By: Blonde One
Firstly let me congratulate you on showing an interest in this most excellent Award!
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been running for over 60 years and relies on the goodwill of its leaders for it to be such a success. Most of the people that are involved in the ‘chalkface’ running of it are not paid. They squeeze it into their already busy lives for the good of the youngsters that want to take part.
If you feel like being one of those incredible people that help to make this happen then read on! Whatever your age or experience there is something that you can do to get involved.
A visit to the DofE website will get you started. If you want to get in touch with a local school or youth group then the website will provide contact details. If you have relevant experience and/or qualifications for the outdoors then you may be able to help with expeditions. The online courses that DofE provide are free and will show a group that you are willing and prepared to learn. There are other courses too that you can attend to improve your skills.
If the expedition is not the thing for you, you may have other skills and talents that groups can benefit from. There are plenty of skills that groups can learn from in the classroom in preparation for their expedition such as: first aid, food and nutrition for expedition, countryside code, knowledge of the local area, fitness. I know from experience that staff are only too happy to let someone else lead a session.
Another option that requires a very small amount of time is to be a section assessor. School groups rely on their teachers to provide reports for students who complete on of the skill, volunteering or physical section. If you have a particular hobby such as baking, stamp collecting or flute playing you might be able to support a youngster doing something similar.
If you are a young person, already doing Gold perhaps, don’t think there’s nothing you can do! You can encourage your younger peers to get involved and help and encourage them to complete.
Hopefully you’re not thinking ‘why bother’ but if you are, here’s just 3 reasons why …
- You will meet the most exceptionally wonderful young people who will humble and inspire you in equal measures.
- You will do your bit for ensuring the ‘youth of today’ have access to an Award that will change their lives and help to secure a rich and successful life.
- Your sense of self-worth increases as you realise you are part of an incredible international Award aimed at all 14-25 year olds no matter what their ability or background.
So, what are you waiting for?