DofE Silver walking expedition programme

Silver Walking Expedition package

This is a 7 day expedition programme which includes and in-school planning day, a 3 day training expedition and a 3 day Qualifying expedition. 

Both expeditions have overnight camping and are run by our supportive instructors. 

Our programme covers all the contents of the DofE Bronze Training framework and the Qualifying expedition meets the 20 Conditions required by DofE.

Programme overview & stages

The Silver Award is where DofE expeditions start to get challenging.   It aims to build on the Teamwork and Expedition skills introduced at Bronze.  Candidates who have not done Bronze can start here as Direct Entrants but will find it more challenging (please discuss with us when booking)  Candidates will:

·       Plan a route on a map for a 3 day journey in more remote countryside and hill sides.  Spending some of the time away from farmland and roads.  This is to promote the need for self-reliance and better skills, clothing and teamwork.

·       Prepare themselves by choosing appropriate food, clothing and equipment.  Then packing the rucksack themselves.

·       Bond & learn as a team on the Training Expedition.  (how to navigate, journey, camp, cook and support each other)

·       Perform as a team.  The team undertake a Qualifying Expedition which they must do unaccompanied by adults. (But be remotely supervised).

Silver requirements: Graphic from higher page for Silver (number of days, nights, distance, duration and terrain)

This is usually held in school, on a weekend.  It consists of three sessions that are best done inside and weeks before participants arrive on expedition.  This will allow them time to gather the food, clothing and equipment they will need.

1.       Route planning with a map and route card

2.       First Aid & dealing with emergencies

3.       Selecting appropriate clothing, equipment and food

Each team has their own trainer, who spends 3 days helping the team learn about themselves and how to support a the team.  The trainer will cover the following topics throughout the 3 days:

·       Kit check / food check / rucksack packing

·       Using a map and compass.  What to do when you get lost.

·       Keeping safe, dealing with emergencies and contacting our staff.

·       Putting up tents

·       Safe cooking & eating enough.

On day one, the trainers spend most of the day walking with the team and teaching them. On arriving at camp, their trainer will supervise the camping and cooking activities to ensure safety.  On the following two days, the trainer will have the team design a route that they will walk, remotely supervised by that trainer.  The trainer will ‘shadow’ the team and give extra coaching when necessary.  Each team have an emergency phone and a GPS tracker.  At the end of the expedition, the trainer holds a Feedback session, where the individuals identify what they need to change or improve upon before their Qualifying Expedition.  The trainer then writes a trainer report.

The team must undertake a 3 day expedition along the route that they planned on the planning day. They must walk unaccompanied by adults and deal with being lost or having minor issues.  They must pack and carry everything they need to be able to camp and cope with the weather forecast.

The team meet their assessor who does a full expedition check before the team are allowed to start walking:

  • Full kit checks

  • Distribution of items from our team equipment box (tents, cookers, fuel, emergency equipment)

  • Maps & Routes checked

  • Supervision plan discussed

The qualifying expedition will involve being observed using remote supervision and will be assessed by one of our DofE accredited assessors.   Each team have an emergency phone and a GPS tracker.

Following the expedition, the assessor will fully debrief the team. They will produce a full report for each participant.  

Our assessors never try to catch anyone out - this is an intermediate level for Expedition and teamwork skills.  We want all participants to have a challenging but enjoyable experience, that encourages them to develop a lifelong relationship with the outdoors.

Teams present their reports to school

Our assessor receives the report and then enters the Assessor report directly onto eDofE for each participant in the team. Schools do not have to enter this information themselves.

Silver Level - Expedition Package - £350 per participant (£50/day)

·       3 and 4 man tents

·       Trangia cookers and fuel

·       3 Maps and Compass per team

·       Safety equipment: Group shelter & emergency phone

·       Comprehensive training - Covering all aspects of the DofE syllabus and delivered by our highly experienced and qualified staff.

·       Experienced Trainers (1 per team):

·       Our highly experienced instructor team will be supervising throughout the expedition. All of our staff are a minimum of Summer Mountain Leader qualified.

·       DofE Accredited Assessors (1 per two teams):
For the qualifying expedition only - they will help participants feel supported and relaxed and encourage them towards completing the Duke of Edinburgh's award expedition.

·       Camping fees
Camping will be on a campsite, sometime with limited facilities.

·       GSM Tracking devices
In addition to our usual comprehensive supervision and safety management systems we also track each team with GSM trackers. This adds an additional level of safety for the participants. 

·       Assessor reports: Unlike other many other companies, our assessors upload their reports directly to eDofE instead of just giving them to the school to upload individually for all the participants.

·       Event co-ordinator: We have a ‘floating’ coordinator on all events as an extra layer of support for the instructors, teachers and participants.

·       School staff ‘go free’ – we provide a tent each.  Cookers also provided.

·       Access to our Student and Parent support booklets and Youtube Channel

Youtube Channel for Playlists and videos about expedition preparation

Our expedition packages cover almost everything. However, we do require some planning and organising from the school / group.

• Use our online Participant registration form that will automatically create a database for you (Microsoft Forms). It collects medical details, emergency contact details and permission from guardians.

• Complete any in-house administration with in your organisation to authorise the expedition. We provide you with copies of our Insurance, ALAA licence, Operating procedures.

• Register your participants on eDofE and support them as they use their accounts to record evidence for the other sections of the Award.

• Collect money from the participants - their contract is with you, not Venture Out. You provide the overall Award, that includes the other sections. You then complete our booking form and pay our invoice – your contract is with Venture Out.

• Keep in touch with parents & participants, distribute information about the events. We provide you with the letters and booklets. But we do not email parents directly to avoid Data Protection issues.

• Plan transportation to and from the expedition venue. This may be a coach or minibus. Some groups choose to have parents do drop off and pick up.

• The school / Group should provide 1 member of staff for every 14 participants. They must attend the expedition to ensure the pastoral care for the participants and to provide cover in-case of a participant being injured or needing to go home. School staff must supervise the campsite in the evenings and be on-call during the day.