The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Bermuda

The Award in Bermuda offers the internationally recognised Duke of Edinburgh’s Award free of charge for 14 – 24 year olds. The programme provides a framework of experiential learning opportunities to develop the skills that enable participants to deal with the life challenges and develop resilience to succeed.

What is the Award?

The Award comprises four sections. With support from an adult mentor, participants personally design their Award programme, set their own goals and record their progress. They choose suitable individual activities for Voluntary Service, Physical Recreation and Skills Development (engaging in these activities and working toward accomplishing their set goal, for a minimum of 1 hour a week for 6 to 18 months depending on their level). The team component is to engage in an Adventurous Journey and at the Gold Level take part in a Residential Project.

The Voluntary Service Section is intended to develop a sense of community and social responsibility. The Adventurous Journey Section aims to cultivate a spirit of adventure and discovery and an understanding of the environment. The Skills Section develops cultural, vocational and practical skills and the Physical Recreation Section encourages improved performance and fitness. The Gold Project (for Gold level participants only) aims to broaden horizons through a worthwhile residential experience.

Why do the Award?

It is more than just an Award. The Award programme gives youth an opportunity to talk about themselves in a non-academic way. It allows young people to document all the activities they do outside their formal education. It looks good on college and university applications and looks even better on CV’s and resumes, setting them apart when in the work force. The Award values the experiences and illustrates just how important they are to the development of youth into well rounded individuals. It also recognizes the hours a young person spends engaging in activities of interest to them – which is a true testament to who these young people are and their commitment.

The Award Challenge

Taking part in the Award isn’t easy – it requires commitment over time – but it is simple to get started and after time and effort each participant will have achieved something special of which they can be very proud.

Award participants will have the chance to:
  • Design their own Award programme
  • Set their own S.M.A.R.T goals and record their progress
  • Make a positive impact on the lives of others through community service
  • Learn valuable practical and social skills for career development
  • Take up the challenge of an Adventurous Journey
  • Connect with other Award participants at home and abroad

Participants can continue with activities you’re already taking part in, such as sports or volunteering, and count these towards achieving your Award, or your Award could be an opportunity to try something new and develop a passion for something different.

How do I Register?

The Award Programme has Award Centers in a number of schools across the island. If your school doesn’t have an Award Center you can join the Open Award – DeNavigators. The Open Award, run by the National Award Office, offers all three levels of the Award (Bronze, Silver and Gold). It is an important part of our programme because it makes the Award more accessible to those outside of the school-based Award Centers. It affords participants the opportunity to enter at any stage of a calendar year and for participants to engage in other modes of transport such as paddle boarding, horse-back riding, cycling, kayaking, sailing (see right) and developing other exploration activities.

If you are interested or know someone interested in participating in the award, please contact the Programme Director, Karen Simmons, karen@theaward.bm t. 537-4868.

What has the Award Participants been doing this year?

Due to Bermuda’s small size and participants knowing much of the island already, we decided to think outside the box to set the Gold Level a navigation exercise that would really challenge their map reading and compass skills. In February, the Gold Level group undertook a night navigation exercise at Ferry Reach Park. This was the first time we have offered night navigation and it was very exciting for the participants and Award Leaders to have to work together to find the orienteering markers and return within a reasonable time frame. The participants rose to the occasion, worked well together and completed the challenge successfully.

Gold and Silver Open Award participants took part in a number of cultural explorations in both the City of Hamilton and the town of St. George. The Award used content provided by the corporation of Hamilton, the Corporation of St. George’s and The Bermuda National Trust to create an exploration activity for them to engage in the City Art Walk in Hamilton and a historical scavenger hunt in the town of St. George’s. The Award in Bermuda partners with lots of different organisations to introduce young people to the benefits of engaging in positive cultural, artistic and physical activities that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.

The Gold Level participants will complete a water-based Adventurous Journey with USail Bermuda in Harrington Sound. For the residential component, the Award has partnered with Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club and the Gold Award participants will assist the club with a number of community development initiatives and also assist with the pilot of the Bermuda Bridge Award and Bronze level to interested youth in this community as Leaders in Training.

This year the Award welcomed participants from various homeschools into the Open Award programme. One group merged with participants from Berkeley Institute and are currently completing their AJ over the summer. The other group, from the Mayvera School (see right), has recently started training in May and will be taking part in a snorkeling Adventurous Journey Exploration in September. The DeNavigators – Open Award is a great way for young people to meet new friends.

Community Partner Impact

One of the biggest impacts of the Award is the volunteer hours provided to our community organisations and for the participants, the experience of giving back to the community over a consistent period of time .

This year participants have been engaging in a wide variety of community work ranging from baking for the Salvation Army, assisting at a therapy farm, helping to prepare COVID supplies, caring for the horses at WindReach, helping Age Concern organize their data-base, assisting the Bermuda National Trust with their conservation projects, providing services as a youth club leader, coaching football, Candy Striping, tree planting and maintenance, cleaning up the environment with KBB and working at food banks and soup kitchens.

The Award has recently partnered with the Bermuda Rose Society (BRS) and participants are now able to volunteer for the BRS as part of their service component of the Award . Participants learn how to care for the roses – weeding, pruning, fertilizing, watering, and propagating. They learn what types of roses grow well in Bermuda, the history behind some of the Bermuda Mystery Roses, the importance of the Rose garden at Waterville and how to maintain their tools.

2021 Award Events
Challenge100 –June 10th – October 14th (You can sign up anytime to Challenge Yourself and support the Award!) Register here: https://runsignup.com/challenge100

To honour the 100th year of the Award’s Founder, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and all he’s done for young people, the Award has launched Challenge100. Join the Bermuda Award with our family and friends from the CASC Regional Islands of: The Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and many more, to take part in the CASC Region Challenge100.

The Challenge is simple:
  • 1. CHOOSE YOUR CHALLENGE OR DO ALL 4! Pick your activity, using the Award’s sections for inspiration. Whether it’s minutes, bakes, words or steps, just make it 100
  • 2. RAISE MONEY Set your fundraising target and help more young people to be world ready
  • 3. MAKE NOISE Share your progress using #AwardChallenge100 and challenge others to get involved.
REGISTER HERE: https://runsignup.com/challenge100
There are four challenges:

The Physical Challenge starts on June 10th. You can walk, run, cycle, swim or do any other activity or exercise routine, anytime, anyplace, just make it 100. The Skill Challenge starts July 14th. Spend 100 minutes learning a new skill or improving on an old one. The Adventurous Journey starts August 15th. Choose 100 “adventures” outdoors that take you outside your comfort zone, in a team or by yourself. The Voluntary Service Challenge starts September 15th. Challenge yourself or your team to complete 100 acts of kindness or give 100 minutes of community service. Do it solo, in a pair or make a team to complete the goal of 100. It’s whatever you choose! There are infinite possibilities…whether you’re planting 100 trees, baking 100 cakes, or walking for 100km, it’s your challenge, your way. Use the Award’s sections to inspire you. Just make it 100 and help to ensure The Duke’s legacy can continue for years to come.

You can register and log your activities on Race Day World here:

https://runsignup.com/challenge100 It’s only $40 to register for all four challenges, $25 for Under 19 and $15 for Under 14. You can also become a fundraiser and encourage others to help us meet our goal of raising $5,000. All the money raised from the Challenge100 goes directly to supporting the Award Programme which is provided FREE of charge to over 250 participants per year. The Award helps young people to develop resilience, adaptability, and confidence to be ready for the world. Please join us as we mark 100 years of the Duke of Edinburgh, a champion of young people and pioneer of non – formal education and learning.

Gold Alumni Olympics

Saturday, August 7th & Sunday August 8th (various locations)

Golf Challenge

Friday, September 24th, Port Royal Golf Course

100 WIF Gala

Friday, September 24th, Coral Beach Tennis Club

Award Raffle

Friday, September 24th – Thursday, November 30th

Joint Training (for all Award Participants)

Saturday, October 16th and Sunday October 17th

Race for the Award Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser

November 2021

How can I get involved?

If you are interested or know someone interested in participating in the award, please contact the Programme Director, Karen Simmons, karen@theaward.bm t. 537-4868.

The Award is always looking for committed and caring Volunteers to assist in various capacities such as Award Leaders, Award Assessors, Event Volunteers, Raffle Ticket Sellers, Committee and/or Council Members.

For more information about Award events, volunteering or donating to the Award, please contact the Development Director, Fiona Holmes, fiona@theaward.bm t. 737 8959

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