By: S. Bueno
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a program that aims to get youth involved in helping communities, the environment and developing new skills.
In July, a large number of pupils in Form 4 made the decision to sign up for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We underwent months of virtual training, where we learnt all about navigation skills, teamwork, cooking, camping and much more.
Other than that, there is a vast ethical side to it. Above all the skills I listed above, we are expected to dedicate a certain number of hours to community service. Volunteering is crucial nowadays because there is a great deal of people who really need a support system. Countless individuals all around the world suffer with hunger, poverty, no access to proper hygiene, poor health, neglect and unfortunately, more. Duke helps us understand such inequalities and get in contact with our community. It grants us an opportunity to dedicate a fraction of our time to helping other people. Duke was also an amazing opportunity to learn more about yourself, while facing personal challenges. It teaches you a lot about resilience. It helps you prove to yourself that if you set your mind on something, and genuinely work hard for it, you can achieve it. The Duke of Edinburgh’s award is a challenge that is worth facing.
About the trip:
The Form 4 Bronze qualifier Duke expedition took place from the 23rd to the 25th of October. It started off at St. Paul’s, where the bus departed to Itatiaia at 08:30am. After roughly 5 hours in the bus, we arrived at the pousada. There, we had workshops that talked about how the trip would be and measures we were expected to adopt to ensure overall wellbeing. On Sunday, we headed towards Itatiaia National Park, where we initiated our journey. On the first day, we hiked an average of 8 kilometers until our campsite. We put our camping skills to practice and got our tents set up. After that, we cooked our meals and headed to sleep. During the night, we heard loud howling and discovered that a wolf paid us a visit.
We woke up on the following day and hiked an average of 17 kilometers. The day was grey, there was a lot of mud and a bit of rain. Teamwork was crucial at this stage. It took us a little less than 5 hours to get to our destination. We then headed off to a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. What a great end to our trip.
Our first Duke of Edinburgh expedition was a gratifying (and difficult) adventure. It was certainly an eventful adventurous journey, and I am sure that many of my peers can agree that it was very amusing. We look forward to working towards the Silver Award.