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Bronze Open Expeditions  2024

We're pleased to be offering 'open' expedition package for 11-12 May and 8-9 June 2024. The completion of the expedition section also includes online training. We may add additional dates for the summer holidays subject to demand and staff availability. 

Expedition package
E-learning
Training & Practice expedition 11-12 May, Ashbourne area
Qualifying Expedition 8-9 June, location TBC prior to 11th May (Derbyshire, Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire- no more than 1hr 15 from Southwell)
Includes all training, supervision and assessment 
Campsite fees and group equipment included
Please bring your own food for the duration (2 lunches, 1 breakfast, 1 dinner and snacks)

What is an open expedition?

Open expeditions are those which are organised by a provider for individuals to book onto directly. They are not organised by a school and participants can sign up individually. You'll be looked after by qualified outdoor instructors who train, supervise and assess many DofE teams across the country every year.  

 

If participants are booking on with someone they know and want to be in a team with, we will do our best to put these participants in the same team. 

 

Every DofE team must be between 4 and 7 participants under DofE rules and for safety, and our instructor ratios are based on the number of teams, not the number of participants, so we may need to split or add to teams in order to accommodate everyone. Our tents sleep 2-3 people and wherever possible we will keep each tent group as a friendship group. Part of DofE is about learning to work as a team, which often means making new friends and working with people outside your friendship group. All teams booked on the same dates will be using the same campsites and able to socialise at camp in the evening. 

Locations

Location information will be published here ASAP- I am just confirming campsites. All we require from parents/ carers is drop off at the start of each course and pickup at the end, and for someone to be 'on call' (at home is fine, just not 6 hours away!) to be able to pick up participants if they become unwell or injured during the expedition.  We anticipate the training/ practice weekend (11-12 May) to be in the Ashbourne area, and the qualifying expedition may be on the East side of the Peak District or hopefully closer to Southwell- I will update here as soon as campsites are booked, as teams will start planning their qualifying expedition routes on the 11th May. 

E-learning info

Participants will have e-learning to complete as part of their training. 

Modules and when to complete them
Ordinarily we would ask all teams to complete all of the e-learning before the face to face training, but with the short timespans involved we appreciate this may not be possible for everyone. Please complete Module 1 and First aid basics as a minimum prior to the 11th May- if you can get through all of them fantastic. The equipment module is useful if you're unsure about what kit to buy/ how to check things fit, but the downloadable kit list is all you should need if you've got a vague idea to start with. 

 

The rest of module 2 and other first aid sections will need to be completed before the qualifying expedition.
 

Training/ practice event 11-12 May

This is our training event for bronze expedition teams. All participants are expected to attend both days and camp over.

On the Saturday teams will complete a walk with an instructor, learning navigation skills, road crossings and energency procedures, to get to camp. Once at camp we will issue tents and stoves, and go through campcraft training with them. In the evening they will be supervised cooking dinner, and we will do route planning sessions to start planning the routes for the qualifier.

On Sunday, once our instructors are happy that the teams have the skills to look after themselves, they will be remotely supervised; we will meet teams at road crossings and along their routes to check in on them and give any additional training needed, and top up water bottles if necessary. We anticipate finishing the walk at approximately 2.30pm on the Sunday; teams will be debriefed and return kit to us with the aim to be ready for onwards travel by 3pm. 

Route planning & menu planning

We will support participants with how to plan their routes during the training event, and talk with them about menus for the qualifier. They will need to finish this at home by Sunday, 2nd June in order to allow me time to safety check routes and print them before the qualifying expedition. Route cards to complete are accessible via the link on this page, and participants will be told what they need to do and how to do it so that everyone in the team can contribute. (The route cards can be edited on multiple devices at the same time, so can either be done as and when each participant is available or they can get together and do it).  There is also access to an e-learning module about the route planning to guide them through any bits they forget or need extra help with. There is a page in the route card file for each team to plan out their menu and shopping list as a tool to help with this too. We expect teams to cook together wherever possible rather than 7 individual meals, but appreciate that this may be a challenge to orchestrate for the 11-12 May, so if they cook separate meals on this one it's not the end of the world. 

Teams and availability

We have availability for another team to join these expedition dates. As we've now managed to book in enough of our instructor team, if you're an existing team of 4 or more we're happy to keep your team together. If we have participants who are signing up independently from their previous team members we will add them to other teams as necessary. 

I have extended the booking deadline to Monday 6th May at 9pm. 

Safety systems

The most important question we’re asked is “what safety procedures do you have in place?” and our clients, parents and participants have always been satisfied with the answer.

First aid :

  • Minimum of 16hr first aid qualification for all staff, specific to the outdoors.

  • Teams receive basic first aid training as part of the package.

  • Course leader with in- depth first aid knowledge and experience and a comprehensive first aid kit and defibrillator available on all courses, able to deploy to any team as needed. Minimum of First Response Emergency Care level 3 qualification for our course directors.

  • Our level of qualifications and experience in first response has given us experience in dealing with a broad range of health issues and injuries first hand, allowing us to deal with any situations arising in a calm manner. Many of our staff work part of the year for frontline ambulance companies, including our Managing Director, Pete Rich. Any participants with specific medical issues that cause concern in their abilities to complete the expedition section under normal circumstances, please talk to us; we may be able to put additional support or variations in place. 

Communications :

  • Emergency contact numbers across any available mobile networks to boost chances of receiving messages and/ or calls.

  • Staff carry radios for enhanced communication option.

  •  All teams are given training on emergency procedures, including use of their safety box.

  • All teams carry a GPS unit so staff can track their location at any point (sent via any available mobile network) which also has an SOS button for teams to send us an alert in an emergency

  • Qualified Instructors suited to the environment, including Mountain Leaders and/ or canoe coaches, on the ground, meeting groups throughout the expedition to ensure the safety and welfare of each team.

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