FAQs

Q:  How do I get my password?
A:  You create your password as part of your registration. If you did not get a chance to create your password, your registration possibly wasn’t finished and you’ll need to check with your Award Leader to confirm if you need to register again.

Q:  How do I sign up?
A:  If you are part of an Award Unit (i.e: you school, Cadet Corps, Scout Group, etc is running an Award program) speak with your Award Leader on how to sign-up.

If you don’t have an Award Unit to join, check out our Open AwardCentres, or, if you are in HRM, the Adventure Earth Centre.

If you don’t fall into an Open Award Centre’s catchment area, please contact the Award Office at novascotia@dukeofed.org.

Q: I registered for my award but I don’t think it worked, should I register again?
A: No. Check with your leader first to make sure that the registration didn’t work.  ORB uses your email address as your unique identifier in the system. By registering multiple times, multiple accounts are created. The removal of duplicate accounts is completed manually and can make it difficult for the Award Leader to know what account to approve.

Q:  I forgot my password, how do I recover it?
A: You can click the “forgot my password” button on the O​RB login screen and enter in your email address that is attached to your ORB account.  The system will send you a password recovery email and allow to reset your password. Sometimes these automated emails get stuck in the junk/spam folders.

Q: How do I pay for my registration fee?

A: You can pay the $50 registration fee for each level online (you do not need a PayPal account) here.

If you would like to pay by credit card over the phone, call (902) 425-5454 ext. 227.

If you are mailing in your registration fee, please include a note with the registration fee with the name, award level and award unit of the participant the fee covers.

Q:  What is a “Major”?
A:  A ‘major’ is a section that the participant picks when they are a direct entry to their Award Level. A direct entry is whenever a participant starts an Award Level without completing the Award Level prior. Sections chosen as majors require more time and consistent effort to complete than the other sections.

All Bronze Awards are direct entry and Participants must be at least 14 years old. The section that is selected as the major requires a minimum of 26 weeks and the other two sections require a minimum of 13 weeks.

Direct entry Silver Award participants are over 15 years old and have chosen not to complete Bronze Awards. The section chosen as a major is for a minimum of 52 weeks and the other 2 sections require a minimum of 26 weeks.

All Gold Award participants must be over the age of 16. Direct Entry Gold Award participants have chosen not to complete Silver Awards and must choose a major. The section chosen to be the major is for a minimum of 78 weeks and the other 2 sections require a minimum of 52 weeks.

Q:  I have put 20 hours in for a section. Why am I not done?

A:  The Award is looking for consistent effort over time, measured as one hour a week, for the duration of your Award. If you need 13 hours for your Bronze Skills section for example, you need 13 weeks of consistent effort.

The logging consistencies are:
One hour each week
Two hours every two weeks
Four hours every four weeks

If your logs are less than the minimum for the consistency (i.e: less than an hour in a week), they may not count towards the completion of your Award. 

Q:  What is an assessor, and how do I find one?
A:  Each of your activities requires an assessor, an adult with expertise in your chosen activity.  Reach out to your community to find an adult with the necessary expertise to mentor you and assess your improvement. 

You should find your assessors before you start your activities so they can help you set specific and achievable goals appropriate to your abilities. Assessors should work with you along the way.

When your section is completed, and you have entered your assessor’s email address, you will be prompted to send the activity for Assessment to your assessor. Your assessor needs to do a small write up, also known as an assessor’s report, speaking to your Improvement, Challenge, and Effort for that section. For more information on the role of the assessor, click here.

Your relationship with your assessor is like the relationship between a Jedi Knight and a Padawan Learner: you work with them from start to finish on your activity and learn from your assessor’s wisdom and experience.

Q:  Can my parent be my assessor?
A: Parents shouldn’t be assessors.

However, if ​your parent is an expert in your activity they can be your assessor. As part of the Award is about connecting with the broader community, we would prefer your assessor be another adult besides your parent. 

For example, the participant’s parent is also the participant’s soccer coach and the participant has used soccer for their Physical Recreation section. In this case, the parent can be the participant’s assessor for soccer, but they must state their qualifications and write the assessor’s report as the soccer coach, as the expert, and not as mom or dad.

If there was an assistant soccer coach, they would be the preferred person to be the assessor.  

Q:  Can I use an app or software to be my assessor?

A: No. There are many great apps and software programs that can be used as tools to supplement learning a skill; however, these programs are not substitutes for an assessor. 
For more on the role of the assessor, click here.


Q: What happens if I can’t reach my assessor or they won’t sign my assessor report? What do I do?
A: Get in touch with your Award Leader immediately. If your Award Leader needs assistance, they can contact the Award Office.

Q:  Can I have multiple skills at the same time?
A:  No.  The purpose of this section is to learn or enhance a skill- something that requires time and dedication to do. For this reason, you only work on one skill per award level.  If you are unable to continue with your original skill, then you may switch to a new skill to finish out the remainder of your current award level (the skills can’t overlap). This can only be utilized once per level.  

See your award leader if you have any questions.

Q:  I am playing high level sports (i.e varsity sport or training for the Olympics).  Can I use that as my Skill?
A:  No, all sports fall under the Physical Recreation section.  

If you sweat more than you think, then it is a physical activity.


Q: How many activities can I have for my Physical Recreation section?
A: You may have 3 activities for Physical Recreation, just keep in mind that you will need an assessor and an assessor’s report for each activity. 

Q: How many activities can I have for my Service section?
A: You may have 3 activities for Service, just keep in mind that you will need an assessor and an assessor’s report for each activity. ​

Q:  Why do I have to do Preparation and Training and a Practice Journey at each level?
A:  There is no double-dipping with the Award. Activities that counted for one Award cannot count for another and this includes Preparation and Training and Practice Journeys. You must do Preparation and Training before your Practice Journey, and you must do your Practice Journey before your Qualifying Journey at each level of the Award.

Q:  I already have my First Aid certificate.  Do I have to re-certify?
A:  You do not need to be a certified first aider, but you do need the knowledge of Emergency First Aid or its equivalent.  First aid must be reviewed before the practice journey at each level of the Award as part of the Preparation and Training.

Q:  What is a route plan and why do I need one?

A:  A route plan is a written safety precaution that corresponds with your map, and shows where you expect to be and when you expect to be there. A copy of the route plan is left behind with a responsible adult along with a copy of the corresponding map.

If you were to miss a check-in, your contact (the responsible adult with the route plan and map) can call it in and give the map and route plan to the searchers. The searchers can use the route plan and map to narrow their search and search more effectively. 

Q:  Do I have to carry all my gear while hiking on my Qualifying Journey?
A:  If you are doing an “Expedition” Qualifying Journey then yes you must carry all your gear on your hikes from campsite to campsite.

If you are doing an “Exploration” Qualifying Journey then you can have a base camp.

Click here to head to the Participants page and view supporting documents for the Adventurous Journey.

Q: I’m the only Award Participant going on my Qualifying Journey. Can I bring my friends or do I have to bring other Duke Participants?
A: The requirement for the Qualifying Journey is that you complete it with peers, not necessarily other Duke participants, so you can definitely bring your friends with you.

Q: If I go a trip with just my dad, does that count for my Qualifying Journey?
A: For your Qualifying Journey, you need an adult assessor and a small group of peers to accompany you. If it is just you and your parent, then it is just a camping trip.

Q: Can I use a car to get from one location to another during my Adventurous Journey?
A: No. The purpose of Adventurous Journey is reconnecting with the outdoors and learning how to move yourself around without motorized assistance. Your Adventurous Journey starts after you leave the motorized transportation.

Q: So, because of events beyond my control, I had to cut my Qualifying Journey short. Will my Qualifying Journey still count?
A:  It is our expectation that you will thoroughly research, plan and prepare for your trip, and take appropriate risk management. Safety is your main concern during an Adventurous Journey. 

However, if something beyond your control has happened during your Qualifying Journey that has forced you to change your plans, contact your Award Leader (if they weren't on the trip) once you are home safe and sound. If you are an Independent Participant contact the Award Office. 

Your Award Leader and/or the Award Office will work with you to determine the next steps.


Q:  How do I win an Award?
A:  No one wins a Duke Award.  It is EARNED through the participant’s hard work, determination, perseverance and consistent effort.


If you have any questions, or would like clarification on anything, please feel free to contact the office at novascotia@dukeofed.org.

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE Participants PAGE.