Bronze practice expedition, Blackwell, April 2015
239 students from Year 10 completed their Bronze Practice expedition over the final weekend in April. They met at Blackwell Adventure Centre, near to Bromsgrove, and spent the first day walking with a supervisor, as they learned and developed navigation and campcraft skills. When they returned to Blackwell, they pitched their tents, cooked dinner and entertained themselves with some ball games and chat until it was time for bed. The cleanliness of their camp areas was tested by the local foxes that night, with some students being quite disturbed by the local wildlife rooting around any mess that had not been tidied away before bed.
Day 2 saw the students setting off on a day’s walk in their groups but without a teacher for company and guidance. Instead, the supervisors shadowed the groups remotely, picking up notes left by the students at pre-arranged locations, and meeting students from time to time to top up their drinking water and check they were heading in the right direction. By the end of the two days, everyone felt much more confident about the navigation required to pass their assessed expedition in July, if a tired from the walk and a little short of sleep after a night in a tent!