Trekking 120km across the Jordanian desert in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia.
When: 15th – 24th April 2014
What: A 120km trek across the Jordanian desert in the footsteps of T E Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, with 26 Royal Air Force Air Cadets and Staff.
Who: 18 RAF Air Cadets
5 RAF Air Cadet Staff, inc Officers, NCOs and Civilian Instructors
2 Expedition Leaders
1 Egyptian leader (Liaison)
5 Bedouin Support Crew
Status: Completed Download Expedition Report
Following 3 days of acclimatisation and training in Wadi Rum, including desert navigation, film making, desert survival skills, the team trekked for 120km across the Jordanian desert.
They carried all their equipment and made camp in the desert each night under the stars, during the trek the team worked together to navigate themselves towards their goal, developed desert expedition and leadership skills and undertook the physical challenge of trekking in temperatures of up to 45ºC!
On arrival in Mudawarra, the team spent time at the old Hajez Railway station, which during WW1 was a garrison where Lawrence undertook a major attack on a train, outlined in his memoirs “The 7 Pillars of Wisdom”. After following in his footsteps across the desert the team had a real understanding of what Lawrence and his troops went through.
The expedition team consisted of 20 cadets aged 14-20, and 6 adult staff , who worked for 8 months before the expedition, fundraising, training and researching. By completing this challenging expedition they gained a real insight into this little studied part of history, and had developed team and leadership skills in a unique environment and with a real purpose.
The expedition met a number of aims as an educational expedition in its purpose, ethos and experience, it also upheld the RAF Air Cadets motto “Venture, Adventure”.
Wadi Rum – Jordan
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
- To deliver a challenging expedition for RAF Air Cadets.
- To learn about and understand the context of the Arab revolt, and TE Lawrence.
- To engage young people with adventurous expeditions.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
This was an educational expedition, and the young people were involved in all stages of the planning. They researched the life of TE Lawrence, delivered presentations to parents and other stakeholders about the expedition, undertook fundraising activities, and completed specific training to develop their skills.
These elements are crucial to the educational expedition experience and meant that the impact of the expedition on the participants would be lasting and permanent.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Sam McConnell: Deputy Expedition Leader
Squadron Leader RAFVR(T) Paul Saunders
Sergeant (ATC) Nicole Harvie
Civilian Instructor (ATC) Andrew Hogan
Civilian Instructor (ATC) Christopher Mance
Civilian Instructor (ATC) Eloise Sinclair
Cadet Warrant Officer Sam Huckle
Cadet Warrant Officer Elaine Seow
Cadet Sergeant Jack Cunnion
Cadet Sergeant Henry Terry
Corporal Charlotte Drury
Corporal Luke Graves
Corporal Matthew Wain
Corporal Joshua Plenderleith
Cadet Adam Potter
Cadet James Crawley
Cadet Rowan Beswick
Cadet Sean Bruce
Cadet Morgan Chalmers
Cadet Dominic Du Preez
Cadet Ben Harvey
Cadet Emma Elson
Cadet Joshua Parson
Cadet Oliver Peplow
ORGANISATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
RAF Air Cadets- 2427 (Biggin Hill) Squadron ATC
HQ RAF Air Cadets
Kent Wing ATC
Other funds came from personal contributions and fundraising events- sponsored bike ride, boot fairs, spitfire pull.
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