Autumn Term 2012
Year 9 Expedition
Report by Mr Haydock
The first weekend in September saw 50 intrepid Year 9 students embark upon a two night expedition to Badaguish in Glenmore, at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.
The expedition programme began on Friday, with a day of training in the whole host of skills required to complete the expedition successfully. This included looking at the various items of kit to pack into a rucksack, and how to pack these properly so items don’t get wet; how to cook a meal and boil water using trangia stoves; how to put up a Vango Force Ten tent properly to allow a comfortable and dry night’s sleep; and general campcraft skills such as collecting litter and preventing any environmental damage.
After a quick stop off with the great staff at the Refectory to pick up a plentiful supply of provisions for the weekend; the group boarded a coach at 4pm for the two-hour journey to Glenmore.
On arrival at Badaguish, the groups quickly got to work setting up their campsites and cooking dinner - which consisted of choices from the range of "expedition rations", from chicken korma to spaghetti bolognaise. Then it was time for a few of Mr Miles’s team games and challenges, which ranged from a mad-dash game of “Volcanoes and Craters” followed by some comedy relay races and a spot of catapult building. With most students well and truly worn out, it was time for bed before a long hill walk the next day.
The group awoke on Saturday to a forecast of “80mph gusts on the summits” of the Cairngorm range. Under the direction of the group leaders, all groups therefore made the wise decision to stay low for their day’s walk. Various challenging routes were still embarked upon by groups however, from 20km forest walks around Rothiemurchus and Abernethy to more mountainous routes on the slopes of Cairn Gorm and Meall a Bhuachaille. Throughout the day all groups learned about the importance of group leadership, navigation and compass work, and the flora and fauna of this stunning environment. All groups returned to Badaguish after a long and productive day on the hill, albeit a little tired!
The final night saw some fantastic scenes on the “three-legged football pitch” followed by the famous and legendary “Prison Break” and “Hunt the Staff” competitions. The staff, of course, came out on top - admittedly only winning by half a point, but still a well-deserved victory all the same.
After a sound night’s sleep under canvas once again, the whole of Year 9 dismantled their homes for the past two days for the journey back to Gordonstoun. All groups performed extremely well on their first senior school expedition, and thanks must go to Mr Miles for his boundless energy and leadership and Miss Maxwell for her organisational prowess.
What would you like to do next?