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Getting Started with DofE

Thursday 6th February 2014

More and more BB Companies are delivering the DofE alongside the President’s and Queen’s Badge. BB Director for Scotland, Bill Stevenson and DofE’s Pete Moir explain how to get your young people involved in the award.

A Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is so much more than a ‘pat on the back’ for completing a programme of activities. It is recognition of a young person’s successful journey of self-discovery and development. Its balanced programme develops the whole person – mind, body and soul, in an environment of social interaction and team working. There are three progressive levels of DofE programmes which lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The first step to get started running the Award in your Company is to designate a BB leader to co-ordinate the award programme and then get registered as a DofE Centre on the online system called eDofE. This is an interactive online system that helps young people manage their programme and lets leaders monitor their progress. You will then need to purchase Participation Places (£18 for Bronze) for each young person.

Last session over 800 young people participated in the DofE Award

There are four sections (five at Gold), these are Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition, and at Gold level young people also need to take part in a Residential Experience. Activities chosen can easily link in with our own BB Discover and Challenge Plus Programmes. For example, at Bronze level a 14 year old could complete one or more topics from the Discover Programme ‘Skills’ Zone over a three month period. Often leaders think the Expedition section will be the most difficult to organise, but the Brigade does offer training on expedition work and there is also the option to use external instructors to assist with this. Your Regional HQ or Battalion DofE Adviser/Ambassador can provide you with information and support to get going with the award scheme.

The DofE offers a wide range of training opportunities throughout the UK including an ‘Introduction to the DofE’ course which will provide any leader with the skills and knowledge to run an effective DofE programme.

Did you know?

  • Young people need to be aged 14 – 24 to get started
  • Participants can choose to start at any level, but most start at Bronze
  • The higher the level, the more time and effort required
  • With help from Company DofE Leaders, participants set their own programme of activities and objectives
  • It’s not a competition or about being first – it’s about self-development
  • On average, young people do each activity for an hour a week
  • Expedition doesn’t need to be a hike – participants can choose other options, such as kayaking or mountain biking
  • Most importantly, participants will be rewarded for persistence, commitment and personal development

For more information or to register as a DofE Centre take a look at boys-brigade.org.uk/d-of-e.htm and dofe.org

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