Last weekend saw one of Swadlincote’s latest air cadet instructors join twelve other cadets from around South Derbyshire embark on their first training and planning weekend in preparation for successful completion of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh (Dofe) expeditions, taking place in the Summer.
The weekend included pre expedition training required for Gold Level expeditions incorporating: practical exercises in navigation in remote country, campcraft, route planning, and finally food and nutrition.
Civillian Instructor (CI) Clare Tildesley (22), a current Gold DofE participant says – “Prior to a short break from the Air Cadet Organisation for University, I successfully managed to achieve both my Bronze and Silver DofE awards, so accepting the challenge to partake in the Gold award, was one I took willingly but also found a very daunting prospect as I had not picked up a map for at least 4 years, although the skills I have learnt from this weekend, led by Flight Lieutenant James Roberts (Deputy Adventure Training Officer for cadets in the South and East Midlands area) have gave me great confidence in continuing my interest in the outdoors and prepared me, both mentally and physically for the expeditions that still lie ahead”
The Duke of Edinburghs award scheme is a leading youth charity, which gives all young people, aged between 14 and 25, the chance to develop skills for further education and work life, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future and the air cadet organisation is one of the largest youth groups within the country that take part in the award. There are three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold, where there are four sections for participants to complete in order to achieve their award. These include: Skills, volunteering, physical, expeditions and at Gold level only a week long residential activity. As the levels get higher, the longer length of time is expected of a participant to be spent completing each section as their commitment to each activity increases. It is anticipated, at Gold Level, a participant, like CI Tildesley, should spend approximately 12 months working towards successful completion of the award. Upon successful completion of the Gold Award CI Tildesley will receive an official invitation to St James Palace in London, to be presented with her certificate with a member of the Royal Family and various celebrities present.