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On the 27th April our 3rd Form were deployed to the Pentland Hills to complete their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh training. The students were placed into random groups from across all of our boarding houses giving our students the opportunity to form new friendships with fellow Fettesians. There was a huge range of ability with some seasoned campers and some students who were venturing out into the wilderness for the first time.

The weather was set to be awful with rain and showers expected but the expedition started with perfect blue skies. The aim of day one was basic navigation, understanding safe and respectful ways to journey through the countryside and gaining appreciation for achievable distances and pace.

As the groups approached their allocated camping areas (Harperrig Reservoir or Bonally Scout Camp), the planned rain eventually arrived and the students quickly realised the importance of keeping dry, the benefit of packing your rucksack in a logical order and how to pitch a tent in the rain. On the whole they coped incredibly well with the adverse weather and quickly managed to prepare a hot meal and drink. After eating and preparing their route for the following day it was time to get some well-deserved rest.

For the second day the groups were given a little more freedom as they had to plan their own route back to the centralised pick up point at Threipmuir reservoir. Inevitably there were sore feet, achy shoulders and wet clothing but fantastically there were smiles all round as the students reached their end point.

The Third Form now have the tools required to complete their Bronze Assessment expedition which takes place during Third Form Field Week in Aviemore. This will be a similar style of expedition but they will have only remote supervision - a great opportunity to demonstrate what they can achieve as a newly formed team.

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You can also view the full gallery of photographs from the expedition on our Flickr page.