Apprentice 2019 (4) – The Delectable DofE Encounter

Published on May 16, 2019 by Alex Eade

Every other month Director Tom Bowden brings the team together to compete in the Footprint Digital Apprentice Challenge. This year the Footprint Digital team has split into two teams: The Powerpuff Girls and The Michael Scanlon Jazz Band Experience. Having completed round one, round two, and round three, the score is poised at 2-1. This is the account of how challenge 4 went for the teams. To the winners…glory. To the losers… you’re fired!

With The Michael Scanlon Jazz Band Experience narrowly in the lead, both teams were ready to take on another challenge. With sceptics in the Jazz Band ranks pre-empting a loss, would powering into a 3-1 lead even be possible? Or was the proposed inevitability of the scores evening out going to be the result?

A week starved of event information and a rumour around the need of a fruit costume had left us all wondering what was in store. We were all itching to get to the secret location (only known to the drivers) to find our next challenge. Even though the fruit farce fooled nobody, it’s fair to say, again, that there were a few of us that weren’t quite dressed for the occasion when we turned up to Cudmore Grove in Mersea.

Having discovered that we were in for a day of outdoor activities, both teams gathered to find out exactly what our challenge would be. Sir Tom Bowden then announced that the theme of the day would be ‘The Duke of Edinburgh Award‘ with a series of three challenges.

Our first challenge? Sir Tom Bowden’s rightful heir Billy had misplaced his rubber ducks. Our task – follow the clues that had been placed around the field find the rubber duck and then set up camp by building a tent and taking an all-important sleeping bag selfie; all before the other team.

Desirous Ducks and Titillating Tents

Each team set off running in different directions across the field looking for their first coloured envelopes. Their expert orienteering and clue solving skills had them running around play areas, the beach and WW2 pillboxes; much to delight or bemusement of local dog walkers. Locating their duck quickest, the Michael Scanlon Jazz Band Experience thrust into the lead with their tent going up before The Powerpuff Girl’s had even had time to count their ducks. With absolutely no accusations flying around, the Jazz Band were off to a strong start. It was 1-0.

Like all champion athletes, the Jazz Band had practically polished off a round of afternoon tea before The Powerpuff Girls had even erected their tent.

Captivating Campaigns

Gloating would have to wait; it was time for the day’s second challenge. Now Billy was reunited with his rubber ducks, playtime was over (at least for our teams). The next task – create a marketing campaign for DofE to appeal to and engage 16-24-year-olds. Biscuits in hand, both sides started creating.

After 40 minutes of intense mind mapping, questionable mathematical projections and some impressive drawing, we headed back to the boardroom (a gazebo) to present our ideas and settle the scores before the next challenge. Both teams relayed ideas including Snapchat Ads, Instagram, landing pages and audience reach. Both boasted how their idea was better, with some excellent ideas presented by both.

With their pitches over, the teams handed in the relevant documents before heading off to find some much-needed fish and chips. They would not know the outcome of the second round until the boss had his fill.

Kingly Kites

The teams experienced a boat ride to their fish and chip destination. Fair to say, each person had their fill. With bellies full and with a lot more of a drowsy demeanour, our teams awaited the results of the last round. With scores coming in mightily close, The Powerpuff Girls Edged it to even things up on the day. Which was lucky for Sir Tom, or else his final task would have gone to waste…

The teams returned to the island full of fish and chips. Back in the board-gazebo, we were briefed on the final challenge.

The teams were to make kites and fly them – whichever team’s kite flew the longest were to be crowned victors. Bin bags, bamboo, wire, string and tape were our weapons of choice in order to build as many kites, or a singular sturdy kite, as we could in the time given.

In anticipation, The Powerpuff Girls showcased their two kites first, with one failed attempt it was down to their final kite. Low and behold their final kite, two bamboo sticks creating an opening in their binbag for the air to catch, with some heroic running, managed to stay in the air for 10 seconds. The Jazz Band Experience now knew they had a competition on their hands.

They set up confidently with their kite, burdened with belief, ready to take to the skies. They set off, two running in unison to catch the wind, the kite lifted majestically in their air! Within a matter of seconds, it came bumbling back to the ground. On the second try – the same thing, and again on the third.

After a disappointing start, all they had was hope that their second kite would carry them through to a draw. Nevertheless, the kite couldn’t fly for more than a few seconds. It was a miserable loss for the Michael Scanlon Jazz Band Experience. This took the scores of the day to 2-1 to the Power Puffs.


Victory to the Power Puff Girls had taken the overall scores to 2-2, making it all to play for in the next round of apprentice challenges.

With absolutely no gloating or hard feelings being displayed by either team, we all gathered everything as quick as we could and ran back to the cars to get back into the warm, dry havens, of our car seats, ready to dry-off and head back for some victory or comfort beverages.

A good day was had by all, winning or losing, but the fighting spirit is still there for when the next challenge arises. Bring it on!

Haven’t read round oneround two or round three yet? The competition continues to rage! 

Do you want to work in an environment where you are challenged to compete outside of your comfort zone and are supported to do the best work of your career? Please check out what it is like to work at Footprint Digital and contact us to apply for a role.