THE number of students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme has more than doubled at a Fareham school this year.
A record 43 youngsters at Henry Cort Community College have signed up to the course, compared with 19 last year and an average of 12 in previous years.
Last month, the new recruits visited the 38-acre Lyons Copse woodland in the Meon Valley where they went hiking, did compass-work and planned routes.
For many boys and girls it was their first camping trip.
Wendy Townrow, Henry Cort’s DofE co-ordinator, said: ‘The award gets young people involved in the community as well as learning new skills for themselves.
‘The expeditions stretch them to achieve beyond their normal capabilities and teach them life skills, an enjoyment of the countryside and, most importantly, how to work together as a team.
‘I firmly believe that young lives are enriched through DoE – and if it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t do it myself.’
The scheme involves a combination of challenges to develop fitness and social skills, as well as volunteering and planning an outdoor expedition.
Phil Munday, principal, said: ‘It’s great to see that the number of participants continues to rise year on year.’