It was with great sadness that we heard about the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, this week but we must all admire him for introducing The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme which commenced in 1956.
I was one of the participants who took part and even today I have so many happy memories of working hard to achieve the Gold Award in 1974. In those days it was normal to visit Buckingham Palace to be presented with this award by The Duke of Edinburgh himself who found time to talk to all of us. He asked me what my 'Interest' was and I told him Advanced Cookery and he wanted to know what I could cook.
I achieved this award with Catherine Bowler from Bishop’s Castle who was a Young Leader with me in the Girl Guiding Movement. We had to plan and do several expeditions which we did in the South Shropshire Hills including the Clun and Church Stretton areas. Having to carry all our provisions, spare clothes and our tent etc was a very strenuous task. We had to learn map reading, use of compass and camp craft just to mention a few. These skills I find useful even today.
For our 'Service' we both served as Young Leaders within the Girl Guide Association and became warranted as assistant Guide Guiders. I also did Voluntary Service in a children’s home as well as playing tennis as my physical activity. Doing this award gave me a perfect grounding to achieve further awards in my later life in public speaking/drama/tennis and voluntary work because the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme gave me the confidence, sense of responsibility, reliability, sense of achievement and motivation that is so important in this world today.
The praise for this award has been mentioned so many times in the media that I am sure many more young people will want to take part and so I would reiterate to all of you who are eligible take part in this award scheme – do it. It will give you such a good grounding for your future. Please find out where you can do it and don’t hesitate as it will make you realise that everyone can achieve either Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards.
Judith Kinsey, Lydbury North
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