My name is Ashley Russell and I am 23 years old, a Scout Leader in Bath as a well as National Trustee for the Scout Association and this is how I spent my long weekend.
I have just returned from the Peak District after completing the DofE Gold Expedition and which was my final hurdle to achieve the full Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.
Over the past few years, I have had to volunteer in my community, develop a skill, be physically active and take part in a week-long residential project with people I did not know.
I had learned new things, certainly, but more than that I’d developed myself in skills like empathy, determination and how to perform a perfect roundhouse kick (I did karate as my physical section!)
We arrived at the starting point as the mist began to clear. We looked at our maps, at the dreaded contour lines indicating the ascent we would have to make and put one foot in front of the other. When we reached the top of the first hill, we felt on top of the world – and the good times kept on coming.
Throughout my four-day expedition, we walked through bogs, rivers, scrambled over rocks, walked down sheer declines, through bushes and suffered plenty of long, arduous inclines. Each night, we set-up our tents, cooked a meal and went straight to bed (I don’t think I’ve been in bed before 7pm since I was a child!). Each morning, we packed it all up again and once more pelted the rocks with our feet.
When the final day came, it was a blessed relief. No more walking. No more hills and the end of a journey of achievement and developing skills with a spectacular real-world metaphor and all because I had joined Scouts!
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is just one of many activities adults in Scouting can take part in and if you want be on the next expedition, get in touch with us today!