Air cadets from across the Durham/Northumberland Wing area have completed the expedition section of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The 22 cadets and staff, aged between 16 and 24, spent four days in Northumberland’s Cheviot Hills, completing a journey on foot that they had planned themselves – taking them from Wooler on the northern side of the hills to Alwinton on the southern side.
They were entirely self-sufficient throughout, for example, carrying all their own equipment and food, camping out in tents and collecting and purifying their drinking water.
Most of the cadets, who were from a range of squadrons including Ashington, had already completed the Bronze and Silver levels of the award and so this was the culmination of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award experience, and a challenge in its own right.
Squadron Leader Liz Green, the wing’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award officer and expedition co-ordinator, said: “This is one of the toughest challenges that our young people face in their cadet career.
“As well as the physicality of the venture, they have to be resilient in the face of difficult terrain and unpredictable weather, and they must learn to work as a team and accept each other’s strengths and differences if they are to complete the expedition successfully.”
The cadets, once they have completed all five sections of the Gold Award, will travel to St James’ Palace to be presented with the accolade.