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May 10th 2017

The end of my Silver DofE

I spent the two weeks leading up to my Silver DofE feeling super excited. I was desperate to shove all my stuff into a rucksack and tumble into the New Forest for a weekend of hiking, stargazing and dancing. Equipped with glitter and a customised cap, I was ready to go and bounced onto the coach with the rest of The Wolves (my group) for our last trip together. At first, the prospect of the four-hour drive seemed long and boring but as soon as we were on the coach, we descended into a sea of singing and chatter. 

Upon arrival, we were met by an Outdoor Activity Leader who showed us round our accommodation for the night. After our tour, we had a traditional sausage and mash dinner. It wasn't the finest cuisine I've ever had but the excellent pudding made up for it! We then headed outside for some fresh air and sock fights! With the big day ahead in mind, the majority of us went to bed early.

Someone had set their alarm for 5.30am so it was an early wake-up for us all. After we had filled our bellies with bacon butties, we whipped out our maps and set off for our first day of walking in the New Forest. Navigation was easy enough and we didn't get lost once! We finished the day by arriving at a lovely campsite which had it's own exclusive spot. After dinner, we played some games and relaxed in our tents.

The next morning, Amber and Aanandita brought me breakfast in bed - a real luxury. Porridge with raisins and cinnamon had never tasted so good! A short 30 minutes later, our tent was down and our bags were packed, ready to set off.

The second day was similar to the first with bright beams of sun shining down on us. The walk was enjoyable as ever and we laughed our way through the day. The next campsite was as brilliant as the first with its large open field. All the groups arrived around mid-afternoon while the sun was on full blaze so we had a huge water-fight! When the sun turned in, we quickly changed and set about making dinner. I cooked 1 kg of couscous and a pot of sauce in less than 10 minutes on two small trangias! The evening’s entertainment was a dance choreographed by Annika, which included exciting and dangerous acrobatics. The rest of evening was cold but we happily sat in a tent gossiping and feasting on well-deserved chocolates and biscuits. We fell asleep with smiles on our faces.

I awoke with the realisation that the last day of DofE had arrived to take all my joy and fun away from me. By now, we were expert at packing up quickly and were on our way in no time. We expected to be tired on the last day of walking but we felt as energised as ever. Perhaps it was our endless supply of snacks or our incessant singing, laughing and chatting. Either way, our spirits were high as we took in the beautiful scenery of the New Forest. Not long after, we arrived at our last checkpoint where the coach was waiting to take us home. We clambered on tanned, tired and smelly!

On the journey back, we slept, laughed some more and gaped in the shock that our Silver DofE was now over. We encountered no rain, no navigational errors and no arguments (mostly!). I think it’s safe to say that we had a very successful DofE, and one that won’t ever be forgotten. 

Written by Ada, Year 11

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