Venturer Scout and meme enthusiast, Cameron T was well on his way to complete his Silver Award when the Coronavirus pandemic set in. Unfortunately for Cameron all his activities were outdoors which due to the virus was no longer possible. Read what he did and how he adapted his Award in self-isolation below:
Why did you decide to do The Duke of Ed?
I decided to do the Duke of Ed because as I am already a Venturer scout I could do each section quite easily. I also decided to do this Award because I wanted to challenge myself and get recognised for any of the new things I do, like what I am doing for my Voluntary Service. I’d like to say to anyone thinking of doing The Duke of Ed to stepout of your comfort zone and try something new. I never thought of my self being a firefighter and yet here I am a member of a Volunteer Bushfire Brigade.
What were you doing for your Award before you had to stay at home due to COVID -19?
Skills: I chose to do Scouts for my Skills as this is my 10th year of scouting and at the time of signing up for the Award I was already a Venturer Scout. From late 2019 to present I have been the Chairman of my Venturer Unit so as time goes by I am learning more and more skills.
Voluntary Service: First off over 4 days I spent a total of about 27 hours doing volunteer work at an agricultural show with that being setting up the show then packing down. After this, I tried volunteering at a reptile centre without any luck. So I kept looking for a few months with my eye set on trying to join into volunteer emergency services. I tried for weeks to get in contact with groups without any luck until one day I was at a school fair I saw a great opportunity to chat with the Captain of the local Volunteer Bushfire Brigade. He then invited me to the fire station for the next training session and since then I’ve kept going back.
Physical Recreation: Prior to applying for the Award I had done rowing as a sport for about 3 years so I have kept going for the Physical Recreation section. I’m still really enjoying the sport and with 2 years of competitive rowing, I currently have 3 medals.
Adventurous Journey: Last year (2019) I did sections of the Cape to Cape track as a part of a school camp. Now I was going to do the whole length of it with my Venturer unit across 8 days as the track is about 120km long. Due to COVID-19 and the preparation time required for this hike, it has been put on hold and will now be sometime later this year.
Did you have to change or are you planning to change any activities or do them differently because of COVID - 19?
Activities that I have had to change or do differently due to COVID-19:
Physical Recreation and Skills I will be doing differently as we are no longer allowed to meet in person. My Venturer unit are now meeting every week for a couple hours in an online group chat where we will be doing challenges eg: doing a risk assessment for a hike or planning a hike we can do after this pandemic.
I also have the ability to do woodwork and metalwork at home for my Skills.
For the Physical Recreation I will be training on land. By that I mean I will be doing the workouts my coach has given to do on a rowing machine.
I am still unsure of what I want to do for my volunteer service at home.
The Adventurous Journey I had planned to do in April has been postponed until later this year due to COVID-19 and other reasons.
What is the hardest thing about doing your Award in isolation?
Finding a new activity would be the biggest struggle for me as there isn’t much I can do around home for the voluntary service section.
How would you encourage someone who just wants to wait until the pandemic is over to continue their Award because it’s too hard right now?
If you are interested in doing The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award then do it. There is no one stopping you from doing it. Step outside your comfort zone, try something new, challenge yourself in new adventures, try something you may have never thought you would be doing, The enjoyment and life skills you can get out of this Award are things you will wish you had if you didn’t do the Award.
Is there anything else you want to share?
Get out there and try something new. Something you may never have done before. Make new friends. Learn life skills.
@strayanscoutmemes is one of Cameron’s passion projects where he shares witty memes for all aussie scouts.