Seven cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corps recently completed a three-day expedition in the Yorkshire Moors, which forms the expedition section of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Prior to taking part in the expedition the cadets had attended various training sessions, which included practical navigation lessons in Snowdonia and the Peak District. They had all completed a short overnight expedition in Cambridgeshire to finalise what equipment they wanted to carry and what food to have on the menu.
Having decided to complete their expedition in the Yorkshire Moors they spent several evenings planning their route. They included locations they particularly wanted to visit such as the interestingly named Blue Man i’ th’ Moss and a waterfall called Falling Foss.
The routes were submitted to the Yorkshire Moors Duke of Edinburgh’s award wild country panel for approval and to request an assessor attend the expedition and make sure the regulations are adhered to.
The team and their supervisors set off to the Yorkshire Moors on Wednesday evening to arrive at the campsite that was to be their base camp. The cadets then had some time to prepare their kit before getting a good night’s sleep ready for the morning.
The assessor arrived the next morning, just after breakfast, and spent time going through the twenty conditions they need to meet to complete the expedition section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award. Most of these had already been completed in the planning stage so now they had to actually complete their route.
They spent three days journeying through the Yorkshire Moors, starting at Rosedale and working their way towards the coast to finish at Robin Hoods Bay. They were self-sufficient throughout carrying full expedition rucksacks with tents, sleeping bags, food & drink plus other kit required.
Their navigation training paid off as they rarely went off course and when they did, they recovered from their errors quickly. They kept to the timings planned on their route cards, finishing on time each day.
Having reached the end their assessor debriefed them and discussed what they did well and what they enjoyed and didn’t enjoy. She complimented them on their competence and encouraged them all to continue on to complete their Gold Awards.
After saying goodbye the team then returned to the base camp where they enjoyed much looked forward to fish and chips. They spent the evening winding down before packing up and travelling home the next day.
A week before the expedition Cadet Francis Perks broke his arm. He completed the expedition with his limb in plaster, which added an extra challenge for him. His fellow team members helped him with tasks he found difficult, such as packing away his sleeping bag. He commented that “My arm was quite an annoyance to begin with however, with help from the team, I pulled through and managed to complete it with a smile on my face.”
Sergeant Kyle McLean said he enjoyed the challenging terrain and landscape, and that completing the Silver National Navigation Award earlier in the year really helped him prepare for the trickier elements of the route finding.