The Duke of Edinburgh award program melds with the IB Diploma and forms a solid foundation for completing the CAS requirements, especially the Duke of Edinburgh section requirements for service, skill and activity. In addition to these sections, participants are also required to complete a practice and qualifying Adventurous Journey- a journey with a purpose. The Adventurous journey can be an exploration or an expedition but must be a challenge. The aim of this section of the award is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as to develop their self-confidence, team work and health. Participants are taken out of their comfort zone- in an unfamiliar environment but kept within a safe and secure setting, achieved through suitable training and supervision.
Our current QAHS Duke of Edinburgh award students have now completed both their practice and qualifying journey, and will continue to work towards completing their skill, physical activity and service over the next twelve months to fulfil the full requirements of the award.
We express our gratitude to Principal Kalindi Brennan from Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre for facilitating our Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous journeys and sharing her wealth of knowledge. The partnership with Numinbah Valley EEC allows us to fulfil the requirements of the award to best support our students.
Below are reflections from Year 10 and 11 students who have completed the Adventurous Journey component of their award.
Josie Hamilton - Year 10 Student
In Week 1 of this term, I completed our Silver Qualifying Journey for the Duke of Edinburgh program with the Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre. A small group of all female QAHS students, hiked and camped for three days up at Binna Burra in Lamington National Park. It was truly an experience I will never forget, and despite the long hours of walking (50+kms), and the cold nights spent in tents, I had a blast. Over the course of both adventurous journeys, I was given the opportunity to build my camping skills, my geographical knowledge, my mapping skills, athletic ability, and most importantly leadership skills. Each of the students were given the opportunity each day to lead the group through part of the way of the journey, and I really enjoyed how this developed my skills as a leader. This journey brought everyone closer together, and many memorable moments were shared around the campfire. I sincerely recommend this program to anybody interested, and I look forward to hopefully returning in the coming years as a mentor.
Fifi Lovell - Year 11 Student
The Duke of Edinburgh Silver Qualifying Journey was a very enjoyable and memorable experience. My peers and I hiked over 50km over the course of 3 days in Lamington National Park. Whilst learning the importance of motivation and perseverance while hiking, I also learnt about camp craft when starting up and maintaining a fire for the group. This journey definitely brought all of us closer together as we all worked collaboratively to ensure all of us qualified by the end of the camp. I would recommend participating in this award to everyone as it helps people learn not only skills necessary for camping, but also allows for personal growth physically and mentally.
Rhea Garg - Year 11 Student
Like the bronze award, The Duke of Ed silver adventurous journeys are always an eye-opener for me, not just in terms of my physical capabilities but also many integral skills such as camp craft, organisation, and leadership. Personally, this time leadership was my focus. I aimed to be less dependent on others and in turn wanted to help others using my leadership skills. The Duke of Ed program's beauty is that it makes one truly realise and understand what their strong and weak points are, not just in hiking, but also in many other important areas such as communication, teamwork, motivation etc. Therefore, although I felt that I was demonstrating leadership skills, I realised that there were many gaps in my leadership style that were not beneficial for my team. However, since this program encourages me to go outside my comfort zone, I was able to realise through experimentation where my gaps were and was able to improve on them through the help of others. Finally, I personally feel that this program is transformational in building teamwork, campcraft skills and gaining confidence.