Invite to Explorers Jan 2021

Information to register for DofE Expeditions – January 2021

Welcome to the new website for South East Explorer Expeditions (SEEE for short!)  – the new name for the BraidCraig 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.

What has changed since our last email in December and what you need to do by when

This information has been updated on 10th January 2021 since the original emails sent out in December to Explorer Scouts in a number of Units within South East Scotland Region. If you received these emails we recommend you read this update.

If you want to take part in any of the expeditions please make sure you do two things!

  1. Submit a google form with your preferences and contact details by 20th January – details are given below.
  2. Join an Welcome/Introduction  Zoom call for participating Explorers and parents on Sunday 24th January to cover how expeditions will be organised this year, how our plans are advancing, and to cover any questions or feedback you or your parents may have. We will email details of this to everyone who submitted a Google form by 20th January.

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?

  • For the DofE Award in general contact the Leader for your Unit or District who acts as the DofE Leader (registration, eDofE, admin or the other sections – Skills, Physical, Volunteering, and Residential ). If you are unsure who it is contact your Explorer Scout Unit Leader, or dofe@craigalmond.org.uk.
  • 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.

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. 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 submit your preferences as soon as you possibly can, and by 20th January at the latest so we can send you details of our activities that start on 24th January.

What happens next?

  • Sunday 24th January – An online session for everyone taking part this year  – it is likley to be in the evening.
  • Sunday 31st January, Sunday 7th February – the first two Expedition skills training sessions for everyone who is taking part in their first expedion start on Sunday 31st January and Sunday 7th February online. ( Bronze expeditions and direct entrants to Silver and Gold ).

We will share your OSM information from your Unit to the OSM section for SEEE and use this for future communication and to let you know the various activities for your expedition.

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

If you aren’t already registered for DofE with Explorer Scouts, you will need to have submitted your information to register with your local Unit/District for DofE at the level of the Expedition you are completing. We can cover any questions on this at the welcome session on 24th January or by email.

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 as soon as possible if you need to register for DofE, obtain a place for the next level of the Award level on eDofE, or transfer from your school.

Training

Training will include both online sessions and outdoor practice and full details of the schedule will be communicated once we have everyone’s responses returned.

If you haven’t previously completed DofE expedition training, you will need to complete our training which starts from Sunday 31st January online to the end of March.  You should complete this training if you are completing a Bronze expedition, or are starting at Silver or Gold rather than progressing from Bronze.

More advanced training appropriate to the level and type of expedition will be provided for Silver and Gold expeditions.

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.

Within Scouting we are currently only able to run online activities – schedules for outdoor training and expeditions will depend on when we can return to face-face activities and guidance on Covid guidelines issued by the Scottish Government. We will do all we can to keep plans flexible so that expeditions can be completed as the situation changes.

Any other questions or comments
If you have any questions or comments on expeditions please contact us using the appropriate email address for your District:

Information will also be posted as our plans progress on our website at https://www.see-expeditions.org.uk.