Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) is a programme designed for 14-24 years old where you complete three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level has sections to achieve.
This involves a volunteering, physical, skills and walk section which you complete over a period of time which gets longer as you go up the levels. Once you get to Gold, you also have an extra section called a residential.
At the residential section, you have to travel outside of your postcode area and complete an activity you haven’t done before. At the moment, I am doing Gold Dofe and I am looking to do some outdoor activities such as surfing for my residential section.
I’ve already done my skill (Driving), volunteering (Gymnastic Coach) and physical (Triathlon) sections for Gold as well as completing my Bronze and Silver already. I’ve completely the Gold Dofe walks already and now only have the residential to do.
Completing Dofe is an achievement that I am proud of. There’s many people that have taken part in Dofe themselves and I would encourage you to do the same. I have made so many memories, made new friends and have learnt a lot about myself.
It’s been tough, and I have pushed my body to my max but the lessons I’ve learnt and the memories I’ve made have outweighed the harder aspects. I have realised that mountaineering is something that I really enjoy (however, next time it won’t be with a heavy rucksack 😂).
There were times when I wanted to quit, we got lost on the walks and aches and pains occurred. But, at the end of the day, when the tents were up, the laughs and the fun we had as we talked over dinner and played card games made it all the better.
Before starting my Bronze Dofe, I really wanted to do it and I never thought I shouldn’t do it but there was a sense of dread surrounding doing the programme. This was because the stories that I’ve heard about the walks in particular, were stories that were more negative than positive. However, even though the walks are hard, there’s nothing that I would say that would discourage young people from joining Dofe. I would say that it’s more of a positive experience than anything else.
Why get involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award?
In my opinion, you should get involved with Dofe as it will improve your skills such as communication, commitment, leadership and teamwork etc. As well as increasing your confidence and reliance.
You create new friendships, become fitter and healthier and overall you’ll have fun. The scenery you’ll see is amazing, the memories you’ll make will stay with you forever and you’ll find out more about yourself.
Overall, Dofe for me was an experience which I will never forget. I’m excited to get my Gold Dofe finished as it will be an accomplishment and carry on with a different adventure in the future.