So over the past week, this girl has finally passed her gold Duke of Edinburgh award. I have been a part of the DofE for 5 years now, I started doing the award through school as most people do, but then decided to carry it on through college. After all this time I have finally finished all of my awards.
The last section of the gold award was a 4 day expedition hiking the Lake District in the heat wave that’s just taken over England. I had to do a practice expedition back in March to prepare for the real thing, however the practise was in snow so it didn’t really help me prepare very well.
I had to drive from the south of England up to the Lake District which took roughly 6 hours, this doesn’t sound bad, but when you’re in a tiny car in a heat wave with no air con, it’s truly horrific. After a while I got so bored having no one to speak to that I ended up performing songs to cars passing by. It was a great form of entertainment and I can 110% recommend.
My hike started on Wednesday and finished on Saturday, and I can safely say it’s one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I started the hike already having blisters from wearing heels that cut my feet on a night out (clever one Amy) and over the next few days it got progressively worse. We had to carry rucksacks containing all our belongings such as food, clothes, stoves, tents, gas, sleeping bags etc and these weighed 1/3 of our body weight. Each day we hiked around 15km carrying these huge bags, in pain because of our feet and climbing up mountains in the heat. Most days the weather was pretty hot so we were sweating most the time, but on one of the days we hiked a mountain so high that we were amongst the clouds being rained on with no visibility. It was terrible.
The other things I needed to have completed to get my award was a weeks residential which I chose to volunteer at a charity called revitalise. Now this charity was truly heart warming as it was a holiday home for people with disabilities. Here I took the residents out on day trips and played games with them, it was really eye opening. I also had to volunteer a year in a charity shop, learn to drive and go to the gym for a year. All this experience has opened up so many doors for me and I believe I have been offered jobs that I wouldn’t have gotten if I didn’t have the award.
While in the Lake District, I had moments where I thought ‘do I really need this award?’ but I persevered and plodded on, now I have finally finished it. I am awaiting on all my evidence being signed off and then this girl goes to the palace to collect a certificate and badge.
I could not be more proud of myself.