Duke of Edinburgh expedition to Houffalize, Belgium

In June, Years 8 & 10 went on a joint 4 day/ 3 night expedition to Houffalize, Belgium as part of their Duke of Edinburgh International Bronze Award. This trip was a follow on from the Year 9 expedition to Echternach, Luxembourg which took place earlier in the year. For many students, this element of the award scheme provides the greatest challenge, but also the greatest fun.

In order to prepare, Learning Partners (LP’s) learn orienteering skills, first aid, and other outdoor skills. They are also heavily involved in the planning of the trip, including location and meal planning. During the expedition itself, LPs take on various roles to provide leadership throughout the trip. They also complete multiple physical tasks such as 12 hours of physical movement (hiking, canoeing etc).

A number of challenges had to be overcome during the expedition, such as dealing with the intense heat and providing healthy meals for such a large group. The LPs did an outstanding job with the physical aspect, participating in a long hike, standup paddle boarding, and playing lots of football at the campsite. They did an amazing job taking care of one another and showed excellent leadership skills throughout the trip.

The Duke of Edinburgh International Award is a program designed to stretch students outside their comfort zones and allow them to grow in various areas. For the duration of the school year, LPs put in hours for physical development, skills-related activities, and volunteering. The LPs excelled and improved in various areas including musical instruments, horticulture, and programming. Additionally, LPs were helpful with volunteering around the school and in the community; such as helping with the backlog of packages at the post office during the Christmas period.

For those candidates whom have successfully completed all areas of the Bronze Award, ISW will be holding an official Award Ceremony on 8th July. We are very proud of all of our Duke of Edinburgh International Bronze Award recipients and wish them the best of luck if they choose to continue to the next level of the program.

Alice Shepro-Bryson, Personal Social and Physical Education teacher, ISW