A BEG expedition boarding a plane.

Expeditions

International Expeditions

Borders Exploration Group is best known for its International Expeditions and aims to organise an overseas expedition (approximately) every two years.

So far, Expeditions have gone to:

All International Expeditions are led by a team of volunteer leaders and every expedition typically consists of three phases:

European Expeditions

European expeditions were initiated to fill the need for a shorter experience which was less expensive in time and cost. All the same expedition aims, selection and training procedures apply as in the International Expeditions.

So far expeditions have gone to:-

European Expedition Presentation Guidelines

In the years between the International expeditions there is an expedition to a country closer to home. These expeditions have so far gone to Poland, Norway, the Pyrenees and Romania and have normally lasted around 17 days (2 weeks including the weekends at each end). The expeditions are smaller than the International expeditions and have had around 12-15 venturers and 5-7 leaders. Although not constrained to destinations within Europe the expectation is that the trip should be much more affordable than an International expedition and past expeditions have cost around £300 per person and have therefore not required too much fundraising.

If you would like to propose a destination for a European expedition please prepare a presentation detailing the following points:

Expedition Quotes

What the Venturers say:

A Typical International Expedition Timetable

The Table below shows a fairly typical timetable for planning an Expedition. Along with this, there will be a substantial number of Leader meetings to ensure all the plans are going well. Leaders and Venturers will also be carrying out their fund personal raising events as well as group fund rasing. In simple terms, an International Expedition is almost a two year commitment which is a very busy time for everyone involved.

Destination Research & Proposals Done
Destination Selection Oct / Nov
Further Destination Research Jan - March
Leader Selection Weekend March / April
Detailed Research / Phase Planning April to June
Venturer Selection Day April / May / June
Initial Training Day June / July
1st Training Weekend September
2nd Training Weekend October
3rd Training Weekend November
4th Training Weekend Jan / Feb
5th Training Weekend March
Final Training Weekend June
Packing Day Early July
The Expedition July August
Reporting Weekend September

Selection Procedures

Venturers

The group is open to Borderers aged sixteen upwards (because the time from selection to departure is around 15 months, they may be selected younger than sixteen).

Following submission of an application form, Venturers are selected during an outdoor adventure day.

Through a variety of team challenges, venturers are observed for qualities such as humour, stamina, initiative, communication and application. Wherever practicable, no medical condition or handicap will be a barrier to selection.

Leaders

Leaders are all self-financing volunteers. They too are selected by rigorous procedures and their ability to integrate with venturers is imperative. Leader selection takes place over a weekend.

As with the Venturers, prospective Leaders are put through a series of challenging and demanding tasks over a weekend. Their ability to work as a Team, face up to tricky situations, show initiative and maintain their composure while coping with a variety of unusual tasks will decide who will be able to face up to the demands of leading an Expedition.

Despite the terms "leaders" and "venturers", every expedition has agreed that the group works as one unit.

The Training Team

The members of the Training Team are selected from the main B.E.G organisation; they are always experienced members who have either led or participated in previous expeditions. The Team start by interviewing the Chief Leader, then organise the selection of the Leader Team and advise on the Venturer selection.

The training team have a remit to ensure that all the training requirements of the group are met, these include training weekends, training days and specific events where specialist can be brought in to address the expedition team. Apart from the organisational aspect of the training the team are there to advise, support and guide both Venturers and Leaders with particular attention being paid to the health, safety and welfare of the group members.

The Training Team work in close co-operation with the Chief Leader but also provide an independent and confidential platform where expedition members can air any problems, grievances or simply talk through any concerns. The Training Team are responsible to the Borders Exploration Group Committee.

The Training Team for each expedition can be contacted at any time and will address any expedition issue be it from Leaders, Venturers, Parents or indeed from any interested party.

If you are interested in helping at any of the training weekends please contact BEG using the website contact form.

Training

Training for an International Expedition starts almost a year before the Expedition is due to depart. Over some six Training Weekends, venturers and leaders provided with basic first aid training, camping skills and other useful techniques. They are faced with a wide variety of "tricky situations" Emergency scenarios, personal challenges and team building exercises.

Through all of this, they also have to continue with their personal fund raising as well as day to day School or Work commitments.

A recent training weekend timetable went something like this:

Friday
Evening
Arrive, register, prepare route plans
for Saturday's walks.
Saturday
am
Rise at 7:00am, breakfast by 8:00,
pack and leave hall by 9:00am.
Saturday
am & pm
Walk, (mostly 10-12km) to campsite,
carrying all kit and food.
Saturday
pm & eve
Set up Camp, Make evening meal,
Camp fire, early to bed.
Sunday
3am!!!
Emergency Evacuation of Campsite.
Sunday
am
Make breakfast, break camp,
ready to leave at 9:30am.
Sunday
am
Walk ~ 4km to supplied map reference;
for what?
Sunday
am & pm
Emergency Casualty Evacuation.
A minibus has hit a land mine in a river, we have to find and treat the injured.
Sunday
pm
Return to Hall for hot Soup & debrief,
head for home with tents to clean.


The Minibus

We were presented with a Minibus which had been in an accident. No ordinary accident mind you, it was on fire having struck a mine while fording a river!!

As if that wasn't enough, there had been 10 people in it, four were still there, trapped inside the bus, injured of course and needing to be rescued.

Six others had managed to get out of the bus. They had to be found, treated for any injuries and then carried back to the tents which we had to set up as an emergency relief centre.

We were in for a lot of first aid and carrying.

CPR - Venturers try to revive Annie

Some of our Venturers carry out CPR on Annie to try and revive her. It says much for their determination and how seriously they took the exercise that they carried on with this for more than an hour on a frosty February morning.

The River Crossing

One very worried casualty, with an equally nervous carrying team!

Once the casualties had been found, they had to be taken back to a "secure area". For some this involved a short carry, for others it meant a major test of nerve as they were usually in a stretcher, completely dependant on the folk carrying them safely for quite a long distance.

In this case, the casualty had already been lifted over a barbed wire fence and was now facing another obstacle with the prospect of a good soaking in extremely cold water if the team got it wrong.

The good news is that we crossed the river with wet feet and a dry, very relieved casualty. On reflection of how the training weekend had gone, we were all very grateful to the folk who had offered to be our victims.