1st March 2019
Writing: Rowan McGirr (Year 10)
Editing: Matt Human (Year 11)
On a sunny Saturday morning, 100 enthusiastic students arrived at the DCGS car park in our designated groups ahead of a 20km journey, during which we would be walking through the tranquil fields of the Chilterns and trekking alongside the River Misbourne. Every student was divided into four groups, each containing four teams of five or six, who were allocated different routes and times. Punctually, the groups set foot following their respective routes.
Each team had been designated ‘dead letter points’ along their route. These points essentially restricted us from taking shortcuts or taking a direct route to the next meeting point. My group took a route through the stunning rolling hills of the Chilterns, walking through Chalfont St Giles (where we stopped for lunch), a brisk walk past the parish church of Chalfont St Giles and the not so idyllic crossing of the A413!
After more than 12km and over five hours of striding, we arrived at the campsite situated in Chalfont St Peter. Luckily the weather was dry, so we began to set up our tents and cook our food, which was tasty (much to the surprise of some!) Continuing through the evening we had a chance to relax and prepare for the next day of walking. Later in the evening, our groups revised the route we would be taking to get to Hodgemoor Woods (our final meeting point).
In the morning, each group were given designated time slots to leave the campsite, taking into account that we had to pack up our tents, ensure we hadn’t left any kit, clean the tent pegs and trangias, and prepare ourselves for the second half of the walk. As the groups set off, we enjoyed the countryside once again, passing through fields of woodland and galloping horses. When we eventually reached the tip of Hodgemoor Woods, we used our compass skills and directed ourselves due North to the meeting point. Most groups got there in plenty of time, with relieved but tired faces, having been on an impressive 20km walk.
I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of the students who participated, to the teachers involved in making this expedition possible, especially to Mr Sharp for coordinating this expedition and personally giving up his weekend for us. Also to Ocean Rock Adventure for supplying us with their equipment and essential expertise.