STAFF and pupils thought readers would like to hear about the recent Duke of Edinburgh Award activities that have been tackled over the last few months.

The year began in late August with the formation of two new S3 Bronze award groups.

The programme began with two ‘after school’ group meetings, one group of 16 on a Tuesday and a group of eight pupils on a Thursday.

The groups enjoyed weekly training sessions to refine their navigation and camping skills and to set-up their online profiles where skills, physical and volunteering activities were recorded.

The groups were aided and instructed by up to eight staff volunteers who helped pass on important skills and generally supported the pupils.

The Silver group, having completed all the requirements for their Silver badges, began working towards their Gold awards.

Ten S5 pupils began meeting on a Monday after school to try to plan their expeditions, residential activities and fund raising options. Weekly training progressed throughout the winter months.

In March a small group of last year’s Bronze badge holders formed a Silver award group and began meeting after school.

May through to June saw all of these groups undertake practice expeditions. In addition the two Bronze award groups completed and passed their assessed expeditions.

A total of six expeditions were completed. Both the Bronze groups walked from Newburgh around to Tentsmuir on the Fife Coastal Path for their practices before tackling the section from Boarhills to Anstruther to complete their expedition requirements. Both groups performed very well and were blessed with unusually excellent weather.

The small Silver group were able to help out Bell Baxter with a participant place and walked through the Lomond Hills for three days. They had to endure “Storm Hector” which brought very high winds, but managed to overcome this inconvenience.

The Gold group undertook the most challenging of expeditions, walking from Tainalt near Oban back to Callendar in the Trossachs. A four day journey through midgie hell!

This group also rose to the challenge, worked very well together and completed a difficult hike in good spirits.

Gold and Silver qualifying expeditions are scheduled for August/September after the summer holidays.

A big thank-you to all of the staff who have helped run another very successful year. The time given up is appreciated by the pupils, who have all enjoyed the challenge.

In the session 2017 to 2018, Beath’s DofE group have enabled 15 pupils to gain Bronze awards, 11 pupils have obtained Silver awards and 2 pupils have completed their Gold awards and will be meeting the Duke of Edinburgh’s representative at Holyrood Palace over the summer.

Activities undertaken by participants this year range from Netball and walking to helping out a charity or a school group.