A group of 15 intrepid Year 10s set off on their final expedition for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award – a two-day, one-night hike over the Long Mynd.

They set off in damp, windy conditions along the Shropshire Way, having been grilled about their map reading and route by Dave Thorley, our assessor for the day.

Setting off in groups, 15 minutes apart (so they couldn’t follow each other), the girls had to carry all their clothes, food and camping gear for two days. One group really got into the team spirit donning matching rucksacks and leggings.

The weather remained windy and cold but the spirits were high and, on safely arriving at the campsite, the sun shone for them as they put up their tents and cooked dinner.

The weather was still good in the morning, which meant cooking breakfast and packing up in the dry. All groups efficiently packed their tents and equipment and off they trekked to try and navigate their way to the finish.

Miss Hudson and Mrs Gardner were at the top of the Long Mynd watching the gliders taking off and waiting…and waiting….and waiting…. “Where could they be? They should be here by now. They can’t possibly have got lost! Could they?” they said. “Maybe they got here early and they’ve gone on.”

Miss Hudson decided to walk to see if she could them. “I can see one group….two groups….it’s ok all three groups are in sight,” she said with relief in her voice.

When the girls eventually arrived and collapsed we found out why they took so long. They felt like they had just climbed Mount Everest – it was a ‘little’ steeper than anything they had climbed before.

The next time they checked in was at the finish. Would they make it with the trickiest navigation of the two days to come? A moment of panic set in that we might not make it back in time for the buses, but all 15 girls safely returned and the expedition was accomplished.

I feel that, for some, it may be the last time they walk anywhere, but they did it and survived! Well done all! Report by Mrs K Gardner