DofE Drama in a Wing that shall remain nameless

I recently heard about some ongoing DofE drama in a Wing which shall remain nameless.

Without too much detail, DofE expedition run through the Wing AT team called off due to group issues. Parent complains. Complaint upheld by Region. Parent paid compensation to cover cost of child completing DofE through a private company. WATTO + Dep resigns. DofE through the Wing currently banned pending a review.

Anyone else familiar with what I’m talking about?

I had this information second hand but from a reliable source.

To me, this is probably the most worrying development I’ve seen in the way that:

A) CFAV are treated - in that they stop the expedition for legit reasons, and the chain of command backs a parent.

B) Parents seemingly being supported to claim money to complete a voluntary award privately, meaning that (in theory), any cancelled expedition, or cadet not completing could be subject to the same issue…

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I know the story you’re talking about. CFAV have been hung out to dry, despite doing everything correctly. It’s an utter farce.


Urgh…I was hoping it wasn’t true…

It’s honestly unbelievable, and sets a dangerous precedent. I feel sorry for the staff involved.


What in the hell. I’ve heard of ‘Karen moments’ but that’s something else… I’ve never heard of a parent even trying something like that, let alone it work. I would love to know the detail of this, mainly so I can protect my self if regions are going to start hanging CFAVs out to dry when a parent complains…


I’ve previously worked in schools where this has been an issue. Had parents demanding refunds for enrolment fees when their child was on holiday for expedition dates, and also when I failed a group on their expedition because I caught them getting off a bus at the campsite - 2 parents demanded a refund for the expedition and for the enrolment fee, school told them to jog on.

The whole thing is very concerning, mostly the way the CFAV have been treated.


Yeah, not liking this at all!

I’ve been part of a staff team that failed a gold group. I could imagine parents complaining then, especially because of the costs involved to get there. But the failure was the correct choice for the assessor, and thankfully everyone agreed.

Had there been a complaint I’d like to think region would have stuck up for us.

Do you know who paid this? Where did the money come from and who had to say yes?

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I don’t know the specifics of whether it was the Wing or the Region that paid. It seems as though the team of staff in the Wing are being blamed however, and there was a team of staff who delivered the expeditions, who are currently banned from doing so.

This whole thing seems crazy!! Obviously not many details are known. But from the outside looking in this seems mad.

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Banned until they can go on a refresher training course as a minimum afaik, though I think one of them has gone NEP in the meantime partly owing to the stress.

Absolutely ridiculous. From what I’ve heard, everything was done correctly.


It depends why the exped was called off & why the complaint was up held.

It may well be that some minor process hasn’t been followed that has scuppered everything

Someone somewhere hasn’t followed current DofE policy exactly, that then made the complaint substantive & therefore upheld.

Volunteers are then scuppered as they have followed the accepted practise but not the currently correct one (which may not have actually been communicated to them).

Angry & disappointed parents & cadets, angry & demoralised staff as they haven’t been supported.

We had this happen a while ago in the shooting world & it sounds that the lessons on volunteer management of that saga hasn’t been learnt.


Problem here is we don’t know what’s really happened. Both @Threaders and @GrandMaster_Flush are saying that all the rules were followed. I’m with you in that something must not have been followed. But I have no reason not to believe the other two. And frankly, I can imagine region staff throwing CFAVs under the bus to stop the complaint…


Ultimately I can’t say hand on heart everything was followed, as I’m relying on hearing the information from someone else.

Hopefully someone who knows more can comment :face_with_monocle:


Realistically considering that volunteers aren’t employees an Exped could easily be cancelled on the day by a family emergency or similar if you only have the 1 qualified member of staff.

I agree that if something gets cancelled people should get a full refund even if that leaves the Squadron/Wing/Region out of pocket and everything should be done to arrange a replacement but we shouldn’t as an organisation be expected to pay for a replacement with a commercial provider.


Exactly, where is the line drawn?

We provide private flying scholarships to everyone who lost a flying scholarship when the age changed?

Or flights privately for cadets who get to AEF only for it to be rained off?

More unsettling is that I believe the conduct of the group in question was such that failing was the right choice… which means to some extent it was the groups fault…


Oh no, don’t give people ideas… I could see this working


I just want to say that whilst some of this may have happened, there seems to be lots of speculation, hearsay and ‘made up’ facts!

Let’s not forget there are volunteers involved here who are being hung out to dry unnecessarily when actually, they just need support and praise for getting on with their jobs!


Yup. The staff involved don’t deserve this.


So was the Exped Cancelled or did the group fail? As those are very different things.

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Sounds like it was cancelled.