This weekend pioneering Bronze students completed paddle training with Dynamic Adventures. They were training for their Bronze canoe adventure which is later this month. Canoe training was completed on Tilgate Lake, Crawley and the River Wey in Godalming. Students enjoyed tremendous weather. Well done! (Many thanks to Rob Crossing for sending in these brilliant pictures).
120 Bronze students and Award Leaders set off from RGS on Sunday for their training expeditions. Groups were impressively well organised this year and staff were pleased with their especially positive and cheerful approach to the hike. They trekked to various local campsites up to 15km away, and completed their hike on Day 2 with a 10km hike ending at Reigate Hill. Groups had some navigational hiccups but learned from their mistakes. Campcraft was generally good, though some needed to get slicker with their tent building. Bronze groups usually have a steep learning curve regarding “leaving-no-trace” at camp, especially cleaning away after cooking, but staff were impressed with the cooperative way students picked up the idea of keeping their site tidy and organised. The great weather helped but it was still noticeable how this Bronze hike went especially well. Staff were very happy with you all, well done groups!
I look forward to hearing about the Bronze, Silver and Gold canoe training which also happened this weekend: please send in a report and photos if u have any.
Thank you to students, parents,. friends and governors for coming to the RGS award presentation evening on Friday. It was great to see so many students getting their awards.
The highlight was our 4 excellent Gold Award speakers: thanks to Luke, Hannah, Harriet and Jess for their inspiring talks.
well done – wear your badges at school with pride!
5th Year silver meeting concert hall 4-5pm
Bridge course silver 4-5pm. Room 12
3rd Year bronze: MUST register on eDofE; meet your Award Leader anytime this week for final expedition organisation.
Kit store opens this week to collect your kit: you must check it.
please note: 3rd form Conservation Day this term is WRONG in the calendar: it IS Friday June 28 (not July5)
28 RGS DofE students starting their Bronze Award completed a full day of conservation activities on Reigate Heath. They worked hard all day and staff from RACV and school were most impressed with their team work. They were instructed by Simon Elson from RACV on safe working and the purpose of conservation on Reigate Heath and then they got to work. A large number of Silver Birch trees were removed to encourage the regrowth of rare acid heathland flora, a habitat which supports several threatened and rare birds, reptiles and insects . Well done to all the students who took part: we were impressed by your enthusiastic approach to the tasks!
20 4th Year students braved sub-zero temperatures to do some valuable conservation work on Redhill Common. They “scalloped” the edges of a footpath, previously over-grown, to create a more attractive and secure avenue for walkers through the woods. The felling of invasive alien sycamore and laurel improves the habitat for native species such as oak, silver birch and hawthorn, allowing light to penetrate to the forest floor giving younger saplings and woodland flowers a chance to grow through and thrive. In addition, the edge habitats thus created improve niches for nesting birds and raptors to feed in woodland glades. Creating a patchwork of habitats improves the diversity of species in an area. Felled logs and brashings left lying give reptiles, hibernating insects and amphibians a safe environment and food availability for higher species of birds and woodland mammals. Our students did an excellent job today and achieved significant progress in very cold conditions: well done!
Well done to the 35 Gold award leaders who navigated their way around a dark forest on Leith Hill. Although quite foggy at first, groups quickly got to grips with navigating accurately between the 8 check points along boggy tracks and paths. A useful training exercise and thanks to the staff who helped.
Latest news from Dan Yr Ogof: sleet and snow to valley level: we made the right decision!! 50 students did their Gold dofe training expedition in South Wales, Black Mountain area – which is in the remote far west of the Brecon Beacons and not to be confused with the lower and easier Black Mountains which are to the far east of the national park. The weather was initially good and most groups got to grips with basic mountain navigation as taught by experienced mountain leader staff. The trekking days were inclement and many students had their first taste of poor mountain weather conditions: well done for surviving! Whilst many coped well, some students found themselves wet and cold and with no spare dry kit, except for spare items delivered by staff. The final day saw temperatures dropping further, wind chill of -6C and snow falling on the mountains with a brisk northerly wind forecast to increase during the day. Whilst the weather was not particularly bad for well equipped and prepared individuals, I took the difficult decision to bail out and come home early because the state of some students would have pushed the potential risk of hypothermia to an unacceptable level. A point to note for assessment: it is important for students to eat plenty for breakfast to avoid endangering themselves and others. Whilst we thoroughly instruct and prepare students for these expeditions, it is often only when we reach the mountains that they discover the importance of their training and the pre-expedition meetings. The large dofe groups we organise for DofE, certainly bigger than those fielded by most schools, require careful management on mountain expeditions. My top quality staff and experienced voluntary adult expedition leaders take on an enormous responsibility looking after students in frequently arduous conditions. If you would like to assist as an adult instructor on our expeditions then please get in touch: in particular if you have significant mountain experience and / or a mountain leader certificate or are simply enthusiastic and willing to prioritise helping students in all conditions then please email me and join the team!