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Teenagers shine during expedition

Overcoming adversity: The Duke of Edinburgh participants

A group of nine Bermudian students have overcome adversity, blisters and a German heatwave to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition.

The teenagers travelled to the town of Osterburken, just south of Frankfurt, at the end of last month to take on the notoriously challenging adventure.

All nine of them successfully completed the four-day expedition that saw them camp out for three nights and walk about 100 kilometres (62 miles).

“It was a very successful trip and the groups did exceptionally well,” said Brendan Millet, national award leader.

“With us having travelled around 20 hours through Miami to get to Germany, it was a bit of a culture shock arriving in Europe.

“But the students soon acclimatised and got down to the business of finalising their routes for the expedition.

“The five girls and four boys, who are all 17, were divided into two groups, and after a couple of days in Germany set off on their adventures.

‘The whole process is a journey and a learning experience, and the groups overcame plenty of adversity and challenges along the way.”

While in Germany, the Duke of Edinburgh participants were able to achieve the five-day residential project component of the award by maintaining, cooking and living in a school property.

This is the third time that Duke of Edinburgh participants from Bermuda have travelled to Germany to complete the Gold Expedition.

Last year, the students went to St Vincent in the Caribbean.

Mr Millet said: “We experienced a bit of a heatwave while we were in Germany.

“At times during the day the temperatures peaked at 102ºF, while at night they went right down to 55ºF, so the students had to deal with some tough conditions.

“There were plenty of blisters and within the groups, individuals showed great character throughout.”

The students returned to Bermuda on Sunday having completed their expedition.

The nine-strong Bermuda contingent comprised Keevon Minors, Xah-Niyan Hunt, Ayo-Oluwa Salawu, Sydney Mason, Shannon Mahoney, Riley Ricketts, Tasia Trott, Luke Pimental and Aiden Young.