DSPA Travel Scholarship Winners

The annual Dauntsey’s School Parents’ Association (DSPA) Travel Scholarship has been awarded to Milly Sampson and Abbie Mitchell who intend to explore Scandinavia’s nature and culture through 18 challenges, and have been awarded £800 to go towards the costs.

The inspiration for this idea came from a recent challenge which they undertook together; The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon. Unfortunately, this year the final day of the race was called off due to adverse weather conditions and the finish line was moved to Teddington, 107.5 miles into the race and only 17.5 miles from Westminster. They were hugely disappointed by this outcome, but it inspired them to undertake 18 challenges to represent each of the miles which they could not complete.


1. Hike up Mount Floyen
2. Hike up Mount Ulriken
3. Feed the Homeless/ Volunteer
4. Walk Stoltzekleiven
5. Mount Hanguren
6. Sea Kayaking in the Nærøyfjord
7. Cycle to Skjervefossen Waterfall
8. Trek in Finse
9. Swim in the North Sea
10. Cycle from Karlstad to Lake Rådasjon and back
11. Learn basic Norwegian
12. Learn Basic Swedish
13. Learn how to SUP
14. Learn how to Windsurf
15. Volunteer
16. Hike in Tyresta National Park
17. Swim in the Baltic Sea
18. Sleep in the wilderness

They chose to undertake these challenges in Norway and Sweden due to the undeniable beauty of the nature these countries have to offer. They will travel on the Oslo-Bergen railway which is said to be one of the world’s most beautiful railway journeys. In contrast, when travelling to Oslo they will be visiting a city that is full of museums, art galleries and an opera house. Sweden prides itself on its natural beauty and they felt that through a visit to Karlstad, they will be able to appreciate the hidden charms and history of this ancient country.

Most of the challenges are physical, to reflect the physical demands of DW, but they also decided to choose a few mental challenges in order to push themselves out of their comfort zones in more ways than just one. This is why there is such variety in the challenges, ranging from learning the basics of 2 new languages, to hiking up mountains, kayaking through Fjords and feeding the homeless.

“This is undoubtedly going to be ‘the trip of a lifetime’ and we really do appreciate how lucky we are to be going on such an amazing trip. Therefore, we would like to do some volunteering while we are away to help those less fortunate than ourselves and to gain an insight into the lesser known culture of Scandinavia”.

As runner-up, Harry Gooch will also benefit from the scholarship as the DSPA awarded him £200 towards his own travel project.

The aim of the DSPA Travel Scholarship is to promote the development of initiative and independence through purposeful travel. Each candidate has to present their plans to members of the DSPA, demonstrating the overall feasibility of their chosen project, the degree of preparation and planning required and an outline budget, together with ideas on how they would raise the remaining funds required.

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