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.
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 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.