13.06.2019

DofE Expedition Skills Course

Kevin has been volunteering as a Helper at Reepham High School for just over a year and recently attended a DES (DofE Expedition Skills) course. This course is aimed at staff wanting to get involved with the DofE but may not have much experience within the expedition section or may not have gained a walking qualification. Kevin found the course not only enjoyable, but also a great confidence booster.

On the course Kevin was able to share knowledge with other participants, some of which had a lot of experience and some who were only just starting their groups from scratch. Despite a range of knowledge, the instructors taught everyone appropriately and covered a lot of relevant issues. It was also useful for Kevin to get hands on with the equipment as it gave him an insight as to what equipment is available for expeditions. This included tents, rucksacks, cooking stoves and discussions about boots and clothing.

Kevin says “we were instructed in compass use, bearing taking and map reading. We were given the opportunity to use these new skills in varied terrain, from open farmland to enclosed forest areas and that was hugely helpful and beneficial.”

Since the course, Kevin has been out on a practice expedition and was able to plan his own routes and timings more efficiently, as well as work more independently with his DofE groups. This meant he could offer more help to his DofE Manager as well as help instructing one of the other Volunteers.

Kevin had been lacking confidence in his walking abilities, however following the course he feels this is no longer an issue and he is now keen to apply to be a Lowland Leader.

Kevin concludes “the course gets a massive thumbs up from me. If you are new to DofE or just want a refresher on the basic principles, then this course is for you. I found it very informative and the setting provided good facilities.”