Award Leader Testimonials

The Award wants to hear from YOU. 
If you have a story about your Award journey you want to share please email cmcarthur@dukeofed.org. 

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"When I started my Duke of Ed Journey 35 years ago, I was a Ranger with Girl Guides of Canada. My two Guiders encouraged me to do the Award so that we could become well rounded and learn how to set and achieve our own goals. We did service projects and went hiking on the Bruce Trail, as well as canoeing in Temagami. It taught me about the value of helping other people and appreciating the outdoors. Fast forward many years later, and I became a Guider. Many Ranger groups throughout the province offer the Award as part of their programming.Groups like ours are a perfect fit with the Award, since a lot of the programming we provide can count towards a participant’s Award experience. We have engaged leaders that have undergone tripping training, which is invaluable for doing the Adventurous Journey part of the Award. The Adventurous Journeys bring the girls together as they work on a common goal. Not only is it fun and challenging for our Rangers, but also for the Guiders! When I signed up my group to become an Award Unit, I went through the training. I was so impressed by the Program Coordinator that I became an Assessor (back when the books were still used). After assessing the books, I always felt upbeat about the future because I read about all the accomplished, motivated youth in the province. I was very fortunate to eventually become an Award Officer and I have the best of everything. I get to see my Rangers go through the program.I get to work with the many amazing and dedicated Award Leaders in the Toronto Area and their participants.I do this because it is incredibly rewarding to see youth challenge themselves and to become the best versions of themselves. 

I am grateful to the Award because it instilled in me the habits that I continue today: activities in physical recreation,skill,service and adventurous journeys. I highly encourage everyone who is able,to get involved with the Award, and see what a positive impact it can have on your own life." 

- Laura Cogill, Award Officer, Award Alumni, Award Leader and Parent 

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"The deadline for this piece, was Oct. 3. That was my daughter’s 16th birthday. That fact alone won’t help her achieve Silver, but perhaps I can. Encouragement, mentoring, guidance, example... that sort of thing. Should be easy. It’s not always. One way or the other however, it’s rewarding for both of us. My son did Gold, twice. More on that in a moment. He was an Air Cadet. I became an Award Leader with the RCACS (Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron) 540 Golden Hawks, in Oakville.  At the time, ‘booklets’ were still de rigueur but now digital has wedged it way into our hearts and minds. The ORB. If you’re reading this, you likely know what that stands for. On his 14th birthday, I enrolled him in DoE. Seemed a natural thing to do. With cadets, he was doing many of the requirements already. May as well support a pin on his uniform for doing them. The Squadron heard the heartbeat, and asked me if I would consider becoming an Award Leader for the Squadron. I didn’t realize they meant THE Award Leader for the Squadron at the time, but evolution can be a powerful thing. We have about 260 cadets in the Squadron, and to lie with the truth, we have about 100 in the Programme, however only about 25 (10%) are active. The others want to be, but seem to find speed bumps in the night that keep them from getting there. You can’t push with a rope, and you can’t hunt from a cave. The Award Programme seemed to change my son’s way of life. He accomplished what was required for Gold, but as it took him 2 years to get his report submitted, he kept on pumping, and ended up effectively doing it twice. The mantra is true. It can change a life. Maybe even more than one. Wonder if my daughter will get through Gold one day. I hope so. The doors are open, for both Participants and Leaders. Think about it. Help make a difference."

- Lou Breithaupt, Award Leader 

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"I've been the award leader at Abbey Park High School in Oakville for the last four and a half years. As an outdoorsy person, I always liked the idea of the award. It really gets at the heart of what it means to be a well rounded person, and I got to see students push themselves outside of their comfort zone to participate in activities that they normally wouldn't do. We always had a few participants at the school, but two years ago I had our regional award officer make a presentation to our students, and enrollment went through the roof. All of a sudden I had dozens of award participants. We had so much interest that we planned our first school organized adventurous journey for the bronze award, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences in my career as an educator. I got to take a dozen kids on a 26 km hike on the Bruce trail. All but one had never been on a camping trip where they had to get themselves to the campsite, but all of them got it done. They pitched tents, they built a campfire, and they prepared all of their meals. They carried everything they needed on their backs for two days, and they were exhausted at the end of the journey, but I could tell they were proud of their accomplishments. They did something they never thought they could do, and I got to see it from start to finish. It has me excited to do it again in September."

- Paul, Abbey Park High School


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