An adventurous Service Weekend
15 October 2015
Oakham students faced their D of E, CCF and Voluntary Action challenges with confidence for Service Weekend. Held twice a year, the weekend provides an opportunity for students to get out of their comfort zone, discovering more about themselves and the world around them.
Pupils working towards their Bronze, Silver and Gold D of E awards set off on their practice expeditions in various locations around the country, from the Snowdonia to the Solent! Pupils prepared for the expeditions themselves, and had to carry all of their equipment and supplies with them over the course of the challenge. Gold walkers in the Peak District covered a good distance, as well as seeing the spectacular sights of Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, High Peak and Ladybower Reservoir, to name a few. Meanwhile, bronze cyclists travelled to Thetford, Norfolk, for their first ever expedition. All did a great job and the group stayed on track, making excellent progress despite being weighed down with bulging panniers. After finishing the expedition, everyone returned to school with much greater confidence in their camping and cycling abilities, and are now looking forward to their next expedition.
A variety of different Voluntary Action activities took place throughout the weekend, from conservation work at Launde Abbey, entertaining primary school students and residents at The Lodge Trust in Market Overton, to helping maintain playgrounds and delivering Harvest Festival food bags. Forty pupils were involved in organising and running a Harvest Party in the Barraclough for over 200 people across Rutland. As well as serving tea and cakes, the pupils provided wonderful musical entertainment, Dr Chilton expertly called a great game of bingo, and there was a well-stocked raffle which raised £315 for Homestart.
Meanwhile, Fifth Form CCF recruits ventured to North Wales to be introduced to the fun of adventure training. Designed to enhance the core military characteristics of leadership, teamwork, resilience and self-confidence, the weekend was designed to be both challenging and fun. The cadets arrived on Friday evening at Capel Curig Training Camp in the heart of Snowdonia. On Saturday, half the group headed out for Tryfan – the only mountain in Snowdonia that you can’t climb without scrambling. The groups headed pretty much straight up the north face, summiting just after lunch, having negotiated some tricky sections of scrambling on the way up. The other half headed off to Llyn Padarn near Llanberis to open boat canoe and also to hone their climbing skills nearby at Fachwen. On Sunday, the groups swapped over so all the cadets experienced all the activities. All the cadets found themselves outside of their comfort zone at some stage, but all returned knowing a little more about themselves than they did before.