Sarah's Story

Gold Award Achiever

Gold Award Achiever I first found out about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award through the Girl Guides of Canada.  In fact, I used the camping event 'Guiding Mosaic 2010' as my residential project.  This ten-day tent camp allowed me to meet people from all over the world and learn about new cultures and careers.  As I was away from home, I increased my level of independence and self-reliance.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award motivated me to try new experiences.  For my Bronze adventurous journey, I spent a -20C night sleeping in a tarp and snow shelter with my school Outdoor Education class. We also learned winter search and rescue techniques.  My Silver adventurous journey was a backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains with my Girl Guide group, and I completed a ten-day journey on a tall ship for my Gold Award.  With 29 other trainees, I learned how to sail and navigate a tall ship off the coast of Vancouver Island.  These trips all increased my outdoor knowledge and capabilities.  As well, the physical component of the Award kept me active and trying new sports, such as kayaking and cross-country skiing.

The Award encouraged me to give back to my community through volunteer work. By volunteering at charities, such as the Food Bank and Samaritan’s Purse, I have been able to help the disadvantaged and see what they go through on a daily basis. For the past two years, I have volunteered at a vet clinic and I now have first hand experience applicable to my future career plans.  I have played the flute for the past six years and used that for my Skill section.  The daily practice required for the Award developed my ability and allowed me to become a better player.  I have also become part of close-knit school band classes that have toured to various parts of North America. 

Because I completed my Bronze, Silver, and Gold Levels, The Award has shaped my life for the past three and a half years.  I have gained new skills, had new experiences, and have given back to my community. The activities that I completed for each level developed my teamwork skills and my confidence.  The Award challenged me to overcome difficulties and become a better individual.  I am thankful that I took on this challenge as it has contributed to my personal development.

- Sarah Thomas, Calgary, Alberta
 
"The Award has shaped my life for the past three and a half years. I have gained new skills, new experiences, and have given back to my community."