The weekend of 1st and 2nd October saw 16 cadets from 1359 (Beeston) Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, out on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions in Leicestershire. One group were completing their Bronze live and three other groups were doing their Bronze practice expedition.
All the groups had spent the last few months planning their routes under the watchful eye of Adult Sergeant Will Baguley, the squadrons DofE officer. The routes are planned so that they meet the DofE criteria for distance but also to ensure the safety of the cadets on the expeditions, so such things as busy roads are avoided. The cadets have to carry everything they need for the weekend with them. Drinks, food, clothes, sleeping bag, tent and all the other paraphernalia needed to get through the two days has to be loaded into their Bergen’s and then carried for the entire distance walked.
The final rendezvous for all the groups on Saturday evening was the John’s Ley Wood Scout site. Their first task was to get tents erected and then cook themselves some food before relaxing for a few hours before settling down for the night. At first light the next morning they were all up getting themselves washed and dressed and then cooking breakfast. Tents were taken down and Bergen’s re-packed and then it was back on the road following their routes for the day.
Throughout the weekend the Bronze live group were assessed to ensure they adhered to DofE rules and the other groups were supported by squadron staff and committee members who met them at various points along the routes to ensure they were on track and on time. The staff were also under canvas on the Saturday night to be on hand in the event of any emergency.
Sergeant (ATC) Baguley said “The cadets worked really hard in the lead up to the weekend to make sure their routes were accurate and that they had everything they needed. There were a few sore feet on the Saturday evening but everyone pressed on during Sunday and all of them completed the expedition successfully.”
CI Mike Hill
Media and Communications Officer
1359 (Beeston) Squadron