Reigate Grammar School DofE

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GOLD qualifying expedition July 16-20: IMPORTANT MESSAGE

update… due to demand I will come in and briefly open the kit store at 2pm today. 

Groups should please refer to the email sent by me to your school email address for full details.

Remember this is your GOLD QUALIFYING expedition and, as such, you will be expected to have learned from previous experience and be a competent, safe and fully independent team.  Staff are there to supervise and your assessor will expect top quality preparation to enable a pass.

IMPORTANT NOTES: read before departure:

Saturday 16 Aug: arrive in time for a kit check prior to departure at 9am. The kit store WILL NOT be open and your group must be fully prepared at the outset.  Groups found ill-prepared or lacking equipment will not be permitted to come on this expedition. 

A reminder that a kit list can be found on this website here KIT LIST

Think: FOOD WATER SHELTER: plan and check ALL your food and kit before Saturday.

Rigorously check and put up your tent before Saturday. Check your stove by lighting it and ensure you have sufficient fuel. 

A survival bag is a good idea. They are cheap to buy. 

The weather looks significantly WET and COLD with brisk northerly / NW winds:  up high, in showers and in exposed locations you will feel COLD. You must bring sufficient warm layers and FULL WATERPROOFS (top and bottom) adequate to deal with persistent heavy rain.  Showerproof jackets or sports jackets are NOT adequate and you will not be allowed to proceed on the expedition if this is all you have.

Please pass this information on to all your group and ensure that you are fully safe for this expedition and ready for action.


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Silver training expedition July 2014


68 students trekked 30 miles over the North Downs from Dorking to… Dorking!  The groups went via the North Downs (chalk) towards Guildford, camping at the stunning Chantries camp.  They then crossed the clay vale to the extensive Heaths and woods of the Greensand Hills (Greensand) to Peaslake and Holmbury St Mary to a farm camp site under the south slope.  The final day saw them trekking over the summit of Leith Hill back towards Dorking, finishing at North Holmwood.  Weather was good, warm and dry and most groups avoided the worst downpours on the last day, finishing around midday.  Well done all, good hiking with most groups improving their navigation.

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Silver qualifying expedition June 2014


Silver qualifying expedition to South Downs: 76 students completed this expedition in sunny warm conditions on a relatively easy route navigationally-speaking from Lewes to Amberley.  They performed well, camp craft improved throughout and departure on the last day was efficient.  The route includes some really beautiful bits of the South Downs. Many  thanks to the students who always make this a most enjoyable expedition.

Remember you need to send in a REPORT and complete all parts of edofe and submit all sections for approval to complete your Silver Award: please do this before the end of term. Students wanting to enrol in Gold should look out for notices early next term in September.


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Gold practice expedition June 2014


South Wales, Dan Yr Ogof: 4 groups (a small trip) set off on 4 days of training in mostly glorious weather.  Routes included the east and west side of the valley, the shake holes above the camp providing excellent micro-nav practice on the second day.  Thereafter, on day 3 groups set off over the Fan Hir and Garreg Las Black Mountain Ridges and descended into the Black Mountain camp site which has amazing views of the mountains.  The final day saw groups trekking back to Dan Yr Ogof via the scarp slope.  Navigation was generally OK, though some errors highlighted the need to focus on routes carefully, even in sunny weather.  Had the cloud been down some groups would have had difficulties, so map and compass work still needs your full attention folks. Plenty of food and water is also needed, some forgot the basic requirement to feed and hydrate to keep going effectively and safely.  Groups performed very well and were a fun bunch, so well done you!

A huge thanks to all the RGS staff: Miss Hancock, Mr Welch and Mr Newman and a special big thanks to our external leaders Paul and Becs and Pete and John.


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Expedition preparation and meetings through summer half term

There are 3 big expeditions this half term and more through to August.  Of course students must focus on exams in the next few weeks but they will also need to have an eye on preparing for their expeditions and attending meets below to avoid a mad rush before departure.   Safety is critical and group preparation is vital to avoid problems.

Please check any forthcoming emails and letters carefully to understand final meet dates (listed below).  Final meets are very important to go over instructions and points of safety as well as issue news of any changes and issue maps etc. So attendance is mandatory.  If you have exams during the meet please make it a priority to see Mr Collins asap regarding another meet.

L6 GOLD meet Geog Room Tuesday June 10 4-5.30pm : to do final prep for BOTH training and qualifying expeds. (for those going to Exeter on Tuesday please meet on Wednesday Geog room 1.10pm prompt – it will take most of lunchtime to get through the required pre-expedition briefing.) Failure to attend a pre-expedition meet will mean you will be withdrawn from the expeditions.

5th form Silver qualifying: no meeting (all kit has been checked, maps issued. )  Meet Lewes Station at allocated time Sunday 29 June. 

4th Year July training: we will meet after exams on Tuesday 24 June 4-5.30pm 

Please remember that RGS dofe expeditions require students to carry their kit.  On expeditions there is no provision for students to off-load kit and have it transported to campsites.  This is a safety matter as well as a condition of the dofe, you must have all items of expedition equipment on your person throughout the expedition.  You must be fit enough to do the expedition and this means being able to carry your rucksack.  Those not fit to travel or carry their own kit will, regrettably, have to postpone the challenge for another time.

Please refer to the KIT LISTS here online while packing.

Contact if you have any questions about forthcoming expeditions.

Students might wish to download the OS Locate app on their phones? Phones must be used sparingly on expeditions and ONLY for communication between staff and groups.  Batteries must be conserved to report any difficulties and get staff help.




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Bronze hiking, canoe and cycle expeditions

Canoe, cycle and hiking expeditions took place across Surrey during the last few days. The canoe group successfully completed their practice expedition on the Basingstoke Canal camping at Mytchett campsite.  The cycle group did an great job completing their long distance adventure starting near the south coast, camping at Peas Pottage scout camp and finishing near East Grinstead. Hikers climbed Box Hill and stayed at High Ashurst.   All groups coped well with the showery rainy weather.  Well done!

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Bronze dofe training expedition 4-5 May 2014


Excellent sunny dry expedition weather both days, though cool and frosty overnight.  Some 100 students undertook Bronze expeds hiking, canoe and cycling this weekend.  L6 Gold award leaders helped out too and numerous staff camped out and supervised group progress.  The Third Year did themselves proud and were a pleasure to organise and assist through their expeditions.  They were unusually good at clearing up after themselves at camp and some groups made an effort to cook some interesting food.  Some found their packs too heavy which is quite common at Bronze and hikers learn quickly to discard unnecessary or impractical  items like mallets and multi-cans of fizzy drinks!  Navigation was a bit hit and miss for some groups but they mostly found themselves again independently and managed to get “un-lost” by some careful map reading.   The usual difficulties around Headley Heath caught some groups out on Monday but this is a good chance to learn map reading and navigation by actually doing for yourself.  Well done to all the groups, staff were pleased with you and this bodes well for future expeditions.  Meet Thursday for lunchtime debrief concert hall.


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