Enrichment activities are a valuable tool across all schools within the Two Counties Trust, helping students to develop positive relationships and gain a greater understanding of the world outside of their classrooms.

The last weekend in April saw over 30 Wilsthorpe students set off to the Peak District to complete this year’s expedition element of the Duke of Edinburgh award. The silver practice expedition started on Friday from Baslow where bronze level students returned as part of their silver award. The intrepid explorers managed to independently navigate the route with precision and found their way to the campsite at Birchover where they dutifully set about putting up their tents and cooking an evening meal. As it was still April the evenings temperatures soon plummeted which led to everyone quickly settling down in their sleeping bags for a well-earned rest ahead of two more days hiking.

On Saturday, a new cohort of bronze challengers began their turn. An incredible 65 slightly nervous looking new adventurers gathered in Baslow, for some of this group it would be their first time hiking such a distance as well as navigating, camping and cooking outdoors. It was really great to see the teams set off with such determination and the lovely smiles that greeted the support staff at all of the checkpoints.

Back at the campsite on the Saturday night saw main camp swell to 98 students. Up until now the weather had held out, but on the Saturday evening they endured a 45-minute downpour which left the site looking rather muddy.  Following this excitement and after a few tent repairs as well as drying some bits out things returned to normal, and everyone got on with enjoying their evenings downtime.

Sunday saw an early start as breakfast was prepared and eaten followed by the packing up of the tents.  Both the bronze and silver teams departed the campsite in a staggered fashion so as to remain independent of each other. Yet again the teamwork and general camaraderie amongst all participants was truly inspiring. Greeting the weary and in some cases dishevelled students at the end of this momentous weekend was a great crowd of parents who roared and cheered on each and every group making it to Youlgreave.  What a super weekend with the silver group getting to do it for real on a brand new route this time in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District in July!!

Many thanks to the staff who helped behind the scenes and to all of those who gave up their weekend to help put on what I’m sure will be treasured memories for all of those that took part.