Recently Cadets from 967 Squadron performed a Bronze DofE practice expedition in the area of Kirby Lonsdale to test their new navigation and camping skills. Cadet Dickinson and Cadet Corporal Shields pick up the story:
We set off from Kirby Lonsdale and headed towards the camp site (the Fishery). At first the weather was humid, so most of the people took their water proof off at the side of the river. Five minutes later it started to chuck it down and we had to wait for Ryan for about ten minutes, in the rain, for him to put his water proofs on. When we got away from the river, we had a five minute break so we could put the rest of our water proofs on, check where we were on the map, and the direction we were heading. When we got all our water proofs on, we set off towards a road, on our way towards it we had to go through fields. In the fields there were some electric fences which Ryan didn’t think were on, but he soon found out that they were. When we got on the Road we met up with the CO, CI Humble and Adam, who then came with us after we talked to the CO and CI Humble. We ended up taking turns using the map and it was my turn, Adam asked me question testing my navigational skills, like where we were and what direction we were going. After my turn using the map it was Michael’s turn. By the time the rain started to settle we were all soaked. When we went past a small farm Adam saw some chickens and started to get hungry. When we were about a third of way, it was Katy’s turn on the map. We were heading towards a field of cows, we soon found out that Ruth did not like cows. By the time we got past the cows we realised that we were lost, Adam took us a slight detour. When we got down near the train track, we stopped for lunch and saw the CO and CI Humble. After lunch we set off across the train track into a petting zoo which had horses and GIANT pigs. When we were there, we realised that we had to go through the muddy field of giant pigs, the CO, sir, Ryan and Laura got pasted the muddy field before the pigs started to get interested in us and blocked the footbath. Ryan ended up attracting the two giant pigs so that we could quickly pass through the muddy field. When we all got past the muddy field Lucy’s leg was starting to get seriously painful from a previous injury so she stopped, and later on went to hospital. When we had finished talking to sir, we set of and we had a little sing a long which made the time go by. When we got through lots of fields, which did have some cows in them, we ended up meeting up with the CO and sir again. When we stopped talking to the CO and sir, we set off towards the fields of horses. When we got past the first field of horses, there was one more field of giant horses which looked average height until one of them got closer and it was a giant. When we all got past the horses we started to get closer to the camp site. About 2 hours later we finally got to the camp site. When we got to the camp site, we all put are tents up and sir kindly put up a little shelter so we could cook without getting soaked because it was still chucking it down again. Some people shared a trangia and some people brought a gas stove. After everyone had their food we most of us went to bed and then the rest went to bed at 10.
At the start of day 2, we woke up and got our breakfast and went under the shelter to cook, most of us had porridge. After breakfast we started to pack all are stuff and tents. Ryan, Michael and I shared a tent so we split it between us. When we were ready to go, we looked at our maps to see where we were going. At around half 9 we then set off from the camp towards the nearest town (Gressingham) which was about 2km away. When we set off the road was okay to walk on but when we got on the footpath it was very wet from last night’s rain. When we got to Gessingham we met up with the CO and Adam. After we talked to the CO, Adam ended up walking with us the rest of the way. About 1km away from Gessingham, we came to a river which we then followed for most of our journey. When we got to the river Adam showed us a couple of things like where the water had been up to (in height) because of the rain, and he showed us foot prints of an otter but sadly we could not see one. When we got to a town, which was by the river, we met up with the CO and Flight Sergeant Ashcroft. When we left Hornby we decided that we were going to stop at the camp house which was about 2km so we could have lunch. When we arrived at the Camp House, we stopped for lunch for about 10 minutes. When we finished our lunch Adam put me in charge of the map. After having walked for about 5 minutes, it started raining so we all put our rain coats on and carried on walking. When we got to the little town of Farleton, we went onto the footpath again and saw some little horses which Katy encouraged to come over, but then she saw a big horse (which was tied to a metal chain) and it came closer to her and she quickly ran up the hill, away from the big horse (The horse was chained up in such a way that it couldn’t actually reach her, but that didn’t stop Katy running away). When we got to the top of the hill, Flight sergeant Ashcroft and the CO met up with us. After we finished our 5 minutes break, Laura went with the CO because of a leg injury. At the bottom of the hill, we came to a town called Claughton. After we left the town we came to the river again, and stayed next to it for about 2km. Whilst we were still next to the river we had to make a slight detour again, because of a bridge that had been broken yet still on the map. After we got across the river, we carried on walking until we finally got into the town of Caton (which we were in for the last 2km). Whilst we were in the town we were on a path which used to be a train track. After about five minutes of being on the path we met up with the CO, who ended up taking Michael and Katy in the car for the last 2km because of their legs and feet. So then there were 4 (Adam, Ryan, Ruth and I). From there it then took us about 25 minutes to finish the last 2km. We met Flight Sergeant Ashcroft and the CO in the car park with all the other Cadets. Finally we loaded our stuff into the car, ready to go home.