Whether this is your first time organising an expedition or your hundredth, read our tips for organising your group’s DofE expedition.
1. Set dates for the expedition
Look at the school or club calendar and see what dates are free for expeditions. Try to avoid clashing with school trips or local events that may mean participants need to choose between activities.
2. Pick potential locations for the expedition
Look at the areas around where groups can carry out their expedition, based on the aim they have agreed as a team. From the wild countryside to an urban environment, choose a location that is fun and challenging for your Participants. You should also have a look for campsites in the area and check that they accept DofE groups before booking.
3. Confirm your staff team
Let the leadership team know the dates for the expedition and ask for help. Make sure you have the right amount of staff for the amount of participants going (dependent on your LO rules and regulations). You’ll need to check the level of training and expertise of the leadership team to ensure you have enough qualified adults to meet your LO’s requirements. If there are any gaps in training now is a great time to refresh your knowledge.
4. Organise travel arrangements
Ensure that there are clear travel arrangements in place to cope with the number of participants going. This will either be by booking transport, like minibuses, or ensuring that you have located a clear drop off and pick up point for parents and guardians to use.
5. Kit inventory
Complete an inventory of what kit you can use from your group’s equipment stores, and the condition it is in. Consider whether there is enough for all the teams going out and whether any needs repairing or replacing. If so, ensure that this is done before the expedition costing in case you need to add in some extra cost for the participants. Offers on spares and repairs services can be found here.
6. Write to parents and guardians
Send a letter to the parents of all participants with details of the expedition, the cost (if not already included in enrolment process), and the details of transport. By getting these dates and arrangements out early to parents it’s easier to discover which participants are unable to make this date and what teams will be going out. Include a consent form with the letter to ensure all the details are gathered in advance.
7. Run expedition training for participants
Complete expedition training following the DofE Training Framework. These topics can be covered over a series of lunchtime/after-school sessions or on a weekend. Make sure this is logged on eDofE for all participants who attended using the Expedition Set Up option. Expedition training resources can be found here.
8. Reflect from your practice expedition
Consider how the practice expedition went. Is there anything that needs changing prior to the qualifying expedition? Has all the kit been returned in good order? Were any training gaps evident with the participants during the practice? If so, consider putting on a refresher training session. Upload details of the practice using the Expedition Set Up function on eDofE for all participants who have attended.
9. Plan routes and final preparation for the qualifying expedition
This is a chance for the teams to make their route plans, menu plans and project plans for their final qualifying expedition.