My Duke of Edinburgh journey started back in 2019 with my teachers encouraging me to join the scheme.
To pass the Bronze award I needed to complete physical challenges, a service activity, learn a new skill and complete an outdoor adventure.
The Silver Award was made more challenging by COVID-19 and all the restrictions that were imposed on everyone in 2020. This level also involved the same four parts, physical challenges, service, new skills and outdoor adventures.
For the highest level, Gold, my physical recreational component was playing Hockey and participating in intensive physiotherapy sessions to rehabilitate after ACL knee surgery. My new skill was learning to drive. My service to give back was coaching and umpiring hockey for both the Year 7/8 team and the senior team. Also, as part of my service, I participated in planting to restore the wetlands around Lake Whangape. My residential project was a six-day experience. This involved three days of sailing on the Steinlager 2 Whitbread boat around Rangitoto and other islands in the Hauraki Gulf. We spent time on beaches around Kawau Island cleaning up rubbish and restoring native bush near the beaches. Living on board in very cramped quarters with 11 strangers, was a test of more than just patience and tolerance. The following three days were spent sea kayaking around Mahurangi and up the Puhoi River, staying overnight in tents and living off grid using only the equipment we were carrying in the kayaks. Teamwork and cooperation were needed to complete all aspects of both these adventures. My Adventurous Journey was a four-day stay on Motutapu Island where we learnt about the history of the island and how to look after and protect current ecosystems.
I completed my Gold Award near the end of 2021, just as I was finishing Year 13.
On Saturday 12th August I was invited to a Gold Award ceremony to receive my certificate from Sarah Hillary, daughter of Sir Edmund Hillary. A very formal occasion with representatives from The NZ Governor General and the NZ Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
From my involvement in and completing all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh award, I have gained confidence in my ability to take charge, organise and lead people to achieve. Pushing myself outside my comfort zone, in physical activities and when meeting new people has been all part of this exciting journey.
I would like to thank Mr. Plant, the Award Leader in charge, for supporting me to complete this award and for the challenges involved.
Gold Award Recipient