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 Viking Way 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.
Bronze cyclists covered 116km on a variety of tracks, bridleways and lanes in Rutland and the Silver cyclists cycled the Viking way from Oakham to the Humber Bridge. All improved their bike handling over the course of the expedition and became better at working together as a team.
The Bronze walking group braved the elements in Rutland. With full packs and a cheery start, the pupils successfully navigated their way to arrive back at the school exhausted but satisfied with their achievement.
Gold sailors in the Solent practised boat manoeuvres in the River Hamble, sailed over to the Isle of White, enjoyed some night sailing as well as handled some tough navigation during a few hours of poor visibility.
After finishing the expeditions, everyone returned to school with much greater confidence in their sailing, camping and cycling abilities, and are now looking forward to their next expeditions.
A variety of different Voluntary Action activities took place throughout the weekend, from bag packing in a supermarket to raise funds for TwentyTwenty, building a Bug Hotel at The Lodge in Market Overton, painting at Rocks by Rails, to helping Oakham in Bloom prepare the beds in the town for new plants. Pupils were also involved in organising and running the spring Luncheon in the Small Barraclough, where fifty guests enjoyed lunch and a film.
Meanwhile, CCF recruits from Forms 4 to 7 ventured to Beckingham Training Camp for a jam-packed weekend of military activities. These included target indication, navigation exercises and section battle drills in which the cadets learned how best to conceal themselves. They ate from ration packs and some of them also slept under canvas. Form 5 visited a Fire Station where they were set to rescue bodies weighing the same as real humans from a smoke-filled environment. They also enhanced their shooting skills on the range. As the weekend progressed, it was clear just how much the cadets had learned and all returned incredibly proud of what they had accomplished.