Reigate Grammar School DofE


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Gold DofE qualifying MidWales August 2014

 

Nearly 50 RGS students successfully completed their Gold qualifying hike 16-20 August in Mid Wales.  A blustery storm warranting a severe weather warning for high wind started this expedition on a rather inclement note.   3 groups were re-routed below the summits for the first day due to gusts of 50mph forecast on a high route that would take them above 700m for most of the day on an exposed ridge.  After the first day the weather was cool and breezy and a bit showery but ideal for walking and the groups rose to the challenge and performed well.  Staff were most impressed with their positive spirit throughout the expedition and they were an especially pleasant and fun year group to assist through the challenge.  Well done all!  Thanks to all the staff and external leaders and assessors for your help with this expedition.


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Silver training expedition July 2014

 

68 students trekked 30 miles over the North Downs from Dorking to… Dorking!  The groups went via the North Downs (chalk) towards Guildford, camping at the stunning Chantries camp.  They then crossed the clay vale to the extensive Heaths and woods of the Greensand Hills (Greensand) to Peaslake and Holmbury St Mary to a farm camp site under the south slope.  The final day saw them trekking over the summit of Leith Hill back towards Dorking, finishing at North Holmwood.  Weather was good, warm and dry and most groups avoided the worst downpours on the last day, finishing around midday.  Well done all, good hiking with most groups improving their navigation.


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Silver qualifying expedition June 2014

 

Silver qualifying expedition to South Downs: 76 students completed this expedition in sunny warm conditions on a relatively easy route navigationally-speaking from Lewes to Amberley.  They performed well, camp craft improved throughout and departure on the last day was efficient.  The route includes some really beautiful bits of the South Downs. Many  thanks to the students who always make this a most enjoyable expedition.

Remember you need to send in a REPORT and complete all parts of edofe and submit all sections for approval to complete your Silver Award: please do this before the end of term. Students wanting to enrol in Gold should look out for notices early next term in September.

 


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Gold practice expedition June 2014

 

South Wales, Dan Yr Ogof: 4 groups (a small trip) set off on 4 days of training in mostly glorious weather.  Routes included the east and west side of the valley, the shake holes above the camp providing excellent micro-nav practice on the second day.  Thereafter, on day 3 groups set off over the Fan Hir and Garreg Las Black Mountain Ridges and descended into the Black Mountain camp site which has amazing views of the mountains.  The final day saw groups trekking back to Dan Yr Ogof via the scarp slope.  Navigation was generally OK, though some errors highlighted the need to focus on routes carefully, even in sunny weather.  Had the cloud been down some groups would have had difficulties, so map and compass work still needs your full attention folks. Plenty of food and water is also needed, some forgot the basic requirement to feed and hydrate to keep going effectively and safely.  Groups performed very well and were a fun bunch, so well done you!

A huge thanks to all the RGS staff: Miss Hancock, Mr Welch and Mr Newman and a special big thanks to our external leaders Paul and Becs and Pete and John.

MrC


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Bronze hiking, canoe and cycle expeditions

Canoe, cycle and hiking expeditions took place across Surrey during the last few days. The canoe group successfully completed their practice expedition on the Basingstoke Canal camping at Mytchett campsite.  The cycle group did an great job completing their long distance adventure starting near the south coast, camping at Peas Pottage scout camp and finishing near East Grinstead. Hikers climbed Box Hill and stayed at High Ashurst.   All groups coped well with the showery rainy weather.  Well done!


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Bronze dofe training expedition 4-5 May 2014

 

Excellent sunny dry expedition weather both days, though cool and frosty overnight.  Some 100 students undertook Bronze expeds hiking, canoe and cycling this weekend.  L6 Gold award leaders helped out too and numerous staff camped out and supervised group progress.  The Third Year did themselves proud and were a pleasure to organise and assist through their expeditions.  They were unusually good at clearing up after themselves at camp and some groups made an effort to cook some interesting food.  Some found their packs too heavy which is quite common at Bronze and hikers learn quickly to discard unnecessary or impractical  items like mallets and multi-cans of fizzy drinks!  Navigation was a bit hit and miss for some groups but they mostly found themselves again independently and managed to get “un-lost” by some careful map reading.   The usual difficulties around Headley Heath caught some groups out on Monday but this is a good chance to learn map reading and navigation by actually doing for yourself.  Well done to all the groups, staff were pleased with you and this bodes well for future expeditions.  Meet Thursday for lunchtime debrief concert hall.


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High Atlas Gold expedition, Morocco, Ait Bougamez February 2014

Well done to all of the 17 dofe students who completed their Gold expedition to the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco this Feb half term.  The expedition visited the Ait Bougamez region of the Atlas mountains some 7 hours from Marrakesh and climbed around the outstanding scenery of the Happiness Valley from Tabant to Rbat then making a return via the high ridges between the valleys.  This is a remote area of great beauty where Berbers farm green agricultural land in cultivated irrigated valleys beneath the brown and yellow snowy peaks near Mt M’Goun, the second highest peak in the Atlas mts.  The weather was cold during the night and, after some brisk winds that brought Saharan dust early in the week, snow fell at night on two occasions before days brightened up to the more familiar Moroccan azure blue skies that dominated the end of our visit.  Day time temps mostly reached the high teens but night time temps fell well below freezing throughout our stay.  Wet sleeping bags on one night precipitated a decision to move the entire crew to a nearby Gite, which was probably colder for some than their tents!

The visit included a couple of nights in Marrakesh which is always a vibrant and stimulating experience.

The students were fantastic throughout the trip and a pleasure to take away.  From touching down in Marrakesh, they were wonderfully interested, sensitive, observant and curious about where they were travelling.  They were delighted to talk to our wonderful guide Mohammed, and our amazingly talented cook, Omar, was a particular hit with many!

Thanks to Far Frontiers for launching the trip, Carol Davidson our wonderful FF leader and also special thanks to the crew at MTT for their outstanding professional care for us during our stay.  Mohammed, in particular, was an excellent guide and made the right decisions regarding safety throughout our trek.

Great video of our trip here by Claudia

More on the weather we had here