We’ve had some really ambitious DofE Challengers this year. One of our favourites this month was Ross and Lewis from Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen. This past weekend Ross and Lewis cycled all the way from Aberdeen to Edinburgh in the driving, cold rain to get to Duke Street in Edinburgh. As you can see from the photos, the rain didn’t dampen their spirits one bit on their 224 kilometre ride!
Congratulations to Ross and Lewis on completing their Challenge! There’s still time to complete yours if you’re feeling inspired. Sign up on the DofE Challenge website. Choose a challenge, change a life.
In our Diamond Anniversary year we've had a lot of people come forward with their DofE memories. Here's Roger Lanyon's story. He was one of the earliest DofE participants and has been involved ever since. If you'd like to become a DofE volunteer like Roger, get in touch.
"Thinking about the DofE’s Diamond Anniversary this year took me back to 1956, when, as a lad of 16 years old. I noticed with great interest details in the papers of a new programme called The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The more I read about it, the more certain I became that I wanted to have a crack at what seemed a superb challenge.
Roger (far right) on expedition in 1959. Photo credit: Tom Weir
A few months later, I saw on the notice board of my one-night-a-week youth club that a course, “Operation Discovery”, was being offered the following Easter to introduce boys to the scheme and let them undertake an expedition in the New Forest. I went to Salisbury Plain, learned about the scheme, hiked my first 15miles with a pack on my back and so started my sixty year involvement, with this exciting and fun challenge.
I achieved my Gold Award at Buckingham Palace in November 1959 and by that time I had introduced two groups of younger lads from the youth club to the DofE and the first group had already completed and received their Bronze Awards.
As I gained experience as a volunteer staff member with the National Association of Youth Clubs, I ended up directing what would later be called Open Gold Expedition Assessments.
Most of the young people I assessed in Lochaber and later as a canoeing Assessor in the Great Glen presented as spirited, enthusiastic and idealistic, despite their obvious fatigue after completing their hike across the “Rough Bounds”. Each summer, expedition season saw me reinvigorated through my contact with these groups of four to seven teenagers, who often hailed from cities from all over the United Kingdom. All in all, they were quite unlike the usual media representation of teenagers and they certainly reminded me of my personal experiences, now more than fifty years ago.
I retired from Assessing expeditions last year and was invited, along with my wife, to a reception at The Palace of Holyroodhouse to receive a certificate commemorating the many years of my involvement in the DofE. What an honour and what a way to signal the end of a personal era of commitment to the Award. However, as we all know, "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley". Little did I know that a few weeks later I would receive a request that I felt I simply could not turn down: the Mallaig Canoe Club and High School needed a paddling assessor for a group of local youngsters who wanted to complete their Bronze DofE expedition.
But, yes, honestly, I really do mean it this time, I am retiring."
Roger's story was first published in the West Word, October 2016. Expedition photo credit to Tom Weir.
Thank you for celebrating DofE Day with us!
We had an overwhelming response to our request for #IAmDofE pictures for DofE Day. The day was a great success, topped off by our celebration at the Scottish Parliament for the DofE's Diamond Anniversary. Thank you to all who attended, and to Nicole and Stephen who spoke about their DofE experiences. Congratulations also go to participants who recieved their DofE Leadership Award certificates at the event. We are so happy that so many of our partners and supporters could celebrate with us.
You can see all the #IAmDofE contributions in the Storify.
For more stories please visit our news archive.