Frome College: Our great adventure in rainy Brecon Beacons
BACK when we were fresh-faced Year 9s we were encouraged to sign up to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and promised an exciting weekend and the prospect of a good CV.
At the end of Year 10 I received my bronze award after successfully completing my training, practice and gruelling qualifying expedition. Although it was by all means hard, my group and I got through relatively unscathed. It wasn't until we foolishly signed up for round two that things got really tough.
It was a few weeks ago, on a gloomy September weekend that we were shipped off to the Brecon Beacons to trek through the fog.
Everything was going well despite the fact I had an extremely heavy bag on my back that felt like 50 tonnes rather than the much more likely 15kg. I had just eaten an energy boosting lunch and my group were well on our way to reaching the campsite when it began to rain.
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Now, I can deal with a bit of rain – I mean, I had my waterproof coat and trousers to keep me dry – but the problems came when our group's spirits began to drop. We all got a bit grumpy and tired and began to slack on our map-reading skills. A few wrong turns were taken and we eventually decided we were lost.
To be honest with you, we weren't that lost. Realistically, we probably could have retraced our steps and found the way but the thought of walking back on yourself when you're in that situation is horrid.
In the end we found ourselves stuck in the middle of a field, in the dark, so we had to ring the leaders.
Remember though, we were in Wales, and the Welsh suffer from a very annoying problem of having no signal – especially on the top of a mountain. It's all very well having an emergency phone but when you can't use it, it's not helpful.
Being the bright young minds we are – if I do say so myself – we managed to get ourselves to a road; although after many tears.
You'll hear from our leader how they ended up giving the school minibus a good old battering searching through the teeny tiny country lanes searching for our dishevelled group.
You'll be happy to know our story ends happily as I am here today writing the ins and outs of my adventure. We successfully completed the rest of our weekend with just a little bit more trouble and I regretfully say that I do plan to face it all again to complete my silver award.
Despite all the disaster, Duke of Edinburgh is such a good team-building activity and really was great fun. I encourage all you Year 9 and 10 students out there to get stuck in!
All great stories come from "eventful" adventures.
Asher Flanagan, Year 11