‘Resilience’, ‘digging in when times are tough’, ‘finding the inner strength’. Whatever you want to call it, the ability to dig deep is a key quality for each one of us as we journey through life.
Saturday morning arrived; bright and early our bronze team arrived at school, ready to leave at 07:00. Ahead of them lay a significant challenge which was to test their personal resolve and resilience. We travelled to Carsington water in the Peak District and the students formed into their groups and prepared to navigate to our camp at Birchover as a team. To add to the challenges that lay before them, the weather showed its hand and began to rain, turning the paths to slippery mud and reducing the visibility significantly. Undeterred, both groups set out on their own and began to find their way across the hills and fields before them.
After 9 hours of difficult walking, challenging weather and a few false turns both groups made it to camp. Tired, cold and wet it would have been easy to give up and choose an easier path but both groups dug deep and found the resolve to push through any difficulties and make it to camp. Once at camp spirits began to lift as the intrepid students cooked their evening meals and began to enjoy relaxing in each other’s company for the evening.
The next morning saw an improvement in the weather and at 09:00 the first group, having packed up and prepared themselves for the day, set out on their final leg of their expedition. They walked from Birchover to Over Haddon, navigating through fields, valleys, hilltops and bridleways. The bonds of support that had been forged the previous day were to prove invaluable as the terrain became harder to navigate and the weariness of the two days began to catch up with each person. Navigation errors happened but together, in their teams, the students showed real determination in correcting themselves and pushing onwards towards the end. As the weather, once again closed in, the students had to dig deep on their final leg, dealing not only with their tiredness, but the torrential downpour that broke upon them. Again, the students had to find their inner strength to make it to the minibus and the end check point. Ironically, as the final student made it safely to the end, the rain ceased and warm sun broke through the clouds. All of the students had successfully completed their expedition and we, as a staff team, are immensely proud of each and every person. The determination and resolve that you displayed is a real credit to you and you should rightly feel a sense of achievement for a job well done. See you all next year for the silver award!