15/06/05 – DofE Practices a Great Success!
As the heat wave hit the Mountains of Mourne from Thursday, so did our Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver groups. 28 pupils in total are involved in the award this year, and under the watchful eyes of Mr Chambers, Mrs Graham and Mr Sloan, all 4 groups successfully completed their practice journeys.
The Silver Groups were first to begin, along the Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs, down Trassey Track and into Tollymore Forest Park, whilst the Bronze Group set off in the glorious sunshine along the Ott and Trassey Tracks. We have heard of hills being alive with the sound of music, but on Thursday it was more resounding hollers of Sam Murray, who certainly made every attempt to keep spirits lifted along the route, as well as the speed, much to the amusement and delight of 10A girls, especially Ashley!
There were a few very relieved faces at camp in Tollymore Forest Park, not to mention the farmer’s tans – and we’re talking about the teachers too, not just pupils! Tollymore Youth Campsite had never looked so appealing, especially getting the feet cooled off in the showers!
Everyone demonstrated their culinary skills, including the Year 11 boys, with pots of pasta being most popular. I think everyone would agree, however that it was Kyle Bradshaw’s skill at frying an egg which was the highlight!
The Silver groups progressed onto Day 2; 11X boys braved Happy Valley and the dreaded Pigeon Rock, and Group 2 navigated around Fofanny and Spelga. The Bronze groups completed their journeys, with the sunshine beating down on their brows as they made their final climb up to Ott Carpark. Never let it be said that walking the road is the easy option! Everyone, however demonstrated tremendous stamina and fitness, and teachers have every confidence that the assessed expeditions will be a breeze for the pupils.
The Silver groups all made it safely into camp, at Hen Track, and after shifting a few sheep, comfortable spots were found for everyone. As is customary, chips were on the menu, much to the delight of all pupils, and after two long, hard days on the trot, there wasn’t much chat.
Well done to all pupils involved, and we hope you’re looking forward to getting back up and at it! Everyone is reminded that their pre-assessment check by Mrs Nelson from Newry High School will take place on Thursday 15 June.