Duke Delegate Lauren – Alberta  

Q:What level of the Award are you currently working on?
A: I am currently working on my gold award.

Q: What activities do you do for each section of your Award?​ Physical Recreation:Swimming, hot yoga, aerial yoga, badminton, field hockey, skating, hiking

Skills: Lifesaving (aquatics), driving, cooking and baking

Community Service: Volunteered with Youth Central, Calgary Winter Club (as an assistant aquatics instructor), Calgary Public Library, and helping run events at my school

Adventurous Journey: Hiking/backpacking, dogsledding, sea kayaking

Residential Project: A two-week service project in New Delhi and Nawalgarh, India where I helped build a well for a rural community and educate less fortunate children in the slums

Q: What was your worst Duke of Ed moment that you now look back on and laugh?
A: I embarked on a four-day sea-kayaking trip in the Vancouver Island area this summer for my gold adventurous journey.  On the second day, my group was faced with the daunting task of crossing the Johnstone Strait to get to a small island and calmer waters.  As I paddled across the Strait an island came into view, but it seemed as if I wasn’t getting any closer to it, no matter how hard I tried to propel myself forward. Strong winds whipped into my face, and as I rounded the corner of one of the islands, terrifying five foot swells began crashing into the side of my kayak alarmingly fast. 

The huge waves kept pushing my kayak closer and closer towards the edge of this island, and I started panicking as freezing sea-water ran down from my neck, soaking the entire top half of my body.  Having just made it to the other edge of the Johnstone Strait, I was in desperate need of a break, but the swells continued to forcefully push my kayak closer to the cliff of rock on my left, and despite my efforts to pull my paddles through the water, the boat was not moving.  We were stuck in an area where the ocean was tossing us around, and I honestly found myself questioning whether or not I would make it out alive.  When we finally managed to make it through to a more serene area, I was deeply regretting my choice to go sea-kayaking, but I gradually built my confidence back up and was able to enjoy the rest of my journey, despite the challenges I faced along the way.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your term as a Duke Delegate?
A: As a Duke Delegate I hope to create more awareness about the Duke of Ed Award Program, especially to youth groups who may not have knowledge of the award through their schools or communities.  I also want to inspire youth across Canada to pursue the award through the use of social media platforms and sharing my Award journey with others.  In addition to sharing what I’ve done through the Award, I think it will be valuable to give advice and ideas to participants over the Duke of Ed platforms on different activities they can take part in as part of the Award.

​Q: hat do you think of the qualities of a great Leader what comes to mind? What does Leadership mean to you?
A: I think a great leader has confidence, patience, motivation, and excitement to pursue excellence and positively impact others. Leadership can be formal or informal, but I believe it refers to how one’s efforts and example make a difference on a situation, issue, or group of people.

What excites you about being a Duke Delegate?
A: I am excited to share my Award journey with others, advocate for the Award on a local and national level, and work with other Award participants as well as the Duke of Edinburgh team to make this an exciting and successful year.

Q: Can you give us one interesting fact about yourself?
A: I worked as a summer student in a cancer research lab this past summer, learning about pediatric leukemias and working on my own project. In the future, I am interested in pursuing a career in science and medicine.