Through OFG, Duke of Edinburgh Lead Darren Evans asked Baston House School to nominate some young people that could be offered a place to embark on a ‘Wilds of Scotland Expedition’ through the British Explorers Society during the 2022 Easter Holidays. Colin Drew, the lead for Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, approached the DOE students in KS4/5 of which 5 young people requested to be nominated.
In early January the rigorous, detailed applications began. As part of the application process the students were requested to undergo a Fundraising task of £50 each. This was met in stages where the students carried out car valeting and at home had to earn themselves £30 by completing tasks.
After an introduction/training weekend was cancelled by Storm Eunice, all the students walked into camp late evening of 4th April after a long day of travelling by train and coach to the remote campsite in the woods of Insh in the foothills of Ben Nevis in Scotland.
Young Explorers aged 14-17 begin their expedition today, travelling from across the UK to the Scottish Highlands where they will spend 12 days camping in the outdoors. Mentored and supported by expert leaders, expedition medics, scientists and adventure professionals, they will explore the natural world around them and learn through adventure, science and media projects. They will learn how to thrive in an amazing environment, immerse yourself in wilderness and learn to work together to face unknown challenges on our UK expedition.
Our Young Explorers all arrived safely at basecamp yesterday and have been getting settled today.
They will spend today getting accustomed to basecamp life and begin training that will provide them with the skills to thrive in their wilderness environment. This includes learning to work as a team in their Fires (groups), learning how to put up their tents, pack their rucksacks, how to cook outside on stoves, how to navigate through their surroundings, and about health and hygiene whilst on expedition.
To get used to wild camping away from basecamp, Young Explorers spent the night in the hills in their Fires (Fire is the British Exploring Society word for a team of around 12 people, as it’s the perfect amount of people that can fit around a camp fire). They’re learning where best to pitch their tents and how to practice ‘leave no trace‘ principles, including planning ahead, disposing of rubbish correctly, and leaving areas as they found them.
All of the Fires have been venturing out from basecamp over the weekend, our Young Explorers working together with their Leaders to plan routes and find locations to camp overnight. While out in the hills, they’ll be carrying out science and/or media projects which may involve learning about the wildlife they encounter or using art or poetry to reflect on their adventures so far.
Our Young Explorers on UK Explorers Spring have finished their 12-day expedition, overcoming challenges together to empower and equip them with the courage, skills, resilience and determination to make the most of their futures. Thank you to everyone who helped make this programme happen.
This is our first-ever programme of this type at Baston House and whilst it is a complete, self-contained expedition journey in itself, it may also act as a stepping stone onto further explorations and perhaps even international expeditions.Read the Welcome Pack for Spring Explorers 2022