I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I have been working towards my Duke Of Edinburgh bronze award for a while. If I haven’t before, feel free to appreciate that I dislike the monarchy but I bothered to do the award.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the Duke Of Edinburgh award (or DofE) is an award where you can do bronze, silver and gold. For all you need to do a certain amount of time of a physical, a skill and a volunteering activity. Then there’s an expedition which you have to survive, it looks really good if you can complete the award, especially for gold.
So a couple of weeks ago I had to do the final expedition. My group failed the practise due to a certain group member who has been discussed on this blog before, and I usually refer to them as E. I wasn’t looking forward to the final expedition as a result of this.
Anyway, day one was mostly alright, we had a few minor group arguments about the route as well as another 2 group members making general comments towards each other due to the weird circumstances of their friendship/ being friends with benefits thing. (Long story short, they broke up a while ago, stayed friends, girl not happy when boy talks to anyone, boy recently got new girlfriend).
In the evening when I was in a tent by myself because my tent mate didn’t show up and no one else wanted to be in a tent with me “in case they had to carry more tent” I realised how much I was hating the expedition. I was in pain from my badly fitting backpack and I just wasn’t enjoying myself at all.
I guess at this point I realised I had places I could be where I might get some sleep and some WiFi. The worst point was when I looked at the dog poo bag containing my phone and I realised a fucking dog poo bag and some sellotape was all that was stopping me from reaching civilisation.
Day two was when everything went really downhill. I nearly threw up my breakfast because we “had” to eat it. We were also warned that the route for this day was difficult, our supervisor got lost when they had to walk it before.
At about 11am we were very lost. We walked through a forest where we got attacked by nettles and thorns, most of the plants were overgrown. Then we got out of the other side and the horseflies came along. I got 5 bites, and I don’t react well to them.
After this, shit happened. Apparently it was all my fault that we were lost. Everyone was pissed with everyone. And of course, it just is never E’s fault that anything happens.
We found a road and some houses that were marked on the map and found our way to the checkpoint. However, at this point we had only just arrived there within an hour (any longer and you have to notify someone). E was then pissed that we had to walk straight through the next two checkpoints to try and make up some time.
And it was all my fault. And if E was going to faint, it would be all my fault. At this point I was just thinking “are you going to faint? No. Great. Let me know if you are, then we can stop.”
As we walked along I basically received a character assassination. I’m not going to lie, I was glad for my sunglasses.
So we survived and got to the end and it looked impressive that we’d “found our way back by ourselves”. Our supervisor was talking to me while we waited for our bus back, by this point my group were playing on some children’s playing equipment and she was asking how I thought it went.
This was the point where I could literally no longer control myself, (I’m normally pretty good at controlling my emotions). I literally cried and I told her how I’d hated every minute and basically explained what had happened.
Then my dad called, great timing as ever. I tried to pretend it was all OK, it didn’t work. I was so tired and genuinely insulted by my so called best friend’s behaviour that, yeah, I was a mess.
If there’s anything to learn from my experience, I’d say that sunglasses are your best friend, don’t make yourself eat your breakfast and make sure you aren’t going to hate each other at the end when you pick your group.
I hope you enjoyed this post, please give it a like. In all seriousness, although I currently do not want to do silver I would really reccomend doing the award because I really enjoyed all the other parts of it. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments, if you want to see more of what I have to say please feel free to follow me.