Full information on the Award can best be found on the Award web site however the following describes how expeditions run at the College. After an initial meeting in the Autumn term students at each level form into expedition groups.
As far as possible we like them to stay in those groups for classroom training, weekend practices and the actual qualifying venture. These expedition groups are between five and seven and may be mixed or single sex. The actual tent groups are single sex of two to four students.
Classroom training starts around a term before any weekend practices and covers things like route planning, basic first aid, equipment, food and menus. This is followed by sufficient weekend practices to prepare them for the level being undertaken. During these practice expeditions students will be taught camp craft and navigation skills. Only if we are satisfied that the group is competent will we allow them to proceed to the qualifying venture. In the case of Gold candidates they also have to satisfy an external pre-assessment check.
At all levels staff will be camping with students during practice ventures. We tend to use the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales at Silver level whereas at Gold we usually train in the Dales and encourage students to aim for a qualifying venture in Scotland. We would not normally have staff camping with the students on Silver or Gold qualifying ventures though we always see them at the camps and if they are in a remote area we will be relatively close.
An example kit list is below. We are able to provide most specialist items from our well equipped stores so please do not panic about things like tents, sleeping bags and rucksacks. However, we do require students to have their own walking boots and waterproofs. Boots do not need to be expensive but should be broken in and provide some degree of ankle support – trainers are not adequate. Waterproofs should be breathable. It is also worth having proper walking socks – particularly on the longer Gold expeditions students will appreciate the extra cushioning these afford. Most other items of clothing can be improvised e.g. close fitting track suits are ideal walking trousers.