Reigate Grammar School DofE


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Silver practice expedition

4th years:

Meet RYKAS Cafe, nr Dorking on A24: Sunday 9 or 10am depending on your start time.

Check with staff before departure: be ready for full traffic lights check before departure.

Groups finish Tuesday (from 11pm-ish) North Holmwood village, south of Dorking off A24.

Parent pick ups from this location.

Bring all usual kit but especially prepare for sun and warm weather Sunday: sun cream and sun hat required.

Visit training pages for more advice

UV levels


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Bronze DofE practice expedition May 5-6 2013

120 Bronze students and Award Leaders set off from RGS on Sunday for their training expeditions. Groups were impressively well organised this year and staff were pleased with their especially positive and cheerful approach to the hike. They trekked to various local campsites up to 15km away, and completed their hike on Day 2 with a 10km hike ending at Reigate Hill. Groups had some navigational hiccups but learned from their mistakes. Campcraft was generally good, though some needed to get slicker with their tent building. Bronze groups usually have a steep learning curve regarding “leaving-no-trace” at camp, especially cleaning away after cooking, but staff were impressed with the cooperative way students picked up the idea of keeping their site tidy and organised. The great weather helped but it was still noticeable how this Bronze hike went especially well. Staff were very happy with you all, well done groups!

I look forward to hearing about the Bronze, Silver and Gold canoe training which also happened this weekend: please send in a report and photos if u have any.


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South Wales Gold training October 2012

Latest news from Dan Yr Ogof: sleet and snow to valley level: we made the right decision!!  50 students did their Gold dofe training expedition in South Wales, Black Mountain area – which is in the remote far west of the Brecon Beacons and not to be confused with the lower and easier Black Mountains which are to the far east of the national park.  The weather was initially good and most groups got to grips with basic mountain navigation as taught by experienced mountain leader  staff.   The trekking days were inclement and many students had their first taste of poor mountain weather conditions: well done for surviving!  Whilst many coped well, some students found themselves wet and cold and with no spare dry kit, except for spare items delivered by staff.  The final day saw temperatures dropping further, wind chill of -6C and snow falling on the mountains with a brisk northerly wind forecast to increase during the day.  Whilst the weather was not particularly bad for well equipped and prepared individuals, I took the difficult decision to bail out and come home early because the state of some students would have pushed the potential risk of hypothermia to an unacceptable level.  A point to note for assessment: it is important for students to eat plenty for breakfast to avoid endangering themselves and others.  Whilst we thoroughly instruct and prepare students for these expeditions, it is often only when we reach the mountains that they discover the importance of their training and the pre-expedition meetings.  The large dofe groups we organise for DofE, certainly bigger than those fielded by most schools,  require careful management on mountain expeditions.  My top quality staff and experienced voluntary adult expedition leaders take on an enormous responsibility looking after students in frequently arduous conditions.  If you would like to assist as an adult instructor on our expeditions then please get in touch: in particular if you have significant mountain experience and / or a mountain leader certificate or are simply enthusiastic and willing to prioritise helping students in all conditions then please email me and join the team!


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Silver Qualifying hike JULY 2012

63 students returned from their post-GCSE break to complete their assessment hike across the South Downs.  Most students travelled by train to Lewes. On Day 1 they trekked 20km to Ditchling Beacon and Park Wood in showers and broken sunshine.  They coped well with the sogey conditions at camp.  Another 20km trek took them to Washington via Truleigh Hill and Chanctonburry Ring on Day 2.  They spent a beautifully sunny evening at Locks Farm.  A final 12km push to Amberley and it was good to see the majority of students making the sustainable and independent choice by taking the train home.  Staff were impressed by the enthusiasm of groups and their attempts to leave no trace of their journey.  Well done!


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Silver Training July 1-3 2012

9 Silver DofE groups trekked 50km in 3 days from Dorking, across to Chantry Camp site near Guildford, then across the Surrey Hills to Etherley Farm and finally over Leith Hill to finish at North Holmwood. A dry Sunday and pleasant evening at Chantry quickly deteriorated into two wet days and nights that left everyone soaked. Groups found keeping campsites tidy difficult in the bad weather. Groups will need to keep a more efficient camp to ensure qualification next time. Nevertheless, navigation significantly improved across several groups and spirits remained high amongst most groups despite the weather. Well done everyone!
FYI: there have only been 5 sunny days since May.
The forecast for the next two weeks is for 90mm of rainfall!
Silver and Gold expedition qualifiers later this “summer” be prepared!


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Bronze training expedition May 6-7 2012

14 groups completed their Bronze training hikes. Sunday was cold, grey and showery, overnight temperatures fell to near freezing and most had a chilly night. Monday dawned bright and groups set off on their own to tackle the last stretch. Navigation was generally sound and most errors corrected quickly, apart from some notable exceptions on Day2! Camp craft, leaving no trace and keeping facilities clean was accomplished to a good standard by most groups after some reminders. Few items were forgotten and rucksacks were mostly sensibly packed. Overall, a good hike with a spirited performance from everyone in unusually cold May weather.