The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to help young people ranging in age from 14 to 25 develop a sense of responsibility to themselves and to their communities.
“The Award Programme is about challenge. It is also about providing the opportunity to accept a challenge. The Award offers young people the opportunity to set a personal goal and achieve it. Along the way, they learn about qualities like responsibility, trust, and the ability to plan and organize themselves.
There is no competition between participants. The only people with whom they compete are themselves. Self-motivation is fundamental to the Programme. The criterion for gaining an Award is based on individual improvement based on each participant’s starting point and potential.”
- Bronze (starts at age 14)
- Silver (starts at age 15)
- Gold (starts at age 16)
The first step is to register – either as an individual or with a group like Scouts/Girl Guides/Homeschool group. There is a small registration fee. Once you are approved and receive a Participant Record book, you need to complete challenges in 4 different areas (5 for Gold):
Be a local hero by providing volunteer service to others and your community.
Personal Skill Development:
Do something different; develop a personal interest, social or practical skill.
Gain a sense of achievement and good health through physical activity. Virtually any sport, dance or fitness activity can count.
Go on an expedition and find yourself! Develop self reliance by planning, training and completing a journey of discovery.
For Gold level only – Broaden your experience through living and working with others who aren’t your everyday friends for five days.”
When you have completed the required amount of hours/months needed for the level you are aiming for – you apply for your medal! Bronze takes at least 6 months to complete, Silver is a minimum of 12 months and Gold a minimum of 18 months for direct entry (12 months if achieved the Silver Award).
I think this program is a fantastic opportunity for young Canadians to get involved in something that will not only give them skills, experiences, and opportunities that will help their future, but also gives them something outstanding on their resume!
For more information, visit The Duke of Edinburgh Award website.
Want to hear a first hand account? Check out Mark and his sister, Jacqueline’s, experience.