Alfresco Adventures

Alfresco Adventures

Experience the great outdoors

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Struggling to think of a DofE Aim for your expedition?

Here are a few ideas for what you could do for your expedition aim for your Duke of Edinburgh Award. We offer three modes of transport on foot, by bicycle, by canoe. We hope you find theses useful!
On foot
History:
• Explore and document cairns.
• Investigate the changes in local agriculture over the last 100 years.
• Explore an historic place made famous in a film or television programme and document the scenery.
• Investigate Roman sites around Hadrian’s Wall.
• Photograph and describe interesting old buildings along your route.

Environment:
• Decorate a white t-shirt, using inspiration from the scenery that you see along your route.
• Search for forms of fungi, photograph or sketch them and record them.
• Paint different types of trees and correctly identify them.
• List and film the different kinds of birds that you see.
• As second mini aim, draw all the different star constellations that you see.

Teamwork:
• Create a series of communication signals to use within your team.
• Do a fun team game or challenge each day to promote team building.
• Make a video diary of your team’s experiences, from camping and cooking to reaching your destination.
• Design a team motif and make a badge or accessory for each team member to wear that reflects your journey.
• As a team, identify different team roles and rotate each day.

Conservation:
• Monitor the levels of litter on your route and plan how you could campaign to reduce this.
• Consider the impact of vehicles on the environment along your route.
• Record evidence of wildlife breeding programmes and how you would start your own.
• Investigate the maintenance of footpaths and hedgerows.
• Study local efforts to stop the erosion of coastlines.

Physical:
• Record your different emotions over the expedition and relate it to the physical challenge.
• Set a group challenge to speed walk every day for a certain period of time and keep each other going.
• Monitor what time of day people have the most energy to push themselves harder and improve your journey times.
• Film warm up and warm down sessions before and after your day’s walk.
• Monitor changing heart rates and body temperature on the expedition route.

Literature:
• Write a series of poems of your experiences and critique them.
• Visit areas which inspired poetry, such as the Lake District and Wordsworth.
• Explore sites made famous in folklore, such as Robin Hood’s legendary home of Sherwood Forest.
• Use your funniest expedition moments to create a play and perform it as your presentation.
• Write a short ghost story or mystery tale based loosely on your expedition.

By bicycle
Teamwork:
• Keep a log of the weather throughout your expedition and how you adapted to it as a team.
• Create a team song or chant to motivate each other and use it in your
• Monitor how well the group stay together using distance between lead and rear cyclist as a guide, and improve this over your expedition.
• Create a video diary of your team’s expedition, concentrating on positives about each other.
• Investigate difficulties in communication when cycling and find methods to overcome them.

Environment:
• Make a documentary about the most common wildlife in the area.
• Investigate the features of a river using an adjacent cycle path.
• Sketch some of the insects you spot and find out what they are.
• Photograph different types of flora and fauna on your route and compare them with each other.
• Create a nature guide of your route for future visitors.

Conservation:
• Consider the impact of tourism on your surroundings.
• Examine the conservation efforts for wildlife in ponds and lakes on your route.
• Monitor the management of paths on your route, such as fallen trees and overgrowth.
• Investigate the erosion caused by bikes compared to foot travel.
• Study the state of repair of bike-friendly styles and gates.

History:
• Find clues to local industry or crafts that historically took place where you visit.
• Plan a route near a castle and explore how old it is and who occupied it in the past.
• Cycle along parts of a disused railway to explore its history and use of any surviving buildings.
• Note the period and style of architecture of interesting buildings you pass.
• Plan a tour of famous battlefields, learning about their history.

By wheelchair
Teamwork:
• Create a training film for other groups about navigation and expedition skills.
• Make a diary of the group’s experiences and how you supported each other.
• Create a mood board showing the team’s changes in mood throughout the expedition and how you have helped each other through hard times.
• As a team, identify skills you would like to improve and create a team diary showing how you are improving.
• As a team, create an expedition music playlist that represents your experiences.

Environment:
• Draw tree silhouettes to create a piece of artwork for your presentation.
• Prepare a route along a towpath and note the wildlife you see.
• Sketch wildlife you see and do an exhibition at the end of your expedition.
• Report on the accessibility of open spaces to wheelchair users and others with restricted mobility.
• Photograph and identify different types of stones and rocks.

History:
• Discover sites tied to local myths and legends.
• Produce an illustrated guide to a stretch of canal, focusing on its history.
• Follow a disused railway track and investigate ruins and new uses of old buildings.
• Take photographs of historic sites on your route and create a calendar.
• Draw buildings of different periods along your route.

By canoe/kayak
History:
• Investigate Second World War defenses.
• Note the age and history of buildings and areas that you pass.
• Plot the course of a canal and explore the history of why it was built in that location.
• Use authentic old canoes or kayaks and compare how they are made and used compared to modern techniques.
• Sea kayak alongside the D-Day Normandy beaches.

Environment:
• List different flora and fauna that you see by the side of the canal.
• Sketch all the colours you see in nature and create a colour wheel.
• Make a recording of the sounds of nature you hear on your expedition.
• Investigate samples of the river bed on your route and compare them with each other.
• Investigate the use of towpaths, type and frequency of use.

Conservation:
• Help make a canal navigable by keeping a log of parts that need clearing and send it to the owners of the waterway.
• Monitor the human contamination of the waterway and its immediate surroundings.
• Consider the impact of boat traffic on local wildlife.
• Photograph weirs and other water features and investigate their use.
• Study the effect of human erosion on towpaths.

Teamwork:
• After keeping a daily log, each evening, reflect on what challenged and tested your team, suggesting ways of dealing with possible future problems.
• Analyse the team’s need to have a leader and what skills and qualities they should have.
• As a team, investigate problems in communication when canoeing and find methods to make it easier.
• Produce a promotional film about how much fun a canoe expedition can be.
• As a team, record your expedition experiences and create a scrap book.

These suggested aims have been taken from the official DofE website.