A combined sense of pride, joy and relief washed over me on Sunday as the second of the two DofE gold groups we had been supervising arrived safely at their end point after crossing the ½ mile long bridge that connects the two sides of the Mawddach estuary.
This moment marked not only the end of a four-day hike; but for some of the students a 3 year journey from Bronze through to Gold level participants.
During the expedition section of the Gold award the two expedition groups have had to put up with extremes in weather; from the torrential rains of their practice hike near Snowdon to the baking heat on day two of their assessed expedition where sun cream was as essential as water. They have always faced these extremes with good humour and a sense of determination.
The final expedition took in the beautiful and rugged peaks of Diffwys at the southern tip of the Rhinogs and Cadair Idris in between stretches of wild wind swept moorland. On one night out of the three on expedition the groups were treated to the luxuries of a camp site, where running water came from a tap, rather than a river or trickle of a stream which was their water source whilst camping in the wilds. The groups have refined what is essential and what is best left at home and also the pleasure to be had from removing yourself from the clutter of modern living for a brief moment.
It has been a joy to be a part of their adventure and after the sore shoulders and blistered feet have had a chance to recover I know that they will reflect on what an amazing challenge they have completed. Well done to them all. I would like to thank the red and blue groups for their good company and sense of adventure. I now wish them all the very best in completing the other parts of their award and look forward to seeing them collect their certificates in the near future.
Written by Mr Dennis