FAQ

Please take the time to read our frequently asked questions.

Welcome to Karos Adventure. We are delighted that your son or daughter is participating in the DofE programme. It’s an incredible opportunity for them to experience an expedition where they need to be self-sufficient, as well as do some volunteering, develop a skill and a physical activity. Employers value the DofE highly and are always glad to see it on a CV.

At Karos Adventure we focus on delivering the expedition section of the award. We work closely with schools to plan training, a practise expedition and the qualifying expedition.

Here are some of the questions we are most commonly asked. We hope you will find the answer to your query here. If not, please ask your son/daughter’s school for further information. If there is information you would like to see added to this page, you can contact us via the contact form on our website or message via the Facebook page.

I have questions. Should I ask the school or Karos?

Does my son/daughter have to attend all sessions?

What paperwork will I receive?

How do I access the resources section of your website?

My son/daughter has a medical condition. Can they still do an expedition?

How is an expedition different to an ordinary weekend camp?

There’s an emergency contact number on the joining instructions. What should I use it for?

What time should I collect my son/daughter?

Can mobile phones be taken on the expedition?

If my son/daughter can't take a mobile phone, how will I know they are OK?

What if my son/daughter needs help?

What if my son/daughter rings me during the expedition?

What food should be packed?

What equipment will be needed?

How does my son/daughter get to the start point on the joining instructions?

Do I need to provide fuel for cooking?

How is an open expedition different and do you run them?

I have questions. Should I ask the school or Karos?

Your first port of call should always be the school. They are ultimately responsible for the organisation behind the expedition and they know what information has been sent out and what is still to do.

Does my son/daughter have to attend all sessions?

In short – yes! There must be a certain amount of training, then a practise expedition and finally a qualifying expedition. All participants must attend all sessions in order to fulfil health and safety requirements and the 20 expedition conditions. Occasionally other arrangements can be made if there is an issue due to serious illness or injury. Please contact the school in the first instance and contact us directly if necessary.

What paperwork will I receive?

A few weeks (or even months!) before the expeditions, you will receive a medical form to fill in. Please ensure you fully complete both sides of the form, sign it (both you and your son/daughter) and return it to school as soon as possible. Do let us know nearer the expedition if anything has changed.

In the run up to the expedition you will receive a kit list and a menu planner. These help your son/daughter to make sure they have suitable clothing, equipment and food for their time away.

About a week before the expedition you will receive ‘joining instructions’. These tell you where and when to drop off and collect your son/daughter. There’s a lot of useful information on there so please do read carefully.

How do I access the resources section of your website? It needs a password!

Our factsheets are freely available to access, just click on the buttons on the factsheets page. The page includes copies of our recommended kit list, food and menu planning and advice on packing a rucksack. It does not include specific details of participants or times, dates and places of expeditions for data protection reasons.

Our clients (schools & other organisations) and staff can access resources particularly useful. If you are signed up with us, you should have received an email giving you a link to access these resources. If you have not received this link, please email website@karosadventure.com and request access.

My son/daughter has a medical condition. Can they still do an expedition?

In short – yes! Some minor variations can be made easily, others need the completion of a form to explain why the expedition conditions cannot be exactly met. Please discuss individual concerns with the school and make sure all information about the condition and medication is included when you complete the medical form. If there are any changes to the condition or medicines after the medical form has been submitted, please inform the school so that the leaders working with your son/daughter can be fully informed.

How is an expedition different to an ordinary weekend camp?

The DofE has set out 20 expedition conditions that must be met for the trip to count as an expedition for DofE. These can be found by visiting http://www.dofe.info/en/content/cms/doing-your-dofe/activities-sections/expedition/20-conditions/

There’s an emergency contact number on the joining instructions. What should I use it for?

This is, as it says for emergencies. You could ring it to say that there has been a family emergency and you need to make different collection arrangements for your son/daughter. If you’re going to be late to the pick-up location (please try to get there early!) you could ring it to let us know, then we can warn your son/daughter not to worry, you are on your way. Really, you are unlikely to need to ring it at all. All the information you need regarding the expedition is on the joining instructions.

The number is also given to all participants so they can call if they run into difficulties during the expedition and struggle to get hold of the adults who are nearest them, perhaps due to lack of phone signal. Our leaders will also use it to call us if there are any issues that need resolving. However, the leaders’ priority is always the health and safety of the young people in their care, so they won’t be ringing unless absolutely necessary.

What time should I collect my son/daughter?

The pick-up time is on the joining instructions. Unfortunately it’s pretty much impossible to be more specific than that. The leaders won’t take time out from supervising your young people to ring us with an update on times. The health and safety of the group in their care is the leaders’ first and potentially only responsibility. It’s impossible to predict until very shortly before they walk into the finish point. The ideal scenario is for you to be early, but bring a book and be prepared to wait. They will feel much better if you’re there waiting for them, rather than if they have to wait for you to arrive. Participants can have access to their mobile phones again once they have completed the expedition, been debriefed and returned all Karos kit so they could contact you then if you haven’t arrived.

Can mobile phones be taken on the expedition?

The final decision for this really rests with the school. However, our advice is that the young people do take their mobile phones. However, they must be switched off and sealed in a waterproof bag. Ideally phones get to the end of the expeditions still in their sealed bag. They MUST NOT be used to communicate with home or friends at any point during the expedition, including at camp. Any issues should first be brought to the attention of school or Karos staff on site. They will contact us if necessary and we can call you. Phones should ONLY be used in case of an emergency, such as a sprained ankle, illness or being completely lost. Participants have telephone numbers of the staff near them who they should call first. They also have our emergency contact number. It is rare that groups need to make calls at all as they are closely or remotely supervised at all times (depending on the stage they are at).

If my son/daughter can't take a mobile phone, how will I know they are OK?

The best thinking here is that no news is good news. Even if mobile phones are taken on the expedition, they are only allowed to be used in an emergency, so they need to be switched off anyway. Please do not try to contact participants while they are training or on expedition. We will contact you if there are any serious issues. Anything minor will be handled by our staff and school staff without any need to contact you, just as it would be at school. A member of staff will speak to whoever picks up at the end of the expedition if there is anything to report. Please do ensure that we have an accurate contact number for you and that you are available throughout the expedition so that we can contact you if need be.

What if my son/daughter needs help?

Our leaders are always nearby, monitoring the progress of groups. The supervision is closest at Bronze level. Participants are given the phone numbers of staff they can contact in an emergency. At the campsite there are always our leaders close by and usually school staff too (especially at Bronze and Silver level). Part of the training before an expedition helps the young people to consider how to respond in situations where they might feel the need to seek help.

What if my son/daughter rings me during the expedition?

They really shouldn’t! Phones are for emergencies only and the expedition conditions state that the young people should be self-sufficient. Please don’t panic if they ring you. Be firm with them and ask them to speak to a member of staff, either from the school or from Karos.

What food should be packed?

As part of the training there will be a session on food and menu planning. The main things to consider are the need for decent food that will provide energy (3000 calories per day is the recommended amount while on expedition), non-perishable food (there is no access to a fridge) and food that is easy to cook. You also need to consider how much weight food adds to the rucksack. Don’t take a 500g bag of pasta when only 100g will be eaten. No tins, glass jars or frozen food! (Yes, it really does happen!)

What equipment will be needed?

A kit list will be provided to help you know what to pack. School should send this home to you. You can also find it on our participant resources page. A rucksack to carry everything in is essential, as is a sleeping bag and a decent pair of waterproof walking boots with ankle supports. Clothing should be comfortable, material that dries easily (definitely not jeans or heavy cotton) and plenty of layers. A hat and decent pair of waterproof gloves are essential whatever the weather at the start of the expedition. Camp sites can be very cold places and weather changes quickly in more remote locations.

How does my son/daughter get to the start point on the joining instructions?

Sometimes a school uses a mini-bus or coach to take all participants together. Other times parents need to transport the participants themselves (do car share with participants who are in the same group!). Please discuss this with the school as they are responsible for this organisation. If you do car share, please only transport students who are in the same expedition group. Very occasionally finish points need to be changed and this can cause problems if one parent is picking up students from different groups. Finish times of different groups can also vary considerably.

Do I need to provide fuel for cooking?

Check with the school. However, most schools are using fuel we provide, so probably not.

How is an open expedition different and do you run them?

We work mostly with schools who are organising DofE. Particularly at gold level, there can be young people who want to do DofE but are not in an establishment that runs it. They can register for DofE with a virtual centre and then attend an open expedition, which includes young people from any area. Our website if we are running any of these.