As an approved DofE expedition provider, we have had to make a difficult decision, but one that is a justified and responsible approach to the current situation, taking into account the responsibility we have for the health and welfare of our customers and volunteers. We have also liaised with the numerous schools we support across Medway to postpone DofE expeditions until government guidance and safety permits us to resume delivery and support for the expedition section.
Following the most recent announcement, given on 18th March 2020, from the Government to close all schools and further education colleges (although we are not directly governed by this for our ‘open’ expeditions), we believe it is both sensible and prudent that we postponed our planned ‘Open Gold Practice Expedition’, and our ‘Silver training and practice events’ to comply with the continued advice from the Government, ensuring the safety and welfare of our customers and staff.
The DofE have also issued a statement relating to practice and qualifying expeditions for Gold & Silver levels that offers a positive approach to the completion of the Expedition section:
‘Some Gold students are unlikely to be able to do their practice expedition due to the coronavirus outbreak. Can they just do their qualifying expedition and still achieve their Award?
At all levels, practice expeditions are an important part of the preparation and training participants undertake to ensure that they can undertake a safe and enjoyable remotely supervised expedition. For that reason, all participants will still have to do both a practice and qualifying expedition.
But we’re determined that young people shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to achieve their Award because of coronavirus. We’ll be sharing ideas about how participants can continue their programme at this time, as well as working with LOs to help participants to access an expedition once the crisis is over. We’ll issue more updates in the next few weeks.
Remember, DofE expeditions can be run throughout the year, not just in the traditional ‘expedition season’.
Currently, our planned ‘Gold Practice Expedition’, in July in the Peak District and ‘Qualifying Gold Expedition in August will go ahead. Along with our late Silver programme in August and October, all subject to the campsites becoming available as we need them.
However, these may be also affected by any measures imposed by the Government to combat COVID-19.
MOAC take this opportunity to wish all our customers, friends and staff a safe passage through these difficult and challenging times.