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Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Expedition to Pu Luong

On the 23rd February, 30 of our Duke of Edinburgh Bronze students headed to Pu Luong to complete their assessed adventurous journeys. The day started nice and early in the darkness of the night as all students arrived at school for 0530 ready for the long bus ride. Accompanying the trip with the students were Mr. Lamour and Ms. Bower.

Pu Luong 2019 DofE Bronze

The conditions for the trek were difficult in parts due to the wet conditions which made the ground slippery in places. This was especially so during a steep descent down a hillside where nearly every student (and teacher) fell on their bottoms. Khanh Linh Duong described her experience going down as “I was terrified but was able to complete it with the help of my team”.

As she mentions, the students had to work together, communicate well and motivate each other to complete this difficult part of the trek. Many felt like giving up and you could see their relief once they were back to the main track at the bottom of the hill but this drive to finish and complete their journey is exemplified by Minh Hanh who readily admitted to running out of energy and tiring within the first hour but still managed to persevere with the support of her team. 

Pu Luong 2019 DofE Bronze 2

When the groups began arriving at the campsite and it was great to see so many support each other in erecting their tents. Two of the groups arrived after 7pm and therefore darkness had already descended over the camp and therefore it was hugely important they worked together with the other students, who had arrived earlier in the day, to get their tents up. The students then settled down to their dinners and a nice warming fire in which they had their marshmallows and made s’mores which are an America classic campfire treat.

Pu Luong 2018 DofE Bronze 3

The next day began like the others, early, but all students were successful in putting their tents away and ready to start the final day’s trek. Each group left in 10 minute intervals but many soon caught up with each other as students took wrong turns or got confused with the directions given. Nevertheless, all students were able to successfully navigate through challenging terrain both up and down hills, alongside rice paddies and complete their mini projects throughout their expeditions. Many of these projects are fascinating topics and include local people’s aspirations, the influence of the internet on their lives and waste management.

The students were all happy to have finished their assessed adventurous journeys and I believe this trip truly made them stronger and more independent than when they began. I’d like to finish with the words of Nhat Linh Nguyen who summarises the DofE Award perfectly. 

The two days were a constant struggle and we were all exhausted but it was brilliant to be outside enjoying stunning scenery whilst being away with my friends and experiencing something new. Nhat Linh Nguyen, BVIS Secondary Student