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Duke of Edinburgh

Think Duke of Edinburgh is a doddle? Think again!

Mary Barton and Emily Batchford (Y11 Bronze candidates) talk about the highs and lows of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and why it is always worth it in the end.

 

 

 

Think Duke of Edinburgh is a doddle? Think again!

Mary Barton and Emily Batchford (Y11 Bronze candidates) talk about the highs and lows of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and why it is always worth it in the end.

Struggling up a mud-ridden track, tender blisters throbbing at your feet with over a stone in weight bearing down on your back doesn’t sound like a picnic, does it? Yet the sense of achievement when you finally see the end point of your two day, 24 kilometre trek overrides all of that.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is split into 4 sections; physical, volunteering, skill and the ever famous expedition. Whether you’re helping in a soup kitchen feeding the homeless or running crafts and sports at your local Scouts, the volunteering part gives you a real sense of purpose and the ability to help others in your community.

 “For volunteering, my friends Ella, Emma and I trained the under 10s netball team at Hallam School. At first the thought of standing in the cold for an extra hour on top of the regular school day didn’t appeal, however after a few weeks we really developed an interest in coaching and became so keen for the team to do well that we volunteered at weekends just to referee tournaments.” – said Mary of her volunteering experience.

The three months spent learning or building on a skill gives you a great excuse to do many activities, such as learning a new instrument or perfecting your cookery skills. Whatever you choose it’s guaranteed that you’ll improve drastically over the time and hopefully develop a love that’ll far outlast the duration of the Award itself. If sports are your thing, the physical section is a great chance to try out something new or carry on with an activity and be rewarded and recognised for it. However, the main thing we found throughout the first three sections was the amount of perseverance and commitment needed. You need to stick with each section every week for 3 months!

The award culminates in a two day, one night expedition where you and a group of seven others carry food, clothes, bedding and tents on your backs whilst walking amongst some of Derbyshire’s finest scenery. Over the weekend you and your team battle, and hopefully overcome the elements, facing rain, wind or even snow whilst attempting to stay dry and cook warm meals. However, this is one extreme and during our expedition the only struggle was navigating our way through idyllic villages and fighting off the not-so-friendly sheep in our campsite. You have to work as a team to achieve success, working together to cook, navigate and even find the toilets. This can be trying at times, especially when everyone is ready for a hot bath and bed but you learn how to work well as a team and overcome any challenges. It took effort and determination but we know we speak for our entire year group when we say that we came out of the expedition stronger individuals.


So overall, although the Duke of Edinburgh award takes a lot of hard work, from managing small children at a youth club to battling rain in the expedition, it is so rewarding and the experience will hopefully spur you on to higher levels!