Two groups of Explorers formed from Braid and Craigalmond carried out an excellent DofE Gold expedition over four days at the end of August, walking from Corrour Station and completing their circular route at Rannoch.
One candidate unfortunately had to drop out on day 3 with an ankle problem but the other twelve completed the expedition in style, one group singing ‘Country road, take me home …’ to keep their spirits up on the last stretch.
“It was fun.” “I’m rather sad it’s over.” “The views were spectacular.” “We really loved seeing a group of tourists watch us wade over the flooded causeway then turn back rather than do the same.” “The best bit was on the last day when we could see back up to the saddle we had climbed on the first day and we realised what we had achieved.”
They all had a sense of humour. For instance, when asked how they had crossed the river the answer was “After considerable discussion and deliberation”. And one commented at the debrief session near the end “No ticks, but there’s still a kilometre to go.”
Both groups enjoyed being out in the wilds with no phone signal and relying on burns for water. They had built up their skills over the previous levels and really appreciated meeting and working together with new friends and having time to chat about things at the campsites. They were delighted by the perfect weather: almost no rain and enough wind to keep the midges away for a lot of the time. They all intend to get back into the hills again.
The groups did very interesting presentations based on their purpose: one studying Gaelic place names, the other comparing the three big estates they walked through.
They can take a real pride in their achievement and are to be congratulated on it. Thanks and congratulations are also due to the many adults who helped directly and indirectly with the training, practice and qualifying expeditions done at Bronze, Silver and Gold over several years, and without whom this would not have happened.
John Buchanan DofE Assessor, and ARC (Explorers)