The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: What, Why & How?

What is it?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award, equipping young people for life. The Award is available for all young people aged 14 to 24, regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests. It is a fully inclusive program and has no social, political, or religious affiliations.

Young people do DofE programmes at one of three progressive levels. When successfully completed, this leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The Bronze and Silver level is made up of 4 sections:

Physical:  improving fitness by taking part in a physical activity

Skill:  pursuing and improving a skill/interest

Volunteering:  participating in a charitable or community project

The Expedition:  completing a pre-planned route over several day as part of a team

The fundamentals of the Award

  • Requires regular participation in activities to meet the time requirements of each Award Section and Level.
  • Focuses on capacity building by encouraging all young people to make independent decisions and to negotiate priorities through participation.
  • Provides a framework that works with all young people including those at risk, marginalized, in regional and remote communities, and with disabilities.
  • Assists with the provision of social infrastructure in the community and draws together and connects people, institutions and generations with the common purpose of youth development and inclusion.

Why Do it?

There are many reasons to try for a DofE Award. Firstly, it’s fun. You will learn new things, meet people with similar interests and visit extraordinary places.

Along the way you will learn about navigation, camping skills and how to get the best from your time in the outdoors. Many people have discovered a lifelong love of adventure by taking part in a DofE Expedition. And then to top if off, you’ll achieve an Award which is well world-renowned mark of achievement. 

So yes, it’s a lot of fun, but there are also other important benefits to completing an Award.  

A DofE Award is widely recognized by admissions tutors at Top Colleges and employers. Your award will look great in the personal statement section of your application. It’s not just about getting through the door either. Some of the skills you learn as part of your award could be massively helpful to your further education. Or maybe you’ll discover a passion or interest that will help determine what you want to do with your life beyond school.

Similarly, A DofE Award can make the difference when looking for that first job. It can boost your resume and show that you have the characteristics that employers are looking for. Independence, self-discipline, imagination, and commitment; each of these is hugely attractive to employers and they are known to be at the very core of the DofE Award.

But, above everything else, it’s important to remember the personal benefits of a DofE Award. You will learn to depend on yourself and work with others, to think outside the box, to discover your passions and what makes you tick.

How do I start?

So, you’ve done your research and decided you want to take on the challenge. What next? There are several licensed DofE centers in the US and they offer several ways to get involved. You can find a full list of Licensed Organisations Here.

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