The Latymer Link - page 1

ISSUE 45 - JULY 2014
I
n the summer of 2014, ten Year 13 pupils
undertook the gruelling, physically demanding
expedition required to achieve the Gold Duke of
Edinburgh Award with Expeditions Wales. Despite
the Bronze and Silver schemes running for several
years, this was the first time pupils from Latymer
had undertaken the Gold award scheme; we, as
Gold participants are required to, walk roughly
20km per day for four days, completing a circular
route of the Welsh mountains and, evidently,
distancing ourselves from the urban environments
that we are so habituated to and that we almost
take advantage of on a daily basis.
The expedition section of the Duke of Edinburgh
award is a thorough test of both our navigational
skills and our mental resilience; needless to say, for
a group of young people from one of the busiest
cities in the world, spending four days without the
emotional support that technology and a warm
bed provide was not going to be an easy task. Not
only did we battle with abnormally warm weather
for Mid-Wales, but between the ten of us, we had
acquired countless injuries and insect bites from
Wales’ infamous midges. That said, the walks
themselves were absolutely stunning, and some of
the views and landscapes we encountered on our
escapades are simply irreplaceable.
One undisputable success of the Duke of
Edinburgh Award is the way in which it fashions
its participants into all-rounders; the nature of the
expedition encouraged us to think and function
independently, and a lot of importance was placed
on teamwork and efficiency. The experience,
therefore, may not sound like an ideal getaway to
many, but one must experience hardship in order
to bring out one’s best.
Sharlene Gandhi - 13FEL
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