LCS Students Strive for Success | The Duke of Edinburgh Award Canada

Lakefield College School is proud to have been one of the first institutions in Canada to offer students the opportunity to earn the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, an international program that operates in more than 45 countries. Since the 1960s, more Lakefield students than any other high school in Canada have been awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award fosters self-discipline, enterprise, and perseverance. Any young person between the ages of 14 and 25 can participate in the award program. The Award celebrates comprehensive individual development, self-training and personal achievement, and is based upon individual effort and growth. 

In alignment with Lakefield College School’s holistic approach to education, this award compels students to build these four areas into the way they choose to engage everyday both in the classroom and beyond.  

Duke of Edinburgh Award recipients in 2019.
Duke of Edinburgh Award recipients in 2019.

How does the Duke of Edinburgh Award work?

There are three levels to the award: Bronze, Silver and Gold – each with an increasing degree of commitment. To earn an award, an individual must undertake a balanced program of activities in four important areas of self-development:

Service – encourages participants to realize that, as members of a community, they have a responsibility to others and that their help is needed.

Expeditions – develops self-reliance by undertaking an interesting journey of discovery.

Skills – encourages participants to discover and develop personal interests and social and practical skills.

Physical Recreation – encourages participation in physical activity and to learn to appreciate physical recreation as an important component of a healthy lifestyle.

For the Gold level, participants must also complete a residential project, which develops social adaptability through involvement with others in a group setting. The project requires participation in activities away from home for at least five days. This element can be completed at any time during the Award program but is only submitted for review at the Gold level. 

Duke of Edinburgh Award recipients in 2019.
Duke of Edinburgh Award recipients in 2019.

How to Participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award

Each year, all grade nine students and many new LCS students register to participate in the program. As we explain to students, their engagement with LCS is so enriching that earning each of the three award levels is achievable for any student. Following our initial registration sessions, there are weekly meeting times for ongoing support open to all students. 

Why Take Part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award

“Parents and students often ask me why you should take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award,” says Peter O’Grady, Director of Student Leadership. “I like to explain it by referring to the award as an international currency. This award has standards that are understood globally. When you include it on a resume or on a school application, the hiring manager or recruiter will recognize the award and understand what it means.” 

In other words, the achievement levels and criteria are understood and valued around the world. When applying to universities and colleges across Canada, the United States and beyond, this award allows students to add one more achievement that is understood and appreciated by academic institutions internationally.

“The benefits of earning this achievement extend beyond academic and professional success,” he adds. Not only do students connect and find community as they work through the program together, successful candidates can relate to one another throughout the later stages of their life. “It’s a great conversation starter; people can really connect when they start talking to another Duke of Edinburgh Award recipient.” Fellow recipients understand the work and dedication required to succeed in the Bronze, Silver, and Gold categories and can find common ground when discussing the efforts they made to become a Duke of Ed alumnus. 

How Much Does it Cost to Participate?

As with past years, our philosophy has been to register all grade nine students and as many new students in other grades who are interested. The cost for the program is $50.00 per award level. This means if a student takes three years to complete their bronze, they will only be charged the one-time $50.00 fee for the award level.