So a few days ago I discovered that this year marks the 60th (diamond) anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. To celebrate this anniversary the DofE (Duke of Edinburgh) charity are giving everyone of every age around the world the opportunity to earn the DofE Diamond award which is a limited edition award just for this year.
Immediately – being an adventure addict and all – this caught my eye. Last year I was given the opportunity to do the DofE Bronze Award at school. I filled out all the forms and handed them in but at the last moment I dropped out. Why, you may ask? Because I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I was capable of completing it and I didn’t want to waste my parents money.
So, when I heard about the DofE Diamond award, I knew this was my second chance – and maybe past chance – to prove myself wrong and achieve what I thought I couldn’t.
I’m itching to complete this award and am setting myself the challenge of hiking up Snowdon (a mountain in Wales, the largest in the UK excluding the Scottish Highlands) in the summer and navigating with only a map and compass. I’m also thinking about renewing my Scout promise in 5 different languages when I reach the top too.
But, the thing is, my parents don’t think I can do it. They have no doubts I will be able to walk up the mountain but the other requirement to complete the DofE Diamond award is to raise £60 for the DofE charity – £1 for every year DofE has given young people the opportunity to get outdoors, achieve more than they ever thought they could achieve and learn skills for life. The money raised will go straight to the charity to help disadvantaged young people participate in the DofE award and give them the opportunity of a lifetime.
This cause is really important to me. Even though I haven’t benefited from the DofE charity, I have benefited from outdoor experiences that have helped me grow and develop as a person through my 8 years in Scouting which is also a charity. I really want to help other young people experienced what I have experienced so I think doing the DofE Diamond challenge and challenging myself to beat my expectations of myself would be a great thing to do.
But my parents? Well, they don’t believe I can raise £60. They seemed keen about the idea until I told them about the fundraising part and then they started saying ‘oh well you can still walk up Snowdon without doing the Diamond DofE award’ and (my least favourite reason ever which my parents seem to use often) ‘there will be other opportunities’.
No. There won’t be other opportunities. It will only be the 60th Anniversary of DofE for this year. I won’t ever get another opportunity to do a DofE award.
I’m fed up on missing out on opportunities because of money related issues or because my dreams simply aren’t ‘possible’. Life’s too short to say ‘there will be other opportunities’. It’s about living in the present and making a difference. At least that’s what I believe anyway.
So, here is the dilemma. I desperately want to do this, to help other young people, but that means going against my parents to try to prove them wrong. But, what if I can’t do this? What if I can’t prove them wrong? What if I can’t raise enough money to complete the award and help young people in need? What if I can’t prove my parents wrong?
Can I do this? I don’t know, but I sure want to try.
All I know for sure is that if I do decide to take on this challenge, I’ll need all the support I can get to raise as much money as possible and make a difference to the world and change lives.