On the 24th-25th of June, seven year 9 pupils embarked on Meridian High School's first ever Duke of Edinburgh expedition, undertaking over 20 kilometres of self-guided and self-sufficient walking, camping and cooking over the course of the two days of the expedition.
The expedition started in Westerham and the girls found their first experience of navigating without having Mr Richardson to question about their possible location difficult to get used to and they found themselves a little bit lost, in and around Westerham before being joined by Miss Cloete and Miss Pearson who provided a bit of company and encouragement that got them off to a more positive start.
As the first day went on they went from strength to strength; both navigating with more confidence as well as walking faster and gelling more as a team, with individuals beginning to grow into roles within the group, that helped them become a more cohesive unit, taking on the challenge of the expedition together in a very purposeful way.
Upon arrival at Downe Scout Camp Site, the girls quickly went about setting up their tents and cooking dinner as a group and not letting little things like not having a grater stop them, they instead mashed cheese with a grater and peeled it with Mr Richardson's vegetable peeler. A short campfire and a few 'smores' later and the girls tucked themselves in for well deserved rest.
The second day started with the group deciding to take a short cut, which didn't pay off, so after discussion and upon reflection, they went back to the start and walked the route as planned and despite blisters and sore shoulders all but one of them pressed on the end, successfully completing their practice expedition and ending near the King's Arms pub in Keston, where staff and parents proudly greeted them
They can be very proud of what they achieved and the mental as well as physical strength they showed in completing this challenge.
The group will be completing their qualifying expedition in July, when they will joined by a group of six year 10's, who will be undertaking their practice expedition.
Mr Richardson would like to say a massive thank you to Miss Cloete and Miss Pearson for all of their help and support over the weekend.