The expedition section of the DofE Award requires participants to plan an expedition with an aim (see condition 4 or the 20 conditions). This aim is then presented post expedition, perhaps in the car park at the end of the final day at your debrief, or by putting together a video, scrapbook, album, powerpoint, display or verbal presentation.
Although the Aims of an expedition are your choice, we do encourage our teams to take on a sustainability approach to their aims, particularly as these are great opportunities to learn more about the National Parks (NPs) and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the UK. All our expeditions take place in one of these areas and offer a great opportunity for participants to learn more about what they are, why the exists, and how they can help support their development.
National Parks of the UK
- Thera are 15 National Parks in the UK – www.nationalparks.gov.uk
- Protected areas of mountains, meadows, moorlands, woods and wetlands.
- Each National Park has an organisation that looks after the landscape and wildlife and helps people enjoy and learn about the area.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- There are 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain, covering 18% of our countryside – www.landscapesforlife.org.uk
- AONBs are designated in recognition of their national importance and to ensure that their character and qualities are protected for all to enjoy.
- The flora, fauna, history and culture of our AONBs’ lowland heath, wild moor, towering peaks, dramatic gorges, sheer cliffs, gently rolling hills, sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, quiet coves, rocky shores, sand dunes, saltmarsh and shimmering estuaries ensure they remain Landscapes for Life, and in the nation’s interest to safeguard them.
Some suggested Aims from us
- Research and document examples of sustainability projects of the NP/AONB you visit.
- Explore, document and describe the history, flora or fauna or the NP/AONB.
- Make a documentary to promote the NP/AONB.
- Create a nature guide of your route for future participants on expedition.
- Consider the impact of vehicles on the environment along your route and when accessing the NP/AONB.
- Research and document examples of the conservation efforts of the NP/AONB.
Ideas from the DofE website
Below are some ideas for teams looking for an ‘aim’ to their expeditions.
- Investigate the changes in local agriculture over the last 100 years.
- Photograph and describe interesting old buildings along your route.
- Find clues to local industry or crafts that historically took place where you visit.
- Make a documentary about the most common wildlife in the area.
- Create a nature guide of your route for future visitors.
- Search for forms of fungi, photograph or sketch them and record them.
- Paint different types of trees and correctly identify them.
- Sketch some of the insects, wildlife or fauna you spot and find out what they are.
- List and film the different kinds of birds that you see.
- Photograph different types of flora and fauna on your route and compare them with each other.
- Create a training film for other groups about navigation and expedition skills.
- Produce a promotional film about how much fun an expedition can be.
- Make a video diary of your team’s experiences, from camping and cooking to reaching your destination.
- Produce a ‘top tips’ guide for working as a team on expedition.
- Create a card for each team member at the end of your expedition, saying why they added to the team’s success.
- Make notes of your team experiences and present it in the form of a radio broadcast.
- Create a video diary of your team’s expedition, concentrating on positives about each other.
- Explore the different team roles needed on a boat and give everyone the opportunity to do a new role.
- Keep a log of the weather throughout your expedition and how you adapted to it as a team.
- Create a mood board showing the team’s changes in mood throughout the expedition and how you have helped each other through hard times.
- As a team, identify skills you would like to improve and create a team diary showing how you are improving.
- Log the incidents that test your team every day and think about how you could have dealt with the incident more effectively.
- Monitor the levels of litter on your route and plan how you could campaign to reduce this.
- Record evidence of wildlife breeding programmes and how you would start your own.
- Consider the impact of tourism on your surroundings.
Investigate the maintenance of footpaths and hedgerows.
- Examine the conservation efforts for wildlife in ponds and lakes on your route.
- Record your different emotions over the expedition and relate it to the physical challenge.
- Monitor what time of day people have the most energy to push themselves harder and improve your journey times.
- Film warm up and warm down sessions before and after your day’s walk.
- Monitor changing heart rates and body temperature on the expedition route.
- Write a short story about your experience.
- Write a series of poems of your experiences and critique them.
- Record news-style bulletins of your daily challenges and use them in your presentation.