One of the rewarding experiences the School has been offering for a while is Duke of Edinburgh. It is a nationally recognised youth achievement award, and people from the ages of 14-24 have the opportunity to learn navigation skills in order to complete several weekends which involve outdoor skills like pitching tents, cooking outdoors and using map skills when walking to lead you and your group the right way. One of the most useful qualities for D of E is teamwork in your navigating and the other skills required in order to persevere.
As part of your Bronze Duke of Edinburgh programme, four sections need to be completed. Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expedition. Volunteering is all about giving up an hour of your free time each week to help others. This could be helping young children, working in a charity shop or working with animals. Many people participate in Duke of Edinburgh find the volunteering section most rewarding.
For skills, it’s all about working at or finding your talent, or trying something new. There is lots of activities to choose from, such as cooking, theatre skills or learning a musical instrument. This section is a great way to develop your personal interests and talents.
The next one is Physical, where you focus on something to do with fitness and being active, but also enjoying it. You can do it your way, and what suits you best. You could join a team, or do it your way, on your own. Once again, there’s many different options of activities to choose from.
The final section is expedition, and you complete three weekends away from home. The first one is all about learning outdoor skills such as putting up tents, cooking outside and learning basic map skills. In preparation for the next weekend, you and your walking groups will map out a route which you’ll journey by and fill out a route card describing your journey. The final weekend is when you and your group are assessed on all the outdoor skills you have done in your D of E experience. The final thing – a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.
When you complete your expedition weekends you will have a rucksack, in which you will have to carry food, clothes, waterproofs, emergency rations, a first aid kit (you should learn first aid on your first weekend), a sleeping bag and mat, and finally camping equipment you will share between you and the people you share a tent with. This consists of the three parts of the tent (inner cover, outer cover, pegs and poles) and an outdoor stove.
Doing D of E is a fantastic opportunity for year 9 and onwards. It has a positive impact on many people and prepares them for positive futures.
By Olivia Lee