Simon Keen has now been able to fix the dates for next year's DofE and Chief Scout's Platinum/Diamond Award expeditions next year. They are:
- Initial training session: Saturday 2 February, 10am to 4pm, at 8th Cheam
- Navigation training day: Sunday 24 February, 10am to 4pm, on Wimbledon Common
- Final training session and practice expedition planning: Saturday 9 March, 10am to 4pm, at 8th Cheam
- Bronze/CSPA practice expedition: Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April
- Silver/CSDA practice expedition: Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 April
- Practice debrief and qualifying expedition planning: Saturday 1 June, 10am to 5pm, 8th Cheam
- Bronze/CSPA qualifying expedition: Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July
- Silver/CSDA qualifying expedition: Saturday 24 to Monday 26 August, possibly with outbound travel the day before (on Friday 23 August)
Expedition venues will depend on where those wishing to do their Silver/Diamond went for their Bronze/Platinum expeditions, but my hope at the moment is that the practice expeditions will be in the New Forest and the qualifying expeditions on the Surrey Hills/North Downs (Bronze/Platinum) and in the Wye Valley (Silver/Diamond). Costs will depend on numbers and venues, and so will be confirmed to participants, but should be in the region of £25-£35 for the Bronze practice and qualifying expeditions and £50-£70 for the Silver practice and qualifying expeditions. There is no charge for the training itself.
These expeditions are all for Explorer Scouts wishing to undertake their expeditions by foot. Anyone wishing to undertake expeditions by alternative means of travel should please let me know and I will see if we can put them in touch with others doing the same thing.
It is critical that any Explorer Scout wishing to take part in these expeditions is available for both the practice and qualifying expeditions, and ideally they would attend all the training sessions. I appreciate that the dates may not work for everyone (especially with exams) and so if anyone has issues with any particular date they should please contact me to see what can be made to work. Depending on which one it is, missing one training or planning session may not be an issue.
Please also remember that Explorer Scouts wishing to undertake their DofE expeditions must be registered with the DofE for the relevant award. Registration for Silver is not automatic following the completion of Bronze; they must register themselves for the next award. Any Explorer Scout who is not registered for DofE should do so as soon as they are able; the form can be downloaded from the County website. Note that there is a registration fee, which is not included in the cost of the expeditions.
Explorer Scouts are welcome to join us even if they are undertaking the rest of their award through school/cadets/another organisation. Our expeditions offer substantially better value for money than expeditions run by most schools and, because Explorer Scouts tend to have a higher base level of ability and competence, the quality of the expedition experience that we offer is better than many schools can match, too.
Please ask parents to email me directly to let me know if their son/daughter is planning to take part (and also to let me know which Explorer Unit they are from). Details will be confirmed and communicated by email to parents, with relevant leaders copied in.
If anyone, leader, parent or Explorer Scout, has any questions, please do contact me.
District DofE Adviser
Sutton District Scouts