The Society is committed to promoting leadership in our young people. Safe and responsible expeditioning demands the highest standard of leadership. Members are frequently sponsored to gain such qualifications as the Single Pitch Assessment, Emergency Rescue Care First Aid, Cave Leadership and Mountain Leadership Awards.

On overseas ventures, each group member accepts responsibility for one vital area of activity. This specialised responsibility may require them to gain qualification or more specific experience before taking to the field. They learn that to succeed on expedition, they must be competent in their chosen field, work together and achieve a high degree of interdependence.

In addition to providing young leaders with administrative support, the Society can assist with recruitment and selection of candidates as well as a comprehensive database of information gained from over forty overseas ventures. We also maintain a mentoring programme to support those starting out to organise their own venture. Aspiring leaders are encouraged to develop their personal skills under the guidance of experienced expedition leaders.

We are rightly proud of our success in fostering young leaders:

  • They increasingly feature on our United Kingdom Teams.
  • Overseas ventures always include them.
  • In any year up to six young DES members will graduate in Outdoor Education.
  • Young people have gone on to lead their own peer group expeditions to the high Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the Alps and Pyrenees of France, the Central Highlands of Indonesia, the Italian Dolomites and the High Tatras of Slovakia, Iceland and Pakistan.

“At the end of our travels in South America, a new idea was discussed. This was a venture to North Africa led by a small group of young leaders. And so the Morocco Expedition was born. In the next twelve months I needed all the experience I had gained, in addition to the support of the Society. Once in Morocco, our team camel trekked across the Sahara, climbed the highest mountain in North Africa and explored the Western Coast. The expedition was hugely successful and was repeated by another team of young leaders the following year.” –  David Short