The Duke of Edinburgh trip is hard. Don’t let people try to convince you otherwise. Unless you do a 10K marathon every week, you will feel like dying on this trip. Which all of us did; still do, in fact. You can easily tell which were the students that went on the trip, we wear flip-flops on our blistered feet and bandages on our not-yet healed scars.
Yet we also seem the happiest. Because we did something amazing, and got an experience we wouldn’t trade for anything. Sure we talk about it with scowls and grimaces, and we complain, my God, do we complain, to any soul unfortunate enough to ask, really. But we’re still making inside jokes and passing knowing glances, and we’re still mentally planning out our menu for the next day. On the first day back I heard a girl sleepily ask her friend, “Do you have the pot?” to which a stunned pause and a confused “I think I have the stove” was the response.
We actually miss the days of walking; our schoolbags so light and insubstantial compared to bulky backpacks, our books slender in contrast to tents and sleeping mats, the AC a wintry substitute for the boiling sun. We definitely miss the nights, the crackling bonfire, the melting S’mores, the huddling for warmth in the tent, the Salonpas patches being passed like precious goods. And the food, anything tastes like Heaven when you walk like we did, but honestly the food was to die for, we cooked it, we seasoned it, we inhaled it.
If anything can be said for the trip, it’s the fact that we have already signed our names for the Silver to come, and I think that says it all.