DofE Gold Award: Advertiser article – 30 January 2014

Our flotilla of four little boats was one tiny, insignificant blot on the landscape. Entirely self-sufficient, we canoed, cooked, and camped together for four extraordinary days and, in doing so, learnt the vital importance of teamwork.

— Andrew Burdett, writing in the Maidenhead Advertiser, 30 January 2014

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Asked to write a few words on completing my DofE Gold Award, you can read some of my thoughts in today’s Maidenhead Advertiser (page 6).

A photograph of the text-box, filled with Andrew Burdett's comments on my DofE Gold award expedition, taken from the Maidenhead Advertiser.

HOW I SAW IT: As my comments appeared in this week’s Maidenhead Advertiser.

A slightly longer version of that piece follows:

Last summer, I set off on the trip of a lifetime. It wasn’t especially glamorous; no holiday, by any means. Midges bit continuously at my face. Rain poured down relentlessly, whilst chilled winds howled through the valley in which we canoed.

But as my DofE comrades and I ventured along Scotland’s stunning Great Glen fault-line, we smiled and sang our way to Inverness. Our flotilla of four little boats was one tiny, insignificant blot on the landscape. Entirely self-sufficient, we canoed, cooked, and camped together for four extraordinary days and, in doing so, learnt the vital importance of teamwork. The synergy between the eight of us meant that, together, we were able to achieve something that not one of us could have achieved alone.

Collecting my Gold Award on Tuesday evening, I felt a tremendous sense of pride: the pride of finishing, of ‘sticking it out’ and ‘seeing it through’. It wasn’t easy – of course not – but ultimately it all proved highly rewarding.

My Award marks not just the completion of our Gold expedition, but also the end of a much greater journey. Over the past few years, I’ve worked up the various levels, from Bronze to Silver and now finally to Gold, relishing the challenge that each has presented.

I would urge anyone to accept that challenge too. Join in, get involved, and create memories of life-defining trips for yourself.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire. He is now two-thirds of the way through his Journalism Studies degree at the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, going to the theatre, and writing about himself in the third-person.