It has been a long haul, with lots of ‘behind the scenes’ organisation, reorganisation, planning and preparation, to make our DofE ‘open’ expeditions as enjoyable and challenging as possible for the many young people registered for them; and to make them COVID-19 secure, meeting current government guidelines, but at last we have delivered Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE expeditions over the past 2 weeks, supporting over 60 young people on Dartmoor and in the Worcestershire area.
Despite the added precautions such as sleeping in individual tents, using individual maps, social distancing, not sharing food or camping stoves, online training and route planning sessions, the expeditions allowed young people the opportunity to undertake challenging expeditions that met the aim and benefits of the DofE Expedition section and without compromising the value, ethos and spirit of the DofE. We have not needed to use the #DofEWithaDifference flexibilities for the Expedition section and all the young people, their parents and DofE Leaders, have commented favourably about this and how valuable the expeditions have been for giving some positivity back into the lives of these young people ☺️ During our expeditions, we have also received positive comments from members of the public, landowners, Dartmoor National Park Rangers and members of the local communities we have met and talked with.
Thank you to all our staff team who have engaged with, and positively supported these young people throughout, to ensure an enjoyable and valuable expedition was experienced.
Even during this pandemic, we are committed to offering memorable, challenging and valuable experiences, which meet both the aim and benefits of the Expedition section, and are open to all DofE participants from any background, DofE group and organisation. We don’t deliver the Expedition section ‘our way’, we deliver it as intended and developed by the DofE, following ‘best practice’ and keeping within the values, ethos and spirit of the DofE, which allows young people to gain the most enjoyment and benefit from their participation.
From 24th August, we have further ‘open’ Gold DofE expeditions arranged on Dartmoor, with another 50 young people travelling to the area from all over the UK.