Expedition flexibilities

08 September 2020

Now that we’re beginning to meet face-to-face again, you may be wondering how we can continue to support our young people to achieve the expedition element of Challenge Awards, Chief Scout Awards and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

You should be aware that we can’t do camping or residential activities away from our member’s homes until we move to the green phase of restarting face-to-face Scouting, and we don’t know when that will be.

However, this doesn’t mean that expeditions can’t happen.  Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme have published guidance on flexibilities that will allow our members to complete their expedition. 

An expedition typically involves travel by foot, horse or non-motorised bike or watercraft over consecutive days with an overnight camp most commonly under canvas.  While we can’t do camping or residential activities away from our member’s homes, members can return home and complete the overnight element there.

This means that most expeditions should happen locally to reduce the travel to and from home at the start and end of each day.   Local expeditions are quite common for the Chief Scout Platinum Award and Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award; however, for the time being, flexibilities mean members don’t have to complete higher awards in ‘wild country’.

You could consider a local circular route where the end from day one becomes the start point for day two and so on, or you might consider two or more routes that all have the same start point but end at different places.  Depending on the distances involved, you may need to consider how members get to the start and end points.  Flexibility allows transportation of our members by vehicle at the start and end of each day. 

When planning transport, you must consider the risks of transmitting Coronavirus.  You could travel in household groups only e.g. parent driven vehicles.  If you choose to transport using a minibus or public transport, you can find guidance here.

Other Duke of Edinburgh’s Award specific flexibilities that may be of interest are that the participants can know the Expedition Assessor e.g. a DofE accredited Section Leader.  Furthermore, for Bronze expeditions, the Supervisor and Assessor can be the same person (this dual role does not apply to Silver or Gold) and if you have somebody who has otherwise completed the Bronze Award (except for the expedition), they can use a Silver Award Practice as their Bronze Award Qualifier.

However you support our young people to achieve their expedition element of their awards, you need to include this intention in your relevant risk assessments, identifying risks and suitable control measures.

While nothing can beat the experience of a real night away, if you can't wait until that's possible again we hope you find these flexibilities useful.

For more help and assistance, please contact your Regional Adviser (DofE) or email terry.oneill@scouts.scot