Duke of Edinburgh adventure @ St. Margaret's College  01/06/2017
Duke of Edinburgh adventure @ St. Margaret's College

One of the schemes that the youth worker has implemented at St Margarets College Cottonera, is the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. This scheme involves a group of young people working both individually and as a group. As individuals the young people are required to focus on three key areas-Service, Physical and Skill. To achieve the award they also need to complete an adventure walk. As a group, they must navigate a distance of approximately twenty four kilometres over two days, using a map and compass.

Two groups of Form 4’s have recently completed the adventure walk qualifier. It was a task full of challenges, with the finish line looking almost impossible to reach at times, however, through determination, team work and a few sugary treats, both teams successfully reached their goal!

 

Some of the challenges they faced were; 

The distribution of the equipment amongst team members
During the practice walk it seemed that the weight of the equipment was not shared out equally and this meant that a few members of the team struggled to stay motivated, in part due to the weight of their rucksacks. The teams overcame this issue by making sure that when they packed their bags for the qualifier, the equipment was more evenly distributed and during the walk tried to motivate each other more.
 
Deciding on a menu
The task of putting together a menu for the walk proved to be quite difficult, as both groups spent a lot of time trying to choose a meal that they would all be happy with, it sounds simple enough but when you have two groups of strong willed teenagers, it makes it a little more complicated. Again, after completing the practice walk with extra food that wasn’t needed, both groups found it easier to complete the qualifier menu.
 
Some of the highlights of the walk:
 
Team work/Communication 
At the beginning of this Duke of Edinburgh journey, both groups struggled with team work, often not able to have a conversation without raising their voices. Through the process, the young people have found themselves in a variety of situations that have taught them the importance of team work and communication, for example when pitching a tent. When they first tried to pitch a tent, it was quite a long process as both groups found working as a team difficult, due to different learning styles and problem solving approaches. However, during the qualifier walk, as an observer watching the young people pitch their tents, the team work and communication element was evident from the very beginning of the task.
 
 
 
Problem Solving 
The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is full of opportunities for problem solving from finding out how to correct your route if you have taken a wrong turn to the correct way to deal with injuries if someone hurts themselves. The scheme has given the young people a chance to explore their strengths and weaknesses and how to apply these in not only high pressure situations but also everyday life.
 
The examples above are only a fraction of what the young people have taken away from the experience, to finish I would just like to highlight one aspect that hasn’t been mentioned. Fun. The young people could not wait for the adventure walk, a new experience, a challenge but also a chance for them to explore their independence and although there were hard moments along the way, all of the young people taking part had smiles on their faces as they reached their destination. A massive well done to all who took part! 
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