News & Events

10-Aug-2013 to 16-Aug-2013

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition: The Isle of Arran

Navigation is a key skillIt’s 0800 hours on the 16th August 2012, and 6 intrepid cadets from Havant Sqn, including myself, are about to embark on the 12 hour minibus ride which will take us to the start of our Gold Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) award expedition, The Isle of Arran. The expedition itself would consist of 4 long days of walking with full kit, camping each night as we made our way around the entire island.

Situated just off the West coast of Scotland and roughly the size of the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Arran is often called "Miniature Scotland", due to it mirroring the highland and lowland terrain of the country, and is renowned as one of the most challenging places for a D of E expedition, due to varied terrain and steep, craggy climbs and descents.

We would be walking in groups; a practice group, comprising Sergeants Deakin and Coe and other cadets from all across the county, and an assessed group composed entirely of Havant cadets, Sergeants Lambert and French, Flight Sergeant Stray and myself, Cadet Warrant Officer Sexton.

What a stunning landscapeOver the course of the expedition we experienced many highs and lows (quite literally!) with both groups having to deal with multiple injuries, foul weather, ferocious Scottish midges and every D of E participants’ favourite terrain; bog. However, despite all of this, I am proud to say that both our groups made an incredible effort, pulling through and making it to the end of the expedition intact, and a step closer to completing our Gold award.

We have finished!The progression through the levels of D of E is not easy, that is in the end the whole point of it. It is designed to be a challenge, and it certainly has been! Because of this, all of us felt a great sense of achievement when walking our last respective home straights, and this combined with the camaraderie we developed as a team throughout the expedition has ensured that my Gold D of E will be an experience I will treasure and draw upon for many years to come.

CWO Elliott Sexton

All the participants looking clean and fresh!
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