lost – 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. 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 in Google maps in the App settings before setting off. Postcodes are not an accurate place finder in the countryside, they can take you to a 1km area but not necessarily to the exact point (houses and farms are a lot more spread out in the countryside).



These are the campsites we are using in case you need to pick up a child.


1st night – Town Head Farm Campsite (Riverside campsite)

Cove Road



North Yorkshire

BD23 4DJ


2nd Night – Kettlewell Camping

Conistone Lane



BD23 5RE


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.


Thanks for your support.


Kevin Beattie

Programme Manager