You Got This

School, extracurriculars and the Duke of Ed – oh my! Are you feeling a bit stressed? Don’t worry, you got this! These feelings are normal and natural, and you’re definitely not alone! 

In fact, in our 2017 Participant Survey, youth shared that feeling overwhelmed was sometimes a barrier to completing their Award levels. 

The Duke of Ed provides a phenomenal opportunity to learn how to best manage your time, and also how to work through feelings of stress, because let’s be honest: everyone feels stress from time to time! Embrace this opportunity to learn more about yourself and to gain amazing life skills at an early age to work smart and to be the best version of yourself!

Quick Tips to Help You Move Through your Award
Think of the Award as a marathon, not a sprint! You can complete it at your own pace and there is absolutely no penalty for taking breaks. Check out our Duke of Ed Time Management page to help you plan out your activities, and set a schedule that works for you.

1. When running a marathon, the mental preparation is just as important as completing the activity itself – just like the Duke of Ed! The Award is a fantastic opportunity to learn time management and how to best work through overwhelming feelings. Do research to find self-calming techniques and tricks to overcome pesky procrastination (which gets us all from time to time!).

2. We encourage Participants to regularly set time aside to record their Award activities.  If you keep up with your activities but forget to log them down in your Online Record Book, it might feel overwhelming to start logging again. Deep breaths! Grab a calendar, sit down in a quiet place and try to piece together all the amazing activities you’ve been doing!

3. There’s an app for it!  Did you know that there is an app available for your Apple and Android devices that allows you to access your Online Record Book everywhere?  Look for the Participant App in the app store.

4. When it comes to the Adventurous Journey, try to journal each night you are out on trip! Participants might leave 15-20 minutes of their days on their Journey to journal (perhaps between dinner and evening activities). Fresh memories make for amazing reflections! If you complete your report as soon as you come home, finishing it will be easy-peasy.  Remember, the report can take many forms; we just want to hear about your experience! Create a website, a scrapbook with your own art and photos, or a video and oral report. As long as all the information is there and the questions have been answered, you can be as creative as you like!  Check out How to Write Your Adventurous Journey Report for more tips, tricks, and information. 

5. Don’t forget that you can count activities you’re already working on towards the Award; there’s no need to add more extra-curriculars to your busy schedule! If you already volunteer, play an instrument or a sport, and go camping – these all count towards your Award! You can find out what other activities count for which components in the Participant Handbook.

6. Remember, your activities don’t have to be professionally taught or organization-led. Do you go to the gym?  Are you learning to knit from your aunt?  Do you go on family backpacking trips? You can make your own Service activities too! Organize your own beach clean-up on the weekend, do chores for an elderly neighbour or arrange a bottle drive for your favourite charity at a time that would best fit your schedule.

7. We aren’t looking for perfect! Sometimes your logs are really detailed and sometimes they are shorter…and that’s okay! We aren’t grading you on your grammar or spelling. Your logs and reports just let us know that you have completed your activities. Done is better than perfect!  If we have questions, we will ask!

8. Have questions?  Ask your Award Leader or Award Officer for help!  We are here for you.  The contact information for your Award Leader is in your Online Record Book and you can reach our Ontario staff at: Contact Us.  No question is too big or small!

There are lots of great online resources found at Participant Resources.

You Got This!