The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program aims to help young individuals develop strength of character, leadership and personal discipline through four sectors of activity: community service, sports activities, skills, and expedition. It was conceived by his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, and started in Canada in 1963 with aims similar to those of the Air Cadet Program.
Like Air cadets, the Award Program is voluntary and each individual is assessed on effort, improvement and challenge, making the Award attainable by all.
The program is very flexible, allowing you to work at your own pace by accumulating certain number of weekly hours in different categories. It can be done by anyone aged 14-25 in their own time; mental or physical ability or social circumstances should never be a barrier. Moreover, you get to choose the activities to do depending on your interests and resources.
There are three levels of the Award in which you can participate – Bronze, Silver and Gold, with each successive level demanding increased commitment.
Many of the hours required in the program are already covered by Cadet activities. For example, you can use Drill Team practices as a skill development activity or as a physical activity. If you teach on training nights, you meet the community service requirements. If you take music lessons, horseback riding lessons, or whatever your interest may be outside of cadets, it can all be used toward the requirements of this program. Ontario students can put their mandatory 40 hrs of community service towards the award as well.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is very prestigious and recognized in many countries by educational institutions and employers; this could give you an edge when trying to get into university or a job.
Besides looking great in your resume, pursuing the award will broaden your horizons and expose you to new activities and exciting adventures.
And finally, you will have the honour of receiving your Silver award from a public figure at the provincial level, and your Gold award from the Governor General or a member of the Royal Family.
How to join
You can contact Mrs. Alta Espinosa from the Sponsoring Committee any Wednesday night, or at firstname.lastname@example.org .