Duke of Edinburgh Award
The Duke of Edinburgh award, which is offered as a co-curricular activity, is an International youth awards program focused on the self-improvement and empowerment of young people. The award is composed of four sections: skill, service, physical recreation and adventurous journey. To qualify for this award, participants must do an hour of skill, service and physical recreation every week for 13 weeks, along with a major which is completed for an extra 13 weeks.
As part of the adventurous journey component of the award, we went on a practice camp and qualifying camp. The two-day practice camp, which was held on the school grounds, involved completing a first aid course, indoor rock climbing and hiking at Werribee Gorge. The purpose of this camp was to prepare us for the qualifying camp and familiarise ourselves with an outdoor environment. Skills such as setting up tents and using trangia stoves were emphasised during this camp as they would be extremely important during the qualifying camp. The qualifying camp was held at Mount Stapylton campgrounds at the Grampians National Park. This camp involved a number of activities such as a hike to Mount Zero, a hike to Hollow Mountain, rock climbing and abseiling at Summerday Valley, and a visit to Mackenzie Falls and the balconies. This camp was extremely demanding in terms of physical fitness and independence. We had to bring and prepare our own food and water, manage our own rubbish, and ensure that we dressed appropriately for the weather which ranged from being extremely cold at night to extremely warm during the day.
The Duke of Edinburgh award is challenging in all possible aspects however it is a rewarding experience as we were able to experience things we don’t often experience in day to day life, make new friends in different year levels, push ourselves to our personal limits, grow as leaders, and learn teamwork and independence skills.
Emma Panayiotou (10B3) & Katie Nguyen (10B1)