Duke of Edinburgh Award..(15 Posts)
DS thinking of doing this.
I know very little about it apart from the idea that its good for their personal statement when applying to Uni (I think?!)
Anyone's DCs had experience of it?
ds doing bronze atm. It has 4 components - service, physical and skill , 2 of which should be for 3 months min , one 6 months , plus the overnight expedition. It is quite demanding but you can sue current activities as the basis ie. cub helper if a scout, sport or playing an instrument.
I did all 3 levels many moons ago. Don't think it has changed much. It is a great experience but does take time and it is pricey to buy all the kit at the beginning.
The upside was we went to St James Palace to receive our Gold Awards.
It does look good on the CV - I am a graduate recruiter and do look at it positively as I know how much effort it takes to complete all 3 levels.
D of E is a good opportunity if your DS will enjoy it!
It is a way of developing and documenting skills a range of skills. However unless he wants to apply for courses which ask for specific qualities in applicants which are not just measured in academic ability (such as medicine) it won't make a lot of difference to his uni application.
At the moment (he's in Year 10) he wants to be a Chemical Engineer. I have no idea whether the DoE would be useful for this or not??
I think it's a good thing for them to do, but I suspect it's only the Gold, and maybe Silver, that really count for a lot in uni applications or CVs, as so many kids do the Bronze.
I have no idea whether the DoE would be useful for this or not??
It's useful in its own right. It either encourages DC to keep on with sports/skills at just the age when they might drop them, or it encourages the DC to pick them up from scratch. If you believe in the benefits of extra-curricular activities then you will believe in the benefit of DofE for the same reason (team work, self confidence, hobby for life, multi-tasking, healthy body/healthy mind, compassion for others, etc etc etc).
As Sharpkat says, I think that Gold Award people notice each other. Many start off the Award but surprisingly few make it all the way through.
I think that it is one of those tautological things: the sort of person who will do the DofE is that sort of person. DD (last year of University) was only saying the other day that one of their group is struggling with his CV because he
is dull as ditchwater has nothing to put on it. OTOH she, who did all three sections of DofE at school, has got all sorts of hobbies, interests and committees from Uni to put on hers.
I only did the bronze, I was ill for the overnight trip at silver and didn't pick it up again.
It's really good. You get to do things you wouldn't normally, like walk across moors on your own.
DS1 (Y9) has just started this. My niece did it all the way to gold.
I do think it is good experience for them and, even if it doesn't have relevance to a future career it gives them something to talk about at interview and also it encourages independence and planning.
DS did Bronze and wants to do Gold in 6th form (they don't do Silver at his school).
For him, the voluntary work gave him an opportunity that he wouldn't have had otherwise and has given him a lot if confidence (which he didn't previously have). It will certainly give him something to put on a job application as experience
desperately hopes DS will get himself a part-time job and earn some money instead of spending all free time on PS3
I did all three and DD has completed 2, working on number 3.
Aside from the obvious UCAS/CV implication, there are 2 things you need to be aware of:
1. Training for expedition. There is no requirement for the group to be trained by someone who actually has expedition experience. The area coordinator basically told me that there is nothing stopping a school offering the activity and simply getting a member of academic staff or someone's auntie in to go through the motions and drive the mini bus. This is extremely dangerous. Last year, a bunch of ladies from DD's school had to be removed from the Brecon Beacons under emergency situation with hypothermia and parent pressure got other expeditions cancelled. Now DD has changed school for 6th form, new school gets outside certified trainers in for regular compulsory training. The area coordinator tells me this is normal due to insurance/liability. Brilliant.
2. Cost. We had a nasty shock when DD changed school. Silver at previous school cost about £100, Gold at new school...£800. The previous school was not subsidising it, simply getting someone to go through the motions as I mentioned which put children at risk. £800 is, according to the area coordinator, pretty average if the school is hiring qualified staff with full insurance.
True, £800 is a lot of money for a UCAS booster but a) that appears to be the cost of doing Gold with proper training and b) I had such a great time and I think DD is getting much from hers too.
I did the Queen's Guide Award which is similar to D of E gold and would thoroughly recommend it. Of course it's great material for personal statements and job applications - particularly those "give an example of a situation where..." interview questions that can be a nightmare for school leavers - but it's not just meaningless window dressing for CVs; it actually will build self confidence and develop leadership skills and your son will get a huge sense of achievement when he completes the awards. Also it's great fun!
My kids school does it fairly cheaply, but that is because they have in-house staff who have mountains training (really needed for Gold). Bronze is pretty low risk, as the expedition is in "gentle" countryside. For Silver and Gold it gets more remote.
One year some teams had to be removed on Dartmoor, because of heavy rain/flooding. I have also known students be helicoptered out, because a suspected broken ankle on a cliff top. It is challenging but with proper staff levels and supervision it is safe.
Our local area stipulates the level of training supervising staff must have.
I think it's a great thing to do, but I wouldn't just look at it as a UCAS booster, the child really has to want to do it I think, as the expeditions (certainly at silver and gold) are rather challenging - if your child really isn't interested in that sort of thing (and I personally would loathe it) I wouldn't bother, they would just drop out.
My dd has completed her bronze and is now doing her silver at college, and will end up taking her gold next year as well. She loves it - but then she loves that sort of challenge anyway. The cost is negligible (I pay £300 a year to cover all camps and exercises) but the kit cost ramps up. I needed to buy dd a new sleeping bag as they were sleeping outside, and her £30 cheap job was insufficient, I had to buy a 4 season one for a hundred quid or so. And hiking boots, thermals, clothing layers, head torches etc aren't really cheap.
I mean to say her £300 a year covers all trips and expeditions for her course as well, DofE is part of that (didn't mean that the 300 quid is negligible, rather the portion of that cost which covers DofE is negligible).
Oh it makes sense in my head.
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