Discover 10 Reasons to Choose DofE, by Lucy Grayston. Written by Craghoppers Ambassador,
with the help of her mum, Shell. The DofE is an award for youngsters and consists of four sections: volunteering, skills, physical and an expedition. The length of time it takes to achieve the award depends on the level you are completing. The Bronze award takes around six months, whereas the. The Award requires dedication and time, so why go to all the effort? Here are ten reasons to choose DofE, and why the award is worthwhile. 1. Challenge yourself For the skills section, you can virtually do anything, from learning how to bake to completing a sign language course. It s completely up to you. Learning a new skill is both challenging and rewarding. It can also open new doors such as possible career opportunities. For example, for my Silver DofE Award, I learnt psychology. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I m now considering taking it to an A level. Along with future career opportunities, it s also very rewarding learning a new skill, and it could motivate you to go further in life. 2. Get Fit Although running around and getting sweaty might not be your thing, there are many other ways to complete the physical aspect of the Duke of Edinburghs Award. It s important to get fit not only to be able to finish the expedition, but studies have also shown that people who do some physical activity lead a happier healthier longer life, which makes the sweat and effort worthwhile! For my Silver DofE Award, I chose running. At first, it was a big effort, but I soon got into the routine of attending my local Park Run every Saturday morning. It sets me up for the day, and I am now hooked! 3. Give something back Give something back to the community or the environment and make a difference. That s what volunteering is all about. There s no better feeling than helping others. Volunteering gives you the chance to gain experience in a working environment, test out a possible career, develop new skills, or build on existing ones. Communication, confidence, or building self-esteem are just some of the skills learnt from volunteering. For my Bronze DofE I volunteered at my local cat rescue shelter, it was a great feeling each week knowing I was helping cats to have a better life. 4. Self-discipline DofE requires dedication and commitment.
People depend on you in all areas, from turning up on your volunteering shift, to the importance of team work on your expedition. If you take DofE, you are gaining valuable life skills. 5. Make new friends DofE is an excellent way to meet new people and make new friends. Working together in the wilderness on your expedition forms new bonds and great memories. Through volunteering, you meet many different people in a working environment, which prepares you for the working world. 6. Enhance your CV Finding employment is difficult. There is so much competition for one job. Having the DofE Award on your CV might just give you the edge over other applicants. Employers highly respect the Award. It demonstrates a rounded, confident individual who can work independently and as part of a team. The award will give you an extra step ahead for the chance of success. 7. Independence On an expedition, you have to carry your rucksack, navigate to a certain point, and take responsibility for your cooking, water and most importantly: yourself. Independence is a great life skill to achieve. 8. Teamwork Working as a team is an important part of DofE. Navigating, pitching a tent and looking after each other all involve working together as a team. On my Bronze Expedition teamwork was vital when a member of the group was poorly. Working together ensured everyone was safe and a satisfactory outcome for all involved. 9. Explore somewhere new My favourite section of the award is the expedition section. It s a chance to do something different, learn to be an explorer! P It s so easy to sit on the sofa and not venture far, but DofE motivates you to get outside. You get to sleep under the stars, witness incredible scenery and natural landforms, which you don t get to see sitting at home! On my silver DofE, we wild camped. I loved it; waking up next to a beautiful lake was fantastic and very memorable. 10. Achievement Completing your DofE Award is a great attainment, with a self-satisfying I did it! Although the award requires a lot of effort, time and dedication, it s well worth it. That feeling when you finally take off your walking boots and realise you have completed your challenge is immense. If you ve got the chance to do a DofE Award, then go for it!! Inspired to take part in DofE, but not sure what to pack? it s printable too! he (DofE) is hard work.
After an expedition, youБll probably spend a day in bed, feeling hideous and watching hours of telly because you can barely walk from your sore feet. So, whatБs it all for? What exactly is the DofE and do universities and employers actually care? Founded the Duke himself almost 60 years ago, it was designed to encourage anyone aged 14 to 24 to take on a range of activities that develop skills such as leadership, perseverance, team work and communication. There are three different levels – bronze, silver and gold – and five sections including volunteering, expedition and residential. Around 112,000 young people in the UK take part every year, and the outcomes are varied. Some hate it, and never want to see a tent again. Others form a lifelong passion for the great outdoors. Most do it to boost their CV. Ollie Wood, 19, from Windsor, is studying zoology at Swansea University, and is one of around 9,000 people who made it to the gold level last year. He thinks the award is about far more than just learning how to put up a tent, and credits the experience with helping him to get on to his degree programme. БSome boys at school dropped out along the way and, in my year, only three managed to achieve their gold award. So it made us stand out from the rest,Б he says. БFor my bronze skill, I went on a course to learn about keeping chickens. For my silver, I moved on to quail and started to hatch my own. For gold, I started breeding ducks. I loved working out the genetics of cross-breeding, trying to get different coloured eggs. These were all we talked about at my interview,Б he says. БWhen I got my A-level results, I didnБt have what Swansea asked for. But they contacted me and said they wanted me to do the course as I had shown so much passion for the subject through my DofE activities. Б Perran Helyes, 18, from Cornwall, did the award during his GCSEs because he says it was Бdrilled intoБ him that it would be a good thing to have on his CV. Although he enjoyed the experience, he says he is Бnot sure if it was worthwhileБ. БI did well in both my GCSEs and A-levels, so those results were able to carry me into university, without the need for extra stuff like a DofE award.
I did mention it in a successful job application but I donБt feel it contributed to the success. Other aspects of my extra-curricular life took precedence in my uni application,Б he says. According to Angela Milln, director of student recruitment at the University of Bristol, the award is an asset when applying for university. She says: БStudentsБ academic potential and commitment to their chosen programme of study are the most significant factors in decision-making, but the DofE award can be beneficial. For example, excellent academic grades are required for medicine – but we also need our future doctors to be able to communicate effectively. A potential engineer needs to have strong practical, problem-solving ability. Participation in extra curricular activities such as the DofE award can be a valuable way of evidencing this kind of aptitude. Б But a spokesperson for the University of Cambridge says that although the award does help applicants to demonstrate skills such as self-discipline, motivation and time management, it is more important that people are engaged with their subject. БWe use the personal statement primarily as a resource on which to base questions at interview. We look for strong academic focus, as well as evidence to support interest in the subject and precision and accuracy in self-presentation. Above all, we look for clear evidence of academic engagement beyond the curriculum. We are not interested in extra-curricular activities, except where they may demonstrate relevant skills, such as time management. Б University admissions may vary, but in the competitive graduate recruitment market, experts say being able to demonstrate commitment and hard work can only be a good thing. Keren Mitchell, managing director of, a graduate job review site, says that candidates desperately need to find ways to stand out. БApplicants need examples of the key attributes that employees look for such as leadership and teamworking skills. DoE is a great way to achieve a lot of these in one go, though graduates need to take time to show how their DoE experience is relevant to the role that they are applying for,Б he says. Keep up with the latest on Guardian Students: follow us on Twitter at Б and to receive exclusive benefits and our weekly newsletter.