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Qualifying journeys and training this month

April has been a busy time for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Gibraltar with several Adventurous Journeys having taken place.

Award Operators, comprising Prior Park School and the Scouts Association had participants on qualifying journeys whist Open Award Centre participants undertook training.

On April 2 and 3, the first of the qualifying journeys took place in the area between El Colmenar and Jimena de la Frontera.

In what was a relatively dry but chilly weekend Bronze participants from Prior Park and the Scouts completed their hikes.

Mixed outcomes from these participants with some not enjoying the cold, hiking up hills or having to deal with blisters.

But, overall, most of them agreed that the experience had been positive with them learning the value of teamwork and the need to manage personal feelings when working as a team to achieve success.

For many of the participants being able to socialise with other people who they might not have socialised with prior to the adventurous journey was a key benefit, as was the ability to make their own decisions without adult input.

The Bronze Qualifying Adventurous Journey requires participants to undertake a two-day journey with one night spent under canvas.

Over the course of each day participants will have hiked approximately 12 km and overall will have spent at least six hours journeying, as well as gathering information of the area they are travelling in; to at a later date present their findings in the form of a report.

That same weekend, but near Castellar, Bronze and Silver participants from the Open Award Centre were undertaking training for their own qualifying ventures to take place later this year. They practiced campcraft and navigation skills which will help them on their qualifiers. The participants will also have hiked and spent the night under canvas.

Over April 9 and 11, Silver participants from the Scouts undertook the Silver Qualifying Adventurous Journey. This took place in the area between Ronda and Montejaque and saw the participants undertake a three-day journey with two nights under canvas. For these participants, the average daily distance covered would be 18 km and at least seven hours journeying.

With the weather being much warmer, at least for most of the day, the low point for these participants was dealing with the heat. Painful feet and blisters, a recurring theme with many ventures, also made things less pleasant but on the bright side the participants commented on the value of being together and achieving the daily objectives of getting to their daily campsites.

Although the participants on the qualifying ventures, whose ages range from 15 to 17, were to a great extent self-sufficient and unaccompanied they were supervised by adult leaders who assisted by providing water replenishment, as necessary. For the Scouts, undertaking the Bronze and Silver Award adventurous journeys also count towards achieving their Chief Scout’s Platinum and Diamond Awards, respectively.

Well done to all participants and adult leaders.

The Award would like to thank the Bland Group for their continued support with some transportation requirements without which many of the ventures would not be possible.

For further information about the Award as a whole, please contact the Director, Michael Pizzarello on email michael.pizzarello@thedukes.gi or visit www.thedukes.gi

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