Duke of Edinburgh Award: Training, Prep and Planning


Hello my lovelies,

Today is another inspired Duke of Edinburgh Award post, I have completed the Duke of Edinburgh silver award yet I don't actually have the award which is very sad I know, but I am in the process of obtaining it and hopefully I will get it!

Hopefully you all saw my youtube promo video of the DofE and inspired you to know more about it or even do it!

What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

There are three levels of programme you can do which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Award. For each award you need to complete activity sections which include volunteering, physical, a skill and a residential if you are completing a gold award. These activity sections timescales vary between the levels of programmes you do and which out of the three you do for a longer period of time than the other two.


Timescales vary between the level of programme that you do. There are also minimum age limits for each level.

Bronze - ages 14+
Silver - aged 15+
Gold - aged 16+

Activities for each DofE section would take a minimum of an hour a week to fit around your academic studies, hobbies and your social lives. All activities must be completed before the participant's 25th birthday.


Volunteering: 3 months
Physical: 3 months
Skills: 3 months
Expedition: 2 days/1 night

You also have to do 3 more months in one of the volunteering, physical or skills section.


Volunteering: 6 months
Physical or Skill: one for 6 months and the other for 3 months
Expedition: 3 days/2 night

You also have to do a further 6 months in one of the volunteering, physical or skills section if you did not do the Bronze.


Volunteering: 12 months
Physical or Skill: one for 12 months and the other for 6 months
Expedition: 4 days/3 night
Residential: undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5days/4 nights

You also have to do a further 6 months in one of the volunteering, physical or skills section if you did not do the Silver.


The DofE awards are not easy. It also pushes you out of your comfort zone in many ways. It gets you out of your house, builds your confidence and you learn many skills, one of them being able to read a map and use a compass together.

Your leader will go through the training with you to prepare yourself for what is to come. You may even go on practice walks like I did to test your newly found skills. I even got lost three times so never feel bad if you're doing it wrong, there is time to learn. 

We learnt how to ready 3 and 6 grid reference maps and had to undertake first aid training however I missed that as I was abroad at the time. 

You may also want to look at building youre fitness skill up as it is a lot of heavy lifting, you are essentially carrying your food, kitchen (burner, fuel etc.) and home (tent and sleeping bag) with you wherever you walk.

Prep and Planning

  1. Try to get into a group where everybody will get on (have at least one person you know you can talk to)
  2. Take the things that are on your check-list with you - don't take anything you don't need. Remember you and you alone are carrying all this stuff.
  3. 'Break in' your walking boots first by wearing them around the house for a while and wear thick socks to reduce friction rubbing, you don't want blisters on your feet like many do get.
  4. If you are unfit start exercising 6-12 weeks before you go
  5. Check the weather forecast before you go - but don't believe everything it says.
*All information is either from my own experience of undertaking the DofE Silver Award or the DofE website.

DISCLAIMER: This is all based on my experience alone, it is different for other people

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