‘My school had the brilliant idea of moving our DofE practice expedition forward a week as it was looking very likely the UK would be heading into lockdown. The practice expedition, with 150 students, started bright and early on Saturday 14th March from Pratt’s Bottom with teams of 6 heading out, guided by trained scouts, on a 10 km hike to the Wayland Scout Campsite. I didn’t know what to expect, as I had only ever been camping once before, but the thought of being chased by a flock of sheep or my team getting stuck in the mud countless times with one of my friends needing the entire team to help pull him free and losing his shoes in the process definitely hadn’t crossed my mind. Halfway through the first day we also managed to get ourselves lost (yes, even with a guide at our side) but I suspect so did many other teams as we still got to the campsite, after quite a few hours of hiking, ahead of most teams. Our campsite was on top of a vast hill and let me tell you carrying a massive backpack and having tired legs was quite difficult to cope with on that home stretch. On arrival at camp we set up our tents, played rugby, cooked and just chilled out, recovering from the day of walking. The next morning we enjoyed a good breakfast, had a quick briefing before starting the return hike to Keston ponds, got lost again, and were very happy to be collected by our parents with all of us in desperate need of a shower and craving sleep in the luxury of a comfortable bed.
After completing our practice expedition the buzz around school hardly centered on the experience of the weekend but rather the prospect of staying home because of COVID19 lockdown.
A dream I thought… No work I thought. Oh how I was wrong. Work continues, with school being super resourceful and devising new online methods of offering lessons and sharing coursework keeping us on track. Though I was rather disappointed to not merely be on an extended Easter break I have found positives; I can complete the coursework and lessons at times that better suite me not needing to wake up super early to attend class; I get to snack and eat at my desk whilst doing my schoolwork and I don’t have any teachers nagging at me or telling me that I can’t go on my phone. The downside of going into lockdown for me would be the fact that I am unable physically meet up with my friends, go play football in the park or attend church on Sundays. So I’ve resorted to meeting online instead, video calling and playing FIFA with my friends and catching up on Sunday Service videos on YouTube… much like the rest of the world using online tools to stay connected
This is part of the ‘Young Reporter’ series, contributed by Caden Sucu