Gold Duke of Edinburgh Qualifier Expedition

June 29, 2022

Group of students participating in orienteering Student with walking pole participating in orienteering Student in wheelchair participating in orienteering Group of Beaumont students receiving certificates outdoors Group of Beaumont students receiving certificates outdoors Beaumont female student outdoors Beaumont female student outdoors

The Gold DofE Teams went back out to Langdale with enthusiasm and commitment to get their Qualifier Expedition complete, 13th -17th June.  The teams made up of Stuart, John, Jamie, Katie, Rebecca, Ethan, Ben and Abbie come from three of our Beaumont campuses.  They had begun their journey in November, attending Calvert Trust Adventure Centre together for their residential trip and starting to build friendships and trust in amongst some exciting and challenging activities.  This set them up well to learn each other’s strengths and needs and allowed them to work more independently and collaboratively over the year.

They have spent their time at college attending weekly sessions in a variety of subjects which have helped them arrive at this point, having developed self-care skills, navigational awareness, camping experience, outdoor equipment management, hygiene, safety and cooking skills,  improved communication and teamwork skills.

They experienced 4 days of blazing sunshine and cold evenings in contrast.  The teams were remotely supervised, where possible and left to make directional decisions using their memories and adapted OS maps.  They spent time studying the agricultural environment of the Langdale Valley, studying field boundaries and livestock types, grasslands and hay meadows.  This allowed for shade time to cool off from the sun.  The lower paths are smooth and accessible but the fell side paths climb up over more rough grounds and journey through woodlands and crossing of streams.  They travelled the full length of the Langdale Valley from Stool End Farm to Skelwith Bridge, an achievement in itself.

Their camping skills, including getting tents put up and down was impressive.  They have this worked out now in teams and all shared the group jobs between them, including the washing up.  They were proud of their independence and encouraging of their teamwork.

This group of young adults are really funny people.  They had hilarious conversations in the evenings with each other around their dining table and maintained a high level of morale throughout, even when tired or being rained on.  To be supporting alongside them was an absolute privilege for the staff.  The anxiety they can experience in daily life had eased away in this environment, which they controlled and shared with people they knew.  It was their expedition.  The routine of each day was simple and challenging which is ideal for the brain to feel safe yet interested.

They achieved their Qualifier Expedition successfully.  They were in the Langdale Valley for 5 days and 4 nights, giving them chance to settle in and complete their required standard for their Gold DofE Expedition.  They were magnificent in doing that and thoroughly deserve to complete their Award in the near future.  Not many people do achieve Gold at DofE.  Not many people are as brave as these students from Beaumont College.


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