Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award is still going strong in New Zealand. The Award Programme was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1956 as The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, to encourage and motivate young people over the age of 14 to become involved in a balanced programme of voluntary self‑development activities.

The Programme was designed with great care by a small team, whose members included HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; Dr Kurt Hahn, educationalist and founder of Outward Bound and the United World Colleges; Lord Porritt, the New Zealand Olympic athlete, Royal Surgeon and former Governor‑General; and Lord Hunt, the famous adventurer and leader of the team which supported Sir Edmund Hillary in the conquest of Mount Everest.

2013-10-03_00001In New Zealand, although one or two organisations started taking part earlier, it was not until 18 July 1963 that the Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson, held the inaugural meeting of the National Council of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in New Zealand at Government House in Wellington, when a Constitution for The Award in New Zealand was adopted.

Gold presentation awards are booked up well in advance with students having to wait for up to a year for their official presentations. This speaks worlds for the character and strength of our young people.

The cornerstones of the Award are self-motivation, responsibility, commitment and community-mindedness and these traits are clearly evident in the young ladies who participate in the Award at Chilton.

At all levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) participants must undertake a regular commitment in each of three sections – Service, Skills and Physical Recreation. For many of our busy Chilton girls this is an easy undertaking as they are already active in many different areas. For some this requires leaving their comfort zone and trying something completely different. In addition to the regular commitment over a set period, participants also have to undertake a practice and a qualifier expedition.

The Gold participants take responsibility for organising their own expeditions utilising the skills they have learnt in their Bronze and Silver years.

2013-10-01_00003New Zealand is one of five countries throughout the world trialling the new Online Record Book system and Chilton was selected as one of the nine schools to move onto the pilot system.  The system allows students to log their hours directly and they can see their progress updated.

2013 Year 13 student Amanda Lawson became the first student globally to have her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award signed off electronically by the Duke of Edinburgh in a March 2014 ceremony in London which was also attended by HM The Queen.  See  Amanda’s Duke of Edinburgh digital profile.

Read one Year 12 student’s account of their Gold qualifying expedition in 2013 below:

From exploring the outdoors to becoming adventurous in the kitchen, Duke of Ed is all about discovering and building on your strengths, your interests and your personality to give you the ability to deal with everything life can throw at you. My own personal experience with Duke of Ed has been nothing but amazing and I haven’t regretted any minute of it, not even the tramps! Who knew that just by singing a few tunes lugging a huge pack up Mount Holdsworth could turn into a breeze?

The timeless games of truth and dare while roasting marshmallows around the fire can really bring people closer. From participating in programme I have become friends with a wide range of people, young and old. For my service component, working as a volunteer at the hospice shop, I have met many truly inspirational people who would do anything to help someone in need. As a gold participant, I am required to do a residential project where you go away for a minimum of 5 days for a purpose. With the inspiration from the people I have met through the hospice shop, I along with Amelia Morrison, another gold participant, have decided our purpose is to help those in need.

Laura Houston, Year 12 (2013)

If you would like to know more about the Duke of Edinburgh scheme at Chilton please contact Sue Weich.