Duke of Edinburgh has been the perfect combination of adventure, enthusiasm, challenges, life-lessons and having fun. It provided me with the opportunity to actively explore new places and, in the process, grow as an individual. It was a challenge that I gladly took and learnt a lot from.
At the beginning, all students, including myself, sign up for DOE for the memories that will be created with friends, the places that will be visited and the question of whether or not we will be able to successfully complete the award. What we do not take into account is that through the process, we also learn valuable skills that we have incorporated into our lives. One of these skills include leadership; which was achieved through being a team leader and guiding my team by correctly interpreting maps, fairly dividing work between us, organising the team and making sure we were on time with each task. This has taught me to be mature enough to be trusted with responsibilities. Another valuable skill that I gained from DOE is teamwork and the ability for the team members to support each other. Being able to work in a team is a vital skill to have; each person gives their own input and idea for a situation and then the whole team forms an appropriate solution. Teamwork is also connected with communication, which is another quality that I achieved from this award. Furthermore, DOE has aided in teaching me how to manage any negative feelings and instead show resilience and determination. This has significantly boosted my self-confidence and has given me a sense of identity. An important skill that I learnt is how to think quickly and act accordingly when First Aid is required. Some situations where I had to put this knowledge to practice include when a team member almost fainted, when someone got deep scratches or when another team member injured her toe.
Being part of Duke of Edinburgh comprises many benefits. DOE not only improves your physical health and fitness but can also boost you mental and emotional wellbeing. It encourages people to engage with charities and community causes as well as increases social and community cohesion. Living for a few days in nature inspires to positively impact the environment through keeping it clean and caring for it. What’s more is that DOE is a strong award to show in your CV and the skills gained from it increases employability and earning potential.
DOE is the reason why many of my favourite memories exist and the reason why some friendships were either strengthened of created from scratch. Having now completed the Gold level I turn back and realise how much this award has gifted me and the extend of the impact it had on my personality growth. It was a challenge and it has now become a prized memory. I recommend this experience to everyone who is willing to experience something unique and gain a lot from it.
(Year 7 student)