Congratulations to Sophie Smith, Grade 12, for receiving the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award! Sophie heard about the award when she was 13, and felt that the required activities would be a great way to structure her co-curricular activities outside Linden. She was also glad to have this opportunity to meet with like-minded young people and learn some new skills.
"The outdoor activies are fantastic. I met a lot of people. Some of the activities can be daunting, but when you meet others who motivate you, it's a more attainable goal," she tells us.
It takes about a year to complete each award level. Sophie has achieved the Bronze and Silver award levels, which include volunteering and participating in a 3-5 day adventurous journey. Sophie is now working on the Gold portion which takes a minimum of 60 hours in the same categories, including a 5-day adventurous journey and a residential project.
For both Bronze and Silver levels, Sophie volunteered as a poolside assistant through the YMCA. She also undertook a variety of physical activities including dance, basketball, and swimming. For the skill portion, she took on singing and guitar along with CPR-C, First Aid, Bronze Cross, Bronze Star, and National Lifeguard training. Both adventurous journeys were done through RKY camps where Sophie enjoyed survival-related activities along with canoeing and portaging. For the adventurous journey portion, Sophie also had to complete a day-long practice journey where she learned survival skills in the wilderness.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a youth awards program founded in the United Kingdom by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, that has since expanded to 144 nations.