DofE Expeditions

Harbour Challenge Outdoor Education Centre is a registered Charity and a Approved Activity Provider for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and as such we are licensed to deliver the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for participants looking to complete their award with an open centre. School groups wishing to try something different are also equally welcome to book with us.

We can run the whole expedition part of the DofE or simply help with the parts that you need help with. We have a pool of equipment that can be used by the participants. We can work with groups that are already established (though a school or youth group) and with individuals who we bring together to form an open group.

We run all our walking expeditions in the Purbecks for Bronze, Purbecks and New Forest for Silver and Dartmoor for Gold, Other locations are used by agreement with groups at the time of booking.
Our water based expeditions are run In Poole Harbour for Bronze, River Thames or Ouse for Silver and River Thames and Wye for Gold (choice of canoe or kayak).
Other modes of transport  or locations can be arranged please contact the office for a price prior to booking.

DofE Expeditions

Whats Included.

DofE Expeditions

Pre-expedition information pack with all you need to know about your expedition: including detailed information on how to get to the venue (including by public transport) and a complete kit list. This pack can be accessed through our website Members Login area - we provide you with a password for this when you book;

Free use of group equipment. We will provide you with high quality, light weight tents that are designed for the expedition you are about to undertake. We also provide gas Trangia stoves, first aid kits, and group shelters to help you warm up on blustery days whilst you are preparing your lunch.

Comprehensive training covering all aspects of the D of E syllabus, therefore you do not need any experience or to have done any training prior to joining the expedition.
On completion of our open gold practice expeditions you will have all aspects of training signed off (providing you meet the required standard) - there is no need to do this prior to attending.

Supervision throughout the expedition;
Accredited Assessors for the qualifying expedition, who will help you feel relaxed and encourage you towards completing your expedition;

You Need to Arrange.

Transport to and from the expedition. We give you advice on the easiest way to get to the start of your expedition.

Camping sites and fees (we can supply the names etc) Camping will either be on a farm campsite with basic facilities or wild camping, depending on the location you choose;

Personal equipment, but you have access to a comprehensive kit list in our Members Area to give you guidance on what you need.

All of your own food, but again we will provide you with guidance on this prior to the expedition.


DofE Expedition

Gold Residential Volunteering

This is a just one of many unique residential that we run,and this one gives you an exciting opportunity to join our team of multi-activity instructors and help run our summer activity adventure camps for young people. You will be partnered on each session with one of our experienced instructors and working with a designated groups of young people on different activities for the week. (Age range 14 to 18). You will also get the opportunity to participate in some of the activities such as coasteering and climbing (subject to space being available on the mini bus).

You will be allocated one day a week to work alongside our kitchen team to support us with the preparation of the lunches and the evening meal as well as the all important clear down and washing up of the camp kitchen, (Online level 1 food hygiene course included in the price).

The price includes your accommodation, camping with your fellow participants and your food for the week. However, please bring a packed lunch for the first day.

This residential is open to everyone. However, in line with DofE requirements, group bookings are not permitted but in exceptional cases we will accept bookings for no more than 1 friend.

These volunteering residential’s are guaranteed to run due to the nature of the camps that we are running.

Please note the first and last week are primarily camp setup and takedown.

All Residential start at 1000hrs on the first day and will finish at the earliest 1500hrs on the last day, please take this into consideration when making your travel arrangements.

For more information on all of the DofE programs we run please click the image links below.

Frequently asked questions.

DofE Residential

  • DofE Terms and Conditions

    Terms & Conditions for D of E Open Expeditions & Residential's

    **Parental Consent**

    For those applying whilst under 18, Parental Consent will be needed. This consent assumes full knowledge of the nature of the Expedition / Residential by the Parent/Carer of the Participant as well as of the Terms and Conditions.

    If the date of signature on the Application Form is before the Participant's 18th birthday, Parental Consent is needed.  All participants must have a means of being collected by a responsible adult in the event of them being taken ill whilst on an Expedition or on a Residential. In the event of us being unable to contact you, or you being unable to arrange collection of your child within a short timescale, Harbour Challenge will book your child into the nearest hotel at your cost and our responsibility for the participant will cease at that point. **Confirmation**

    We will email you confirmation of your booking once payment has been made. This will detail the expedition / residential you have booked, including dates and prices. If any details are not correct please tell us immediately so that we can make the appropriate changes. **Minimum numbers**

    We need a minimum of 4 participants for Expeditions and 5 participants for Residentials. In the event of the numbers of participants not reaching or dropping below these numbers, we will contact you to discuss the options. These may include cancelling the expedition and giving you a full refund. If this reduction in numbers happens within a 24 hour timescale, or during the Expedition, the initial £100 deposit will be retained by Harbour Challenge in order to cover our prior set up costs, including campsite fees.


    Full payment is required at time of booking. A £100 deposit is non refundable if you cancel for whatever reason.

    **Eligibility**  You must fulfil all D of E pre-conditions and not have any reason why you should not be eligible for this expedition / residential. Harbour Challenge OEC will not be responsible for your Operating Authority or any other body refusing to ratify your expedition or residential, and will not refund any monies consequent to your failure to fulfil any conditions.  You must be appropriately fit and prepared for the expedition / residential. If our instructors determine at any stage that you are either insufficiently fit or not prepared, they may remove you from the expedition / residential or training periods without notice or warning and without any refund of any monies paid. You understand that you may need to take into account your lifestyle and fitness prior to the Expedition / Residential and prepare appropriately.  You will be asked to complete a medical form; you must complete this fully and make us aware of any and all conditions you have, no matter how relevant you believe them to be. These conditions may become relevant in an emergency in the event that you are given medication or treatment, or if we are not able to communicate with you or your parent/carer.  We will ensure that each participant is given the best opportunity to complete the expedition / residential section. Participants are required to demonstrate the expedition skills that they have learned before we can sign off their training and practice expeditions. Where skills have not been demonstrated to the appropriate standard, further training and practice at the participant's own expense will be necessary before we can allow participants to take part in the qualifying expedition.