Having completed and enjoyed doing the bronze award last year we all decided it was a good idea to do our Silver award this year, despite knowing what was in store for us. So on Friday morning the twelve of us arrived in school excited but slightly dreading the 3 days ahead of us.
When we reached our start point from Clapham it was raining, as per usual, but we eventually set off, trussed up like chickens, after Molly had found a way into her Brothers over-sized coat she had accidentally brought. We walked as fast as possible determined to reach our checkpoint on time. When we arrived no-one was there to meet us and we realised none of us had thought to bring a watch, so we decided we must be late and set off to checkpoint 2. Half way there we met our Leaders Martyn Wilson and Miss Harvey and found out we were half an hour early! The rest of the day we were able to walk, slightly slower, and navigate to our campsite whilst singing ‘Country Roads’ the entire time.
This time all the necessary jobs at camp seemed much easier especially putting the tents up so Beker, Molly and I found time to play football with Martyn – although not very well. We were also able to visit the spectacular Stainforth Force waterfall which was just a few metres from the campsite.
Overnight it was freezing. I got a grand total of approximately 10 minutes sleep and others didn’t seem to do much better. Why did I think it was a good idea to not wear socks? I was in a tent, in a thin sleeping bag and it was 2 degrees outside! Surprisingly we weren’t too tired in the morning and were able to cook breakfast and pack away and only set off twenty minutes late despite Beker disappearing when the rest of us were ready.
Once again we were able to navigate to our checkpoints and we met the teachers at the third one where we were the audience to a crazy bloke under the bridge preaching about God. Once we set off again Ellie found my new prised possession. A tennis ball! Which I meticulously kicked through every field for the rest of the expedition.
We arrived, for once before the other team (who reached the campsite after we had erected our tents, showered and eaten our tea). Beker and I then found time to revise, on the minibus, which led to us travelling to Settle with Martyn and Miss Harvey for them to buy takeaways. But they wouldn’t give us any, although, Miss did buy everyone custard. That night we wrapped ourselves in everything we had; including an emergency foil blanket in Molly’s case, in order to get a better sleep. Luckily we did.
The final day began with a bog, which I didn’t see at first so went straight in up to my knees whereas everyone else ingeniously used a gate to swing across and avoid it. We then saw the other team at various stages for the rest of the walk even stopping for dinner in the same village. Soon after we entered a field with the dreaded cows in it for the first time this year but luckily this time they were friendly and showed us the way instead of trying to attack us!
We finally arrived at the minibus to go home, after 40km of walking and two relatively sleepless nights, elated but tired.
We now look forward to the final expedition.
Thank you to Mr Cudworth, Martyn and Miss Harvey for taking us.
Jo Woodman – Yr11