Info for Explorers and Parents Jan 2021

Introduction

BraidCraig is the name we use for a team of over 20 Explorer Scout Leaders and Skills Instructors from across South East Scotland Region who run DofE expeditions, usually with over 100 Explorer Scouts completing Bronze, Silver and Gold expeditions each year.

Ready to do your DofE Expedition in 2021?

Read this message to find out about opportunities for you to complete your training and expedition between February and September 2021 – with options to do hillwalking, canoeing or cycling

Which Leaders should you contact?

  1. For the DofE Award in general, your DofE Leader (see above) is there to help you register for DofE and plan and complete all of the sections. They are your main contact.
  2. For any questions about expeditions, contact us directly using the email address shown above for your BraidCraig contact. If you have any difficulties send an email to dofe@craigalmond.org.uk.

What to do right now?

We need to know who is interested in completing a DofE expedition in 2021 with BraidCraig so we can complete plans, let you know the final details, then let you decide whether to sign up with us. It would be really helpful if you can fill in a short google form by 4th January. Read the rest of the information in this email to help you decide, and if you have any questions just contact us and we’ll help you. The important things we need to know are:
  1. The level of Expedition you want to do (Bronze, Silver, or Gold).
  2. The type of expedition. For Bronze, all expeditions are based on hillwalking, and for Silver and Gold, if we have the numbers, we aim to run expeditions based on canoeing and biking as well as hillwalking. Simply list which is your first, second and third preference and we’ll do our best to match every one up with their preference and create groups with sizes that meet safety requirements.
Just click HERE to start and submit it by 4th January. If you are a few days late, still send the form and we’ll do our best to include you in plans.

What happens next?

We will email you when we have everyone’s responses early in January with information on how to confirm you want to proceed with the expedition. We will register you on the Online Scout Manager system for BraidCraig and use this for future communication.

What you need to do before the start of our training in January?

By the time we start training in January/February you will need to register with your local Unit/District for DofE at the level of the Expedition you are completing. If you are currently registered for DofE with your school, you can easily transfer to your Unit/District DofE without needing your school to take any action while keeping all your existing records and progress. Contact your DofE Leader in good time if you need to register for DofE, move up to the next Award level, or transfer from your school.

Training

Training will include both online sessions and outdoor practice.  For Bronzes, it is planned to run between late January and the end of March.  Silver and Gold candidates who have not done Bronze will be included in this.  For Silver and Gold, candidates will be given more advanced training appropriate to the type of expedition.

Expeditions

We have started planning dates for hillwalking to avoid clashes with Nat 5 or Higher exams.  Remember that the expeditions in October counted as a Silver Practice, so those who did them can move directly to Silver Assessed. Dates for canoeing and biking will be confirmed once we know the number of participants and will work to agree dates that best suit everyone.
Saturday 24th-Sunday 25th April Bronze Qualifier / Silver Practice
Friday 28th – Sunday 30th May Silver Assessed
Friday 28th – Monday 31st May Gold Practise
Thursday 26th  – Monday 30th August Gold Assessed
Schools are typically happy to agree to one- or two-days absence from school to complete one of the longer expeditions as they are aware it is for DofE.  Once the number of Explorers participating and adult volunteer availability are confirmed we will confirm these dates as final.

What about Covid

DofE has created some flexibility to help participants complete expeditions given restrictions due to Covid. We will use these while also running all activities in line with the relevant restrictions set by the Scottish Government, Youth Link Scotland and Scouts Scotland to do all we can to provide expeditions, particularly as some schools may not be able to do this. This may require parents to drop off and collect participants each day if camping overnight remains prohibited. There is also the possibility to use a Bronze qualifier to also count as a Silver practice, and a Silver Qualifier to also count as a Gold practice – and our plans above are scheduled to allow that when participants meet the related age and registration requirements. We’ll discuss these in detail with the relevant groups.

Any other questions or comments

If you have any questions or comments please contact us using the email address shown as your BraidCraig contact at the start of this email. Information will also be posted as our plans progress on our website at https://www.craigalmondscouts.org/braidcraigdofe/