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Thread: DofE Gold/Silver Exped questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SW France
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    Default DofE Gold/Silver Exped questions

    Hi guys

    we are looking at putting a package or two together to specifically cater for DofE awards Expeds here in France and I wanted to ask those of you out there who know about these things a very simple question ....

    What would you want us to supply/do to make an attractive offer (other than proper boats, great rivers, weather, scenery, food, wine etc) ?

    Just to clarify, we are not instructors/assessors, rather, we are aiming at instructors/assessors.

    All thoughts would be very welcome.

    Thanks
    Last edited by MarkL; 11th-April-2018 at 12:50 PM. Reason: forgot to include Wine in the good things
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Cumbria
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    1,605

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    My understanding is that they have to have some sort of aim for the expedition, it's not just going from A to B, they are supposed to be looking at something on the way and produce a report at the end.

    So where you are ought to be perfect in terms of all the neolithic and napoleonic historical sites.

    This may be helpful:

    https://www.dofe.org/doing-your-dofe...20-conditions/

    My understanding is the assessors themselves don't actually go with the group, they have to go unaccompanied, they check up/in with the group at pre-defined points and would need somewhere to stay overnight. They'll often just arrange to meet the group at a specific place each day to check-in. So somewhere comfortable to sit and wait for the boats coming past. + or - a glass of wine.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    S-o-T, U.K.
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    DofE Gold is a four day trip, so appropriate accessible spots are required for camping en-route, candidates are to sort out their own route plans, emergency get outs, etc themselves. I love the idea of sitting in a hide out watching with a glass of wine ... I've usually been sweeping the route solo as the following safety boat hoping that everything ahead is going as they had planned
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    581

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    The groups I've assisted on trips abroad would need to hire boats, paddles, BAs, and cooking equipment (stoves & pots). They took their own camping, eating and sleeping gear. The assessors/supervisors would only need boats, probably BAs and possibly paddles (that assumes paddling is the only way to follow the group, which was the case on the lakes we use). Depending on the route, shuttle of boats to/from start/finish might be needed.

  5. Default

    Some thoughts for you:
    Pre-expedition: maps of the river, potential campsites, lists of things along the route that could form the purpose of the expedition. Gold expeditions would probably be traveling ~ 6ish hours a day so how long is the river?
    Advice on travel options (planes trains and automobiles), pick up options, car hire etc. for the supervisors and assessor.

    Expedition time: canoe and kit hire, possibly help on getting supplies, barrels, dry bags, tent hire etc. If the group files in they may not have anything other than personal kit with them. Transport to the start and pick up afterwards.
    Some groups may need to arrive prior to the start day and stay longer than end of the expedition so accommodation for those dates will be needed.

    Depending on the route and the difficulties (Rapids etc.) the supervisors may want to be near at some points. Dofe requirements for paddling is that they should be of two star standard so the river should be suitable for that unless you are sure the group is of a higher standard. They may want to follow on the water or use cars to track the group so you should be able to offer both options. The assessor will probably be traveling with them though technically they only need the see the group once daily. Both supervisors and assessor will need somewhere to stay away from the group and ideally the group campsites should be "remote" form other people. There is probably leeway on that requirement but the it should be noted during the planning.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SW France
    Posts
    2,671

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    Thanks for the replies, it is really appreciated.
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  7. #7

    Default

    I have been involved with DofE in the past, and know some people who have are still involved. I hear regularly that some feel the 'spirit' of DofE has been lost, especially in the expedition element with increasingly elaborate and exotic expeditions.

    When my son did it the cost for the expedition element was £200 for a single night two day walk across Exmoor for Bronze, including compulsory kit hire which included a flippin stove, when I pointed out I have a pile of stoves in solid fuel, single fuel, gas, meths and even twigs I was told that the risk assessment meant I had to hire one for £5 plus fuel despite having the same stove myself Silver was canoeing on the Wye, £450 please Luckily he stopped at that point as the Gold was also canoeing but was going to be in the region of £750 plus slightly less for the practice

    There are companies offering the expedition elements for well over a £1000 to Iceland and Norway and all over. I guess my point is that DofE has maybe lost it's way and become an extended holiday for middle class well off kids, there were definitely kids dropping out at my sons school as the price bumped up to way beyond the means of lots of families. Some companies are also cashing in selling DofE approved 'bundles of kit', most of which can be supplied by mates, families or charity shops, but the schools give a list and say 'Go there....'

    My plea to you then is that you make the prices really affordable to all, DofE was designed to get all youngsters more involved in their communities, get a bit fitter, have an adventure and learn a skill. It appears to be turning into a middle class thing that is viewed as an essential for any University personal statements, pricing people out of the market on the way. in Somerset schools are simply stopping doing it, which is a tragedy.

    Having had that short rant, I wish you all the best, and definitely look at the DofE website link above, all your questions will be answered. Good luck, but please please keep it affordable

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Antrim, Northern Ireland
    Posts
    162

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    Mark, I'm watching this with keen interest, I have several DofE groups on the go at the moment and although this isn't a real option for my Gold group this year, it is looking like an option for next years group.

    The prospect for a French trip is a lovely notion, and being able to offer your service with a French speaking guide who can ensure we don't get robbed would be very interesting.

    What I would be looking for, in terms of the Group needs-
    *local knowledge for put ins / take outs, camp sites etc
    *supply of canoes, tents, stoves (including fuel), Maps
    *Transportation end sorted
    *accommodation options for the assessor / supervisor

    Being able to offer a "whole package" is very interesting, looking at proper (canadian style) outfitting option would be a great idea (IMO).

    Importantly though would be the cost for this service.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Stroud
    Posts
    829

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    Interesting question .....

    I supervised a Gold group out in France last year. They raised the money to buy their own boats and trailer. They researched the possible campsites - and the campsites for the drive down to the Ardeche area - they responded well when I suggested that wild camping would be more appropriate and studied their maps very hard to find potential wild campsites.

    So what should you offer? Everything ranging from full service to simply boat hire, drop off and collection! (Sorry!)

    For me, supplying the local knowledge and maps reduces the preparation element of the Expedition - and one of the qualifications for the exped is "The team must plan and organise the expedition."

    Supplying tents, stoves and fuel - is again reducing the preparation. I like to ensure that the participants take ownership of the tents and stoves during training and estimate the volume of fuel that they will require for the qualifying exped. I appreciate that this may well mean that flying to the destination is problematic - but you could add extra time before setting off on exped for familiarisation with hired tents and stoves. (I have done a Canadian exped where we flew with our own tents and stoves - but we tended to cook on open fires in Canada so not many stoves and defo no fuel!)

    Supplying big dry bags or barrels would also join the list.

    Accommodation for assessor/supervisor? Unless there is a good reason to do otherwise I like to have a campsite half-way down the route - you never know when you'll be up in the morning or back in the evening so the ability to cook for myself at any time is important.
    You don't stop playing because you get old - you get old because you stop playing.

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