Last month our Public Services students took off on an adventure and finished their studies with an expedition to the Lake District. Their week-long trip was both challenging and fun…
Monday saw the group start off with an exciting mountain bike activity through Whinlatter Forest, and starting to adjust to eating only rations and doing “proper stove cooking”.
Tuesday our students tackled what was undoubtedly their toughest day – in the blistering 30 degree heat they hiked up Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England with an elevation of 978m above sea level!
Not only did they scale the mountain, but they took the most challenging route to do so, called the Corridor Route, which involves patches of scree and shale. The day was mainly about the students navigating their way on the route, and the course leader Garreth Evans said that they were all incredibly well-disciplined: “The team work between the group was humbling – they were sharing food and water and really looking out for each other throughout the day. We were all really impressed.”
On Wednesday the group had a change of pace, trying their hand at some rock climbing and abseiling. “It was certainly a fun way to relax after the hard work of the hike”, said Garreth.
On Thursday for their final assessment, the class carried out another navigation exercise on Cat Bells fell, enjoying the beautiful panoramic views over Keswick, Derwent Water and Borrowdale. They set out particularly early to try and avoid the worst of the heat, and had a mid-way break at the Chinese Bridge to cool off in the calm water. The Public Services staff said that this particular activity allowed the whole group to really soak up the environment and appreciate the nature around them.
As a last treat after they’d completed the exercise, the group went down into Keswick to buy whatever food they liked (most orders were for ice lollies or ice cream!), and watched the England football game. And finally, Friday involved packing everything away and returning home.
Here’s what our students had to say about the experience:
Paul: “My experience on this year’s expedition was amazing. This year was a real challenge and a good challenge but it was definitely worth it. The biggest challenge on the expedition was Scafell Pike which we did in ridiculous heat, but as we all climbed as a team everyone was pushing each other to continue a little bit further. This was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Ella: “The end of year expedition for me has been both a challenge and a celebration of everything we’ve done during the previous year. Alongside taking part in activities we were able to spend quality time with our friends on the course.
I could lie and say that it’s all easy, but truthfully there were many different aspects of the expedition that were very challenging, and needed a lot of determination; much like with the rest of the course and looking ahead, similar to what would be required for a career within the Public Services.
For me, one of these challenging times was climbing Scafell Pike, which even in regular conditions isn’t the easiest, but combined with the heat we were in at the time, it was made more difficult. However, for the feeling you get when you reach the summit, it’s all worth it.”
Kyle: “I think the expedition was very well planned and very enjoyable. Because of the expedition I feel more confident, and my communication, teamwork and survival skills have improved so much. The expedition was worth every single penny and I would recommend this to everyone.”
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