One of the most appealing principles of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (the Award) to young people is that they get to choose their own activities. Additionally, they are also attracted by the feeling that they are leading the process and making the decisions about what to do in each section and when to do it. It is this independence that makes them more accountable to the whole process and their actions in achieving their goals.
However, all this does not diminish in importance the role of parents during their children’s participation in the Award (especially if they are under 18). No matter how independent a young person wants to be and feels, they always need the support and approval of their parents. We believe that every parent strives to provide the best life for their children and they can rest assured that the Award aims to do just that.
Taking part in the Award can be an opportunity for a young person and their parents to become closer, to create new memories, to understand more about each other.
Whatever your child chooses as a goal in the Skills, Physical recreation and Service sections, you can be sure they are developing in the right direction – a healthy spirit, in a healthy body, ready to help the community. Moreover, regardless of their goals, a long commitment to the Award (a minimum of half a year) will improve their discipline, perseverance and ability to plan for the long term.
For parents’ peace of mind, it is a good idea for them to get to know their child’s Leader personally and have their contact details so that they can reach them if needed. Collaboration between the Leader and the parents would make the process of achieving the Award much more holistic and fruitful for the young person.
If your child is interested in joining the program, have them check if their school or organisation is part of owr network or join our virtual Award center.
Frequently Asked Questions
As part of the Award, young people develop key skills such as perseverance, planning, goal setting and organisation so that they are ready to meet the challenges of the modern world. Young people’s efforts are recognised by an internationally recognised certificate, which gives them a competitive edge when applying for jobs or university.
Working on several sections – skills, volunteering and physical recreation, young people should work regularly and responsibly on their goals with their mentors. Regardless of the specific goal chosen in each section, they will need to challenge themselves as the long commitment requires perseverance and drive.
The Award’s methodology is based on 60 years of international experience in working with young people. The Award’s philosophy and values put young people at the centre, allowing them to choose their own goals and interests. The Award’s Adult Leaders and Mentors act as a support in their individual pursuits and needs.
Leaders are the people your child will work most often with.. These are adults who have received Ministry of Education-recognised and internationally accredited training in working with young people. They will help the participant flesh out their interests and goals, work on them with drive, and can connect them with mentors.
Assessors are the specialists in the field in which your child wants to develop. For example – if in the Volunteering section the participant wants to improve the garden on your street, it is good to have someone with experience in gardening as an Assessor. The assessor does not have to be actively involved in the activities themselves. In the example above, the selected Assessor can periodically review the progress, provide advice for improvement, and help with particular problems and cases that arise.
We recommend that you get to know the Leader as they are the closest person to your child in the Award. Collaboration between the Leader and parents would make the process of achieving the Award much more holistic and beneficial for the young person.
Absolutely not – an adventurous journey is a group activity of 4-7 young people, supervised by a trained and certified adult, called a Supervisor. They have the responsibility to ensure that the group is both as independent and as safe as possible.
The supervisor and other adults will brief the group before the adventure – bivouac skills, orienteering, first aid, equipment needed. If you don’t have any equipment, or some of it, please contact the Award team so we can provide some.
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Declaration of parental consent
If your child is under the age of 18 and will be participating in the Reward Program, you must fill in a declaration that you agree to this.