The Perse School

Perse Exploration Society – Sweden expedition

2 Jul 2014

Straight after the end of Year 11’s GCSE exams, the Perse Exploration Society Summit 11 group headed to Sweden for a week of canoeing. Perse student, Caroline Howard shares her experiences on the trip.

“On Sunday evening 48 Summit 11 students returned from the annual trip to Sweden where we successfully completed an 8 day canoe hike across the vast Swedish lake of Stora Le. On our journey we stayed on remote and rocky islands with spectacular views and sunsets. Many of the islands were covered in pine forests which meant many of us could spend the night suspended between the trees in hammocks. The wildlife was just as amazing with sightings of osprey, peregrine falcons, a swimming moose and the sound of an evening conversation between a pack of wolves (thankfully on the mainland…).

The weather whilst we were there was much better than in previous years with strong winds at the start of the trip, which allowed for excellent sailing. The wind was followed with a superb week of sunshine such that we could swim in the afternoons. The trip ended with some magnificent thunderstorms.

There were many challenges during the trip. However, thanks to the skills we had learnt in cooking, fishing, foraging, shelter building and fire lighting we were able to overcome them. The most striking achievement was that every group managed to succeed at fire by friction. Several competitions were held including a bake off and a carving competition for which there were some very impressive entries such as a hand crafted squirrel and even a fully-fledged paddle!

The trip gave us the perfect opportunity to relax with all of our friends after our GCSEs as the pace of the expedition was gentle and some of the group had no means of telling the time throughout the trip. Sweden also allowed us to meet and get to know well the members of staff on the expedition, in a way which generally does not occur on a school trip, which therefore made it more interesting and rewarding than others. There could not have been a better way to begin the holidays than to be able to lose ourselves in the beauty of the Swedish Lake District.”

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