D of E Training

The DofE is committed to ensuring high quality training is in place for DofE Leaders and volunteers that run our programmes. It is the competence and confidence of our Leaders that provides inspirational, top quality experiences for the thousands of young people who aim to achieve an Award.

Many young people who enter the D of E award find it a life changing experience. The award is made up on three progressive awards. Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each award is made up of four separate sections. These sections provide a wide range of possibilities to anyone aged between 14-24. There are millions of young people who have participated in the worlds leading youth achievement award. The awards are designed to progressively push personal boundaries and build and add new skills. This enables the young people to enhance their CV and University applications.

The Award Sections

The Expedition

Bronze, Silver and Gold Level Expedition Training

One day of initial training to introduce the young people to:

What will be covered on the training day.

Tent Pitching Camp Craft
Food & Cooking equipment
First Aid & Emergency Procedures
Map Reading Exercise
Compass Skills & Practical Map Skills
An Awareness of Risk and Health and Safety Issues
Route Planning for a training day walk
Information and training on leave no trace policy

A morning or afternoon walk where the young people practice using a map and compass in the field.

Time will be provided to facilitate:

Navigation Route Planning, Observation Recording and Aim, (Compass & Practical Map Skills) Menu planning and cooking.

Bronze 6 route planning hours, Silver 8 route planning hours and Gold 9 route planning hours.

Practice & Qualifying Expeditions for Bronze Two days walking with one overnight camp or three days walking with two overnight camps for Silver and for the Gold level 4 days walking with 3 overnight camps potentially in a remote situation. Expeditions are carried out between the end of March and the End of October a minimum of 4 people in a team and a maximum of seven people in the team.

Presentation or a report on the expedition aim.

Costs are based on the level of the expedition and number of young people on the expedition.

Two laminated maps of the area will be provided to each team for use during the expedition. Two Silva compasses will be provided to each team for use during the expedition.
One simple mobile phone will be provided to each team for use during the expedition.
2 Trangia cookers per team will be provided.

The Other Sections


Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people’s lives. Perhaps you’re interested in animals or conservation? Or you might like to work with older people or raise money for a cause that means a lot to you? From teaching children cyber safety to starting a local recycling campaign, the Volunteering section of your DofE enables you to give your time to help others and change things for the better.


The Physical section is a chance for you to focus on your health and fitness and have fun along the way. As long as you pick something that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity, the possibilities are endless.

Improve your football, rock climbing or dance skills or try a completely new sport or activity. Join a team or do it on your own. You don’t have to be super fit or world class – with the DofE, it’s about setting your own challenges, giving 100% and being the very best you can be.


The Skills section is about discovering what you’re really good at. Maybe you want to get better at something you already do, like playing a musical instrument, or learn something for the very first time, like how to design a website? By developing practical and social skills and nurturing your personal interests and talents, you’ll boost your self-esteem and your CV.


Imagine horse riding in the Brecon Beacons, cycling in the Scottish Highlands or hiking in Canada. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll have an unforgettable experience getting to grips with the great outdoors.

As part of a small team, you’ll plan and complete a practice and final expedition that will truly stretch your horizons. You’ll improve your communication and leadership skills and take a rucksack full of memories home with you.

Residential (for Gold participants only)

If you’re going for your Gold DofE Award, you need to complete an additional Residential section. You can choose from a range of residential activities – from helping at a National Trust site in the UK to working with children in India.

You’ll spend five days and four nights taking part in a shared, worthwhile activity with people you’ve never met before. A DofE residential will boost your independence and confidence and is a great way to leave a positive footprint on your life and other people’s.

Basic Kit List (additional items will be provided for Gold level)

Regardless of your past experiences, this equipment is the minimum required for expeditions undertaken with Down in the Woods ltd and is based on the recommendations of the DofE. This list forms the basis of the pre expedition check conducted with each team on the day prior to the start of the expedition. Some items of specialist kit may be hired at a small charge. Please contact us to enquire.

Download the Kit List (PDF).

Personal Kit (To Wear Walking)

1 x pair Walking Boots (broken in) and spare laces 1 x pair Walking Socks
1 x pair Thin Socks / Sock Liners (optional)
1 x Thermal Top or T-shirt
1 x Microfleece / Sweater
1 x Walking Trousers (warm; NOT jeans)

Personal Kit (To Carry)

1 x Large Rucksack (approximately 55-65 litre capacity) 1 x Rucksack Liner (or 2 x strong, large plastic bags)
1 x Waterproof Jacket
1 x Waterproof Trousers
1 x Sleeping Mat
1 x Sleeping Bag
1 x Sleeping Bag Liner (optional) suitable for the season
1 x Waterproof Bag (dry store bag) (for storing sleeping bag)
1 x Personal First Aid Kit
1 x Watch
1 x Whistle
Small quantity of money (optional)
1 x Notebook and Pen / Pencil 1 x Survival Bag per team
1 x Torch, spare batteries and bulb (e.g. small Maglite or Petzl headtorch) (spare bulb not required for LED torches)
1 x Emergency Food Rations (not to be eaten until the end!)
1 x Water Bottle / Carrier (e.g. Sigg, Nalgene, Platypus or strong plastic, 1-2 litres) 1 x Knife, Fork, Spoon set / Spork