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Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential Activities

27 September 2016 | Tagged: Senior School, Charity & Community Involvement, Trips

Achieving a Gold Award in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme is no simple feat...it requires a lot of effort and the willingness to throw yourself into unfamiliar experiences. While Bronze and Silver awards require participants to take part in volunteering, a physical and skills section, and taking part in an expedition, achieving a Gold award means taking part in a 'Residential Section'. This involves spending five days and four nights away from home, on a shared activity with people you’ve never met before.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award website describe it thusly:

"It’s a big, exciting and very fulfilling experience.  It may be that you want to build on a talent you’ve
 developed in another section, 
learn something completely new on an intensive course or do something
 to help others.  From learning to snowboard in Scotland 
to helping at a children’s camp, from working
 with the National Trust to helping on an urban recycling project, or from learning 
French in Paris to
 sailing a tall ship, there are loads of exciting possibilities to find the activity that’s just right for you.
"

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Recently, S6 pupils, Ross Mitchell and David Sim, have partaken in Gold DofE Residential outdoor learning experiences.

Here, Ross tells us about his time aboard a ship at the Tall Ships Races 2016, which took Ross from Lisbon to Cadiz:

"I went on a tall ship which was built to accommodate able and disabled crew. I had a huge amount of fun
 as I helped crew the ship by adjusting sails, helming the ship, keeping watch and helping my blind buddy
 who I was paired with.

 I met new people and became friends with a whole range of people with different personalities. It was
 hard work but overall it was an 
absolutely brilliant experience and one I would love to do again."

-----

David Sim took on a very different residential section, volunteering at the National Trust for Scotland Trailblazer Camp in the Highlands of Scotland: 

"During the summer holidays, I signed up for the National Trust for Scotland Torridon and Inverewe
 Trailblazer Camp
 for my Gold residential section.

 The camp lasted for a week and there were seven of us in the group from the UK and the Netherlands.
 We all met in 
Edinburgh and set off in the minibus to the Highlands of Scotland through some stunning
 scenery. We stayed in a
 bunkhouse on the Torridon Estate, which was basic but comfortable.

 During our stay, we helped with conservation work by maintaining and building upland footpaths, helping
 with invasive 
species control by cutting back gorse bushes and repairing fences. We were responsible for
 cooking our own meals 
and tidying up. This also gave us a chance to get to know each other. We also had
 the opportunity to climb a Munro,
 go sea kayaking and take part in target shooting with the local game-keeper,
 all of which were great fun.

 I really enjoyed meeting new people and working with them on all the tasks. I learnt new skills and enjoyed
 exploring 
an area of Scotland that I hadn’t visited before."

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You can see images below from Ross and David's exciting residential trips below. 

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