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Silver Expeditions 2017

The one section of DofE that is completely organised and provided by the College is the Expeditions Section. This consists of after school training sessions, a daytime planning session, a practice expedition over a weekend in the Dark Peak and an assessed expedition over a weekend in the White Peak, both in July. This document, along with all the other information found on this website, has been created to provide all the information you will need as a parent as your child takes part in the Expeditions Section. We believe we have covered everything but we are, of course, happy to answer any additional questions you might have about the arrangements using our contact details.

1. Training and Planning Sessions

We clearly do not want participants to head off into the Peak District without an understanding of how much more demanding Silver expeditions are than Bronze expeditions. Obviously, in terms of our health and safety planning, it is critical for us to feel confident that participants will be able to deal with tents, stoves, and issues of personal safety in wet and cold conditions as soon as we arrive on the practice expedition. To this end, we have put in place compulsory training and planning sessions. Non-attendance may result in your son/daughter not being able to take part in expeditions. Stove checking takes place as we arrive on the practice expedition. Dates for other training will be released as they are confirmed.

2. Practice Expedition

Saturday 1st - Monday 3rd July

The practice expedition will take place in the beautiful Dark Peak Area of the Peak District, around The Hope Valley and Edale. We will go to Derbyshire on the Saturday, leaving CVC at 9am by coach.

On Saturday night we will camp in Bamford, near Hope, having spent the day in and around the village hall there, focusing on navigation and route planning in more difficult terrain. At nightfall, participants will take part in a night navigation exercise, further improving their compass and map navigation. On Sunday, participants will walk a demanding expedition, camping at Edale and returning on Sunday by a different route to Bamford. We return to Comberton Village College between 6.00 and 7.00pm on Monday.

Participants will walk in their groups of between 4 and 7, and will spend some of their time with a member of staff, completing their training, and some of their time working independently, operating under remote supervision.

3. Assessed Expedition

Thursday 13th - Sunday 16th July

The assessed expedition also takes place in the Peak District, but this time in the White Peak.

It will involve routes planned to take 7 hours each day in terrain similar to that experienced for the Practice expedition but groups will walk independently, having to make decisions and navigate unaided, under the vigilant, though often unnoticed, eye of their assessor. This is a fantastic opportunity for participants to really develop their leadership and team working skills – a real challenge that they always find to be very rewarding.

We will travel by coach on the Thursday, leaving CVC at 4.00 pm. We return to Comberton Village College between 6.00 and 7.00pm on the Sunday.

4. Travel Arrangements

All travel for participants will be by coach. Both trips will also have one or two minibuses present to operate as support vehicles and in case of emergency. It is not unusual for us to arrive back at CVC an hour early or late so please be ready for this. Please tell your son/daughter how to contact you during our journey back; parents will be sent a text message with an estimated time of arrival and participants can also use their phone to make sure the message gets through. Participants are under our duty of care until picked up and I am sure you will appreciate the inconvenience it causes for staff to have to wait behind for late parents.

5. Equipment and Food

A kit list for Silver expeditions can be found on this website. We do have kit for loan to pupils in exchange for a deposit cheque that covers loss or damage; please follow the Equipment Hire link. The cost of the expeditions covers the purchase of maps and a good quality compass and map case. Participants bring their own camp food (advice can be found on the Food Information link), and will need to cook evening meals, breakfasts and lunches. Please encourage the participants to discuss menus as a group and to cook together. Participants may also bring a little pocket money if they wish to buy a drink or snack at the end to celebrate!

6. Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are nowadays considered an essential part of outdoor equipment because of their value in emergency situations. We use a text message system whereby participants periodically text their location to a central number when under remote supervision. They can also use this system if they are lost or delayed. We have found that this gives participants a greater sense of freedom because they do not have to wait for supervising adults at every checkpoint. Each group should ensure they are covered by at least two networks.

7. Payment

The total cost of the training sessions, and the two expeditions has been totalled up for ease of bureaucracy. The total amount due is £277.00, which covers the following:

Item Per Pupil
Enrolment on Award £28.00
Practice Expedition (3 days) £121.00
Assessed Expedition (3 days) £89.00
Maps £14.00
Compass and Map Case £25.00
Total £277.00

Payment can be made by Wisepay or by cheque (handed in to the DofE office) made payable to “Comberton Village College” with the pupil’s name and form and “Silver Award” written on the back.

Payment is by five instalments:

  • A non-refundable enrolment fee of £28.00 due by 30th November 2016
  • A non-refundable first instalment of £60.00 due by 3rd February 2017
  • A second instalment of £60.00 due by 28th April 2017
  • A third instalment of £65.00 due by 26th May 2017
  • A final payment of £64.00 due by 30th June 2017

Please be aware that you may be eligible for financial support, depending on your circumstances; please contact Lee Protheroe about this.

7. Medical Details and Consent Forms Deadlines

Please can forms be returned to the DofE Office (in the youth centre) by 30th November 2016. There is a secure post box if the office is unmanned.

All forms can be found on the Forms link and should be filled in online. You will receive a consent form by email that must be printed off and then signed. Please note, if anything changes before the trips with either your contact details or medical details, it is essential that you let us know in writing via our contact details before we take your son/daughter away with us.

8. Emergency Situations

In the event of an emergency on the trip, we will use the contact numbers you have provided on the consent forms to contact you. You will see that when you sign the medical details form you are agreeing to your son/daughter receiving emergency medical treatment if necessary. Please contact us if you have any concerns about this. If there is an emergency back at home and you need to contact the trip yourself, please call the College mobile telephone on 07768 925869.

9. Insurance

All participants are covered under the school insurance policy, the cost of which is included in the price of the expeditions. Full details about this cover are available on request.

We trust this page has provided all the information you require on the trips that form the Silver Expedition Section, but please do not hesitate to be in touch, either by phone, on 01223 264935, or via