My Duke of Edinburgh Journey

Thomas K | Year 12 | duke of Edinburgh Captain

The Duke of Edinburgh Program has been a fantastic experience for me personally. A major aspect of the Duke of Edinburgh Award is the adventurous journeys, in which our group would hike and camp in tents. Before Duke of Edinburgh, I would have never considered myself the hiking type, but by learning new skills, making new friends and pushing myself I have experienced a joy and feeling of triumph that is unlike anything else. By sharing tents, cooking with friends and hiking through beautiful natural landscapes, the adventurous journeys have definitely provided me with memories I will hold for a lifetime. Through these, I have not only learned navigation skills and camping techniques but built my perseverance and resourcefulness skills. These hikes have taken me through beautiful scenery across the Royal National Park, Sydney Harbour and Berowra, and if Covid had not arisen, would have taken me as far as Tasmania.  

However, Duke of Edinburgh is about more than just the hikes. A requirement to achieve any Award level is a certain amount of hours of service, skill and physical activity. For my physical activity I chose to do basketball, this was an easy choice as I was already playing basketball during this time. By having basketball as my sport, my Duke of Edinburgh has encouraged me to continue playing right up to Year 12, challenging me to set goals and work towards them by logging my progress.

For my skill I chose drumming, this was also something I was already engaged in at the time I began Duke of Edinburgh. However without Duke of Edinburgh I may have not been encouraged to continue playing but as I persisted I began to enjoy it more and more, and I can honestly say that I am so glad I stuck with it as I continue to practice my drumming throughout Year 12. Duke of Edinburgh is therefore fantastic for providing additional encouragement to stick with any hobbies or sports, providing a framework that promotes continual improvement and a place to log your progress. For my service component, I have become involved in Church Kids leadership and social basketball (teaching basketball to special needs children). Although I was initially skeptical of the idea of completing the Service component, these activities have been some of the most fulfilling things I have done in my time at St Luke’s. It offers a chance to connect with a wide range of people and really help those who need it. 

These activities have allowed me to earn my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, and I am currently in the process of working towards my Gold Award. I cannot recommend this experience enough, as it has taught me so much and has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling.