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Duke of Edinburgh awards

Duke of Edinburgh awards


Postby Spade » Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:04 am

I wish to thank the DOE awards for the wonderful legacy it has given to the great UK youth. It gave me a fantastic opening in life to the hills with all the benifits this fantastic british institution brings. It opens so many peoples life in the UK to the wonders of the outdoors. Thank you Prince Philip RIP.
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby gaffr » Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:01 pm

All a bit too late for me have any 'doing within the scheme'. I think that I might have got involved as a school pupil although I did have the Scouts for my activity in the hills and the summer camps and for many of us the Saturday afternoon scout football league.
When I came to stay in Badenoch there was a Panel of folks who did the assessing for the Scheme Expeditions. I had many very enjoyable days out in the hill areas meeting up with the students on the hill and in their camps.
With one the Local schools a great deal of work was done by the staff and those coming out for a four day three camp trip had experienced a number of trips on the Munros with their teachers so were able to take on good days out on the hills.
The two big Torridon traverses plus another hill on the way out to the train station at Achnashellach for their train home. I think that one of that group became a pilot and another has become a BASI ski Trainer/Teacher.
Another group from the same school went in from Achnasheen for a Munro on the way into the Fannichs for some more summits and the third day was spent on doing all the Deargs apart from Seana Bhraigh with a final day on the missing Fannichs. Well trained folks who could get about in the hills with map and compass. Many of these folks did well after school in many ways including one of them now being an International Guide and the young man who came out with me on the assessment, to see what went on and to visit some of the summits, is now also an International Mountain Guide Guide with a least two of the big Himalayan summits visited.
Many of the other, just as valid as a Four Day trip, were in the main walks through the Big Cairngorm Glens and many times in order to make a rounded trip returning by way of another Glen, The beauty of the scheme was, still is?, that expedition could be taken on relative to their own wishes and experience.
At the time when I was involved with the award scheme we had meetings with the folks prior to the journey in order to check out kit and to see how sharp that their map reading skills were.
For me it meant an after work scamper down to say Glen Tilt and after a cycle trip up to the Falls of Tarf, dump the bike, then get over to Fealar Lodge to make contact with the group....out in the gloom to get to work next day. Another after work cycle was up to Loch Einich, dump the bike, then over Sgor an Lochan Uaine and Cairn Toul to meet up with the folks in the Lairig. The dog and I spent the night in the Sinclair refuge, Out the next morning for work.
Of course the Expedition is just a part of what is asked of the pupils of which I don't have any experience of all this. Again much work for the teachers and trainers running these programmes. I have only ever seen part of what is required for a pass with this scheme and without doubt requires a great deal of application and work..
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby davekeiller » Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:18 pm

Everyone remembers the expeditions, and it would be interesting to find out how many people were first introduced to the hills through the DofE award scheme.
He actually took a great interest in the scheme, personally attending the award ceremonies not as a mere spectator, but actually speaking to people and asking about what they'd done. He's now passed that baton on to Edward, who will also inherit the title when Charles becomes King.
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby AJ01 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:31 am

I haven't done any of the DoE Awards, but I would entirely endorse the sentiments of the OP in affirming their immense benefit to young people over the years.
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby Sgurr » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:54 am

We have met many D of E parties when we have been out and around. Some looked excellent, some didn't look as if they were fulfilling the aim of getting the group to walk as a party with a poor fat or inept straggler trying to catch up far behind. The most memorable was a group we met on Cat Bells, which struck me as rather easy for a Gold outing. We asked where they had done their other trips: Silver "In Senegal" and an earlier one "In the desert somewhere." They had come from the British School in Doha, suitably named "The Compass School". We asked them what they wanted to do later on in life: most were hoping to be engineers of one variety or another with the outlying doctor and dentist. What impressed us was they all KNEW, no shrugging of shoulders and waiting for somethin to turn up after Uni.
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:07 pm

I've never had anything to do with DoE or any similar programme, sadly. But have massive respect for any young person who managed to stick it out and who's made a better life for themselves as a result.

Must say, though, any time I've ever seen young DoE'ers out on the hills, they mostly look utterly miserable. :(

I guess the suffering, 'stiff upper lip / grin and bear it' attitude is part and parcel of the experience. :?
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby Booga » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:06 pm

Lightfoot2017 wrote:any time I've ever seen young DoE'ers out on the hills, they mostly look utterly miserable. :(

I guess the suffering, 'stiff upper lip / grin and bear it' attitude is part and parcel of the experience. :?


I've noticed a few lines of miserable looking kids with huge rucksacks over the years. The most cheerful bunch I met was in the Brecon Beacons as their instructor had allowed them the luxury of some adult magazines and rather funny smelling cigarettes! :lol:

There's a bothy in Wales that they all seem to enjoy going to though, judging by the names, dates and smiley faces they write all over the walls. :(
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby gaffr » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:05 pm

From what I am reading in some of the replies to this topic that things have perhaps changed a bit with the staying in Bothies and having an instructor at close by during the Expedition? In the past, during the eighties/nineties, the young folks had to spent the nights during the trip in a tent and were made aware of the fact a group of say four would be taking up the space for later arrivals at the Bothy. I do also recall that a group of four had great difficulties to hold the tent fixed to the ground on a stormy night at a camp close to Corrour Bothy. There being just one overnighter in the Bothy they asked if they could get shelter there. They even asked the resident gentleman to write a note addressed to me regarding their misfortune ...they were worried about all of this. To me they made a sensible decision on that night to seek shelter there.
The same group, all female, two students and two senior pupils were such that made impressions when they came into contact with the working folks at both Fealar Lodge and at Daldhu where they had a second and a third night in tents.
I still have a copy the typed up 40 page, well researched Illustrated Expedition Log Book, of the trip made from Aviemore down to Blair Atholl.
My approach to contact to be made during the expedition was that I would make contact once or twice during the four days but did not say where/when etc. Of course they also had the lady Supervisor based on this expedition in Blair Atholl who could make phone contact with both Fealar and Daldhu and I think on this occasion transporting them home at the conclusion of the four days.
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh awards

Postby Coutts94 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:07 pm

The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is great, I completed it last year (just in time - aged 24)

The expedition was 5 days training in the lakes, then a 4 day expedition over Scafell Pike and surrounding area. Great introduction to the mountains!

Not sure as to why it was based in the lake district when we have fantastic mountains here in Scotland, but we were pretty much told what to do.

Since May last year I have completed 47 Munros, which I probably wouldn’t have done, if I hadn’t completed the DofE.

Inspired a lot of people to get out there. :clap:
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