Five Cadets and one member of staff over the past 5 days have completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) over in Snowdonia National Park. The cadets were joined by other cadets from around the wing, and were split up into three teams.
The Long Eaton Air Cadets were in two of the teams. Mr Tolson, Cadet Warrant Officers Rebecca Parr and Damien Simpson and Cadet Flight Sergeant Charlie Wilson, were joined by two Cadets, Cadet Flight Sergeants Jake Foster and Saffron Green from 2418 (Sherwood) Squadron, to make Team 2. Then Cadet Flight Sergeant Nathan Moffatt and Cadet Corporal Ethan Bates were joined by 2 cadets, Cadet Flight Sergeants Jake Harlow, 1360 (Stapleford) Squadron, and Geraint Jones, 1084 (Market Harbour) Squadron, to make Team 3.
All the Cadets arrived at Capel Curig Training Camp late Friday evening ready for a familiarisation walk the next day before starting their expedition on the Sunday morning.
The familiarisation walk was led by their team supervisors Team 2 were led by former Commanding Officer of 2195 Flight Lieutenant Stepanian and Team 3 were led my Mr Jones. During this walk the teams practice their navigation skills as well as running through emergency scenarios. After the walk the teams had time to by any last minute kit they require, which for team 2 featured umbrellas for when it rains.
Team 2’s Expedition
Team 2 were the first team to set off leaving the base at 0800 hours, the team walked passed Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir all the way to Melynllyn Reservoir. During the day they started their expedition aim recording moral over the expedition, to look at how it changed during the 4 days, Mr Tolson led their first video at their lunch break.
The team soon arrived at their wild campsite and spent time finding the best place to pitch their tents. After the standard camp admin was complete, which also involved filtering their own water from the stream, the team spent time enjoying their surroundings. They spending time skimming stones along the lake, unfortunately some were better than others with Cadet Flight Sergeant Wilson being the best. They all then watched the sunset before heading off to bed.
Alarms went off and Team 2 began to get up, tents packed down, breakfasts cooked and then straight up a hill as a start to their walk. Day two involved a lot more climbing than day one, and they had to be guided up and down some grade one climbs on route. After the climbs it was all downhill to the campsite passed horses and through boggy fields, where Cadet Warrant Officer Rebecca Parr did the best face plant ever, which her team seemed to share with everyone.
Day 3 started with rain much to the team’s disappointment, so cooking and packing the tents down was a bit more of a challenge. The day involved walking, or in their opinion climbing up Devils Kitchen, which proved to be the most demanding part of the expedition. Once at the top, having had lunch, the weather once again turned and visibility was severely reduced making navigation difficult. As soon as the weather cleared they were down the mountain and heading for the campsite. The Campsite was very nice, apart from the midges, and once they had completed their admin they were soon in bed ready for their last day of the walk.
The end! Well nearly and the teams pace had suddenly increased. They arrived at every checkpoint early and moral was very high, even as they walked down paths turned to streams. As they saw the sign for Capel Curig, Flight Sergeant Green let out a massive cry of relief, and the last stretch was on its way. At last the team walked through the gates ditch their bags, only to put them back on as of course the minibuses were on the other side of the base, and the expedition was complete.
Flight Sergeant Wilson said “Wasn’t too hard! No, it was a tough, and very challenging 4 days, but still a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
All teams were successful in completing their expeditions, and hopefully 2195 will have six Gold DofE Awards coming soon.
Written by Cadet Warrant Officer R Parr
2195 Media Team