Mock Expedition

The weekend between the 21st and 22nd December signalled our much anticipated first trial expedition before our Qualifying Expedition for the Bronze Award of the Duke of Edinburgh Award next April. Training about first aid, back-packing, tent-pitching, orienteering and map reading started back at school in October.  Preparations also included buying the necessary suitable equipment and clothes and getting used to them.

In December, the team was formed and the route for this first trial was planned. Route cards were filled up, indicating to our assessors our checkpoints and the estimated time of arrival at each, our camping locations, routes to take in case of emergency, and the only contact number we were to have, to be used only and exclusively in cases of emergency or to notify our assessors of any delays.

The journey started on Saturday morning from Mosta. We walked through Dwejra Lines, Mgarr, an area known as Il-Lippija and all the way to Riviera Bay in Ghajn Tuffieha. We set base in the barracks we found on top of a hill with wonderful views of Riviera beach. The boys pitched the tents and prepared food together.  Later on we went to search for wood to prepare for the bonfire. We spent the evening around the bonfire singing well known Maltese songs and campfire songs. When it got colder we went off to sleep. After a hard windy night, we woke up early, had breakfast and started our second part of the journey.

We left Riviera Bay and walked to Golden Bay and the hills on top of it, towards Popeye’s Village, were we had a short break and danced along with the entertainers to a few songs. From there we kept on walking through the wonderful surroundings, past the nature reserve in Ghadira and finally down to Ghadira Bay.

We had made it! We will never forget this enriching experience which helped us to appreciate the amazing surroundings, the commodities which we take for-granted back home and the joy of being in good company, working towards the same aim for which everyone worked hard. Though at the end of the mock expedition we were all dead tired, the feeling of achievement was overwhelming. We did it all together as a team, we prepared for it together and we finished it together, helping each other through the difficult moments and always keeping our morals high.

This mock expedition was challenging and different, but more important than that, it was great fun. They boys had the opportunity to try out something new, to learn and improve their skills and spending time with friends while making new ones along the way.

Whilst the boys are performing a service, learning a skill and doing a regular physical activity, we are really looking forward to the Qualifying Expedition!

Stef Bugeja