7th June 2021 — They started as a team and were determined to finish as a team, even if it meant carrying a motorised buggy, student and an instructor as well as their sleeping bags, tents, food and water!
The group of six students endured rain, sun and freezing temperatures for their practise expedition weekend and the final two day overnight expedition in the Surrey Hills. But the true test of their comradeship and teamwork came when one of the team’s motorised buggy stopped working.
For the group, there was no question of leaving anybody behind. They simply attached the buggy to ropes and pulled him!
And when one of the expedition instructors, Charlotte Arnold chipped a bone in her ankle, she hopped on the buggy and was transported by the feisty five as well!
The students from Gordon’s School in West End, were part of a contingent of nearly 120 in Year 9 of the school, taking part in their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme over the two weekends.
As part of the award, each group of six or seven are required to carry their camping equipment, food and water, spending six hours each day on their planned activity and one night.
Wheelchair user Archie Blomfield took part in a special off-road buggy he calls ‘The Rover’. But the buggy’s battery failed to work around four kilometres from the finish line.
Not only did the group pull the buggy and Archie along but they pushed them up hills and lifted both the buggy and Archie over fences!
When the expedition instructor Charlotte chipped a bone in her foot, she hopped on the back of the buggy too, and was transported along the last kilometre of the challenge!
Archie Blomfield chuckled: “It was a big adventure! They carried me over and around fences – we had a great time.”
Team leader Esme Evans admitted: “We struggled at times but Archie was really helpful and kept the group’s morale up. We all worked together as a team to carry his buggy over the fences.”
“It was a great experience and made all the more special because we had to really work as a team”.
Charlotte from BMX Expeditions, co-organisers of the expedition with Gordon’s said afterwards: “They were an absolutely amazing team and such a credit to the school.
“They dealt with whatever was chucked at them!” she commented, adding: “They were my favourite group this year!”
Gordon’s School Headmaster Andrew Moss said: “This is what the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is all about. Their actions and the way in which they took responsibility for getting Archie and the instructor to the finishing line were part of this lasting legacy to HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh and a source of pride to the school.”