b'THE ELLESMERIAN and finish on Thursday with a longer, independent river journey down to Atcham. This allowedthe group to learn new skills, build their teamwork, and understand the importance of waterproofs. 65 For most Ellesmerians, the time needed to devote to their respective physical, volunteering, and skill activities is merely a continuation of what they do already, andwith Covid restrictions lifting even morewe could see this happen in what Ellesmere history would define as normal. Coaching the Lower School on a Thursday afternoon, helping readers in Year 3 and upwards, or volunteering to support the Saturday morning activity schedule were all activities that demonstrated the groups maturity and willingness to help others. The first weekend after the Easter break saw the group complete their three-day, two-night Practice Expedition along the River Severn from Welshpool to Buildwas. In tricky conditions and not having camped for a while due to the global pandemic, the group experienced a steep learning curve in terms of managing their kit, working together, and coping with the unrelenting need to stick together and get through difficulties. A couple decided this was not for them but the majority forged on andby the endhad managed a tough three-day trip. More importantly, they had learned key skills that would be to their advantage in the Summer.Gold Award The final week of Summer TermExpossaw us depart for the River Wye: a return to the usual assessment location after a three-This year saw a further twenty-four Lower Sixth sign up for the Goldyear hiatus due to Covid. Buoyed by their success after Easter, the Duke of Edinburghs Award here at Ellesmere.group coped well with low river levels, long days, and angry swans to complete the marathon river trek from Hay-on-Wye to Monmouth. Towards the end of September, work began on preparing for theSure now that canoeing was not the easy option, the group could upcoming October Expeditions where the Year 12 group wouldleave Monmouth to reflect on a year of progress and achievement undertake the necessary three-day intensive canoe training to equipwith just the Summer Ball to surviveand their final sections to themselves with the skills needed to manage the canoes, stay safe oncomplete in Year 13. the water, and rescue each other. We looked at basic canoe craft and kit requirements in College and were again supported by our in- My thanks, as ever, to Mr Baggaley, Mr Morgan, Miss Killen, Mr Cowley, House Nursing Team with First Aid Sessions focusing on CPR andand The Drummonds of Shrewsbury for their support this year. other crucial skills. October Expeditions saw the group complete an intensive three-dayJSUschedule of canoe trainingincluding the dreaded capsize drills '