Duke of Edinburgh Bronze (Year 10)
Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme: Bronze
Bronze Award 2017: Meetings every Wednesday 3.30 - 4.10 pm. Everyone must attend.
Students are required to complete their Skill, Physical and Volunteering sections. Students are required to spend 3 months on two of the sections and 6 months on 1 other section.
Two expeditions take place in June each year, with students walking approximately 14km each day. It is tough but highly rewarding. Students will camp overnight in high quality expedition tents supplied by the school and will learn to cook using portable Trangia gas stoves.
My DofE Experience
If I could sum up the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award (D of E) in three words, they would be: inspiring, educational and best of all outstanding. When I applied to be part of the D of E course, I thought that it would teach me basic survival skills and how to put up a tent, etc. However, after completing my bronze D of E, I have realised that it didn’t just teach me how to map read or predict the weather, but also the value of friendship and team work and most importantly how to remain positive in difficult situations. D of E is an amazing course that even the “Glamper” can participate in.
In order to achieve my Bronze Award, I had to complete three different sections over a six month period. For my physical activity, I chose to develop my dancing skills at my local dance company. For my skill, I chose to learn how to patchwork and made a number of projects. I found this quite difficult to begin with but by the end I feel I have mastered the skill. Lastly, for my volunteering section, I taught/ran a dance club for 7-9 year olds at my local primary school. I learnt so much, from new social coping skills to organizational skills. It was a very valuable experience, which I will take on, and apply in later life.
One of the most exciting aspects of my Bronze Award was the expeditions. On our practice one we walked around the Canterbury area in the full sunshine and practised our map reading skills and only managing to get lost three times! But that’s what D of E is all about; getting lost and then hopefully becoming unlost. When we got back to school and set up camp, we then had to try and cook our meals, which although didn’t look appealing tasted really yummy. With full and happy stomachs we all went off to bed in out tents. After lots of giggles we finally fell asleep at about 2am (luckily we didn’t have to walk the next day!) Zombiefied and very sore we took down our tents and packed up and left wondering what the real expedition would hold.
Day 1 of the real expedition contained 16km of walking, pistachio nuts, nettles and lots of laughs. During the day we only managed to get lost twice due to some very inconvient overgrown paths. But there we go, one group had to take one for the whole team. After pitching camp it rained but we were still smiling with the help of funny stories and hot chocolate with lots mini marshmallows. Daisy and I developed some form of trench foot and spent the evening walking around the camp with our feet wrapped in plastic Tesco bags. Happy, but exhausted, we all fell asleep quite quickly, as we did not want to be as zombiefied as last time.
On the morning of day 2, we ate our breakfast, packed up our wet tents and were back on the road by 7:30am. Today was a lot easier as we followed a great route through lots of nature reserves. We met cows, sheep, flies and lots of mud! Halfway through the day we found a zip-wire near the village of Elham. We all had a go, but made sure that we took care, yet still enjoying ourselves. We also found a swing and with our packs on, we all had a go that, but didn’t think how difficult it would be to get off when you’re wearing a mini human as a backpack. All games and fun aside we finished as a group with only bites, cuts and a few bruises, smiling, holding hands singing, “We are the champions”.
If I could go back and do this wonderful experience again I would. D of E isn’t just all about learning how to survive in the wild but it teaches you things about yourself and your teammates that you didn’t at first know. The one piece of advice I would give to the next participants who our about to or thinking of embarking of the D of E Bronze award train is that they should really enjoy it and despite the British weather always smile and just do it!
Written by Grace Saunders Nield 10A
** If you are a student who completed the expedition in the past but did not finish the Award, remember you still have until the age of 25 to get your logbook signed off!**
Available to Year 10 students, it costs £175.00 (2017) to complete the D of E Bronze at SLGGS, this contributes towards registration and 2 x expeditions.
For more information on the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, please visit www.dofe.org or see Mr Brady