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Going strong since 1956 and invented by Prince Philip!
Duke Of Edinburgh Award
Member Name: Beanie8844
Duke Of Edinburgh Award
Advantages: life experience, great times and new friends
Disadvantages: time consuming and challenging
The Duke of Edinburgh Award was something that was seen as very prestigious and an honour to be involved in at my secondary school. I began working on my 'Silver' award during my tenth year if my memory serves me correctly and I can remember thinking that although it was a great thing to be a part of it was very time consuming and took up a lot of time in the evenings which meant that I had to make extra time to do homework, corsework and other after school activities. I would definately recommend the scheme to anybody who is interested in participating as you learn some valuable life experiences and will make some good friends.
The award was first piloted by Prince Philip in 1956 and has since expanded into what we know it as today, a scheme which enables over 200,000 persons between the age of 14 and 24 to participate every year. It takes between one and three years to complete, depending upon which route a particpant chooses to take ofcourse. There are three different awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold and although similar they differ slightly and are harder as you progress as I'm sure you can imagine by the titles! Basically, there are five different areas in which a participant has to work at - four if you are doing the Bronze and Silver awards and the amount of time you spend on each increases with each award and so to does the standard you have to achieve at each.
The five areas of experience are:
VOLUNTEERING - Offering your services in someway to individuals within the community. Examples of this would include helping children with special needs, conservation work or caring for animals etc.
PHYSICAL - Improving yourself in an area of sport, dance or physical fitness.
SKILLS - Enhancing your social and practical skills and expanding personal interests. Examples of this include podcasting, painting, DJing or driving etc.
EXPEDITION - The best bit in my opinnion. Undertaking an adventurous and challenging journey in the UK or abroad. From the planning stage to the training stage and eventually full completion of the expedition. Maybe you could sail down the Norfolk Broads or hike up into the Brecon Beacons?
RESIDENTIAL - This is the area which distinguishes the different awards as only the Gold award participants have to undergo this pleasure. You have to spend at least five days and four nights away from home with people you have never met.
The incentives to undergo the award are huge because it is honorable and looks great on CV's or university application forms etc. Plus if you complete the Gold award you are invited to one of the royal palaces and will receive your award in the presence of either HRH Duke of Edinburgh or HRH Earl of Wessex. I found the award fantastic fun and challenging at the same time because you have to do a number of tasks which put you outside of your comfort zone, especially if undertaken an early age. This is the reason why I think all tasks must be sucessfully completed before paraticipants 25th birthday.
One last thing. For a participation place on an award you have to pay a fee. This is £12.00 for the Bronze and Silver Awards and £18.00 for the Gold Award.
For more information you can visit www.dofe.org. Celebrity adventurer and fellow former student at the University of Portsmouth Ben Fogle writes on there as he too undertook the D of E challenge and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment. Beanie8844.
Summary: well worth doing, would recommend to anybody
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