Photo comp: Charlotte Gardner, New Zealand
Charlotte Gardner
Award Level:
Favourite memory of the Award:
My favorite memory of my duke of ed experience is my first ever camp to Lake Tarawera in June of 2021 to the hot water beach. The image I uploaded is from this camp and my favorite photo because it reminds me of how much fun I had. This being my first camp I was so nervous and having started at St Peters recently that year I didn't have many friends. This camp was a moment I will never forget. Walking with friends I had made on the bus up and teachers I have never seen before. Having to cook my own meal. Which I had never done before. Sleeping in a tent I put up myself. I loved everything about it. I loved being independent and on my own. Everyone played tag that night under the stars and went swimming in the warm water. I never wanted it to end. The next day we cooked our breakfast in the dark and set off early up the hill to the summit. It was so pretty the sky was so blue and the bush was lots of different greens with native trees. That camp I made friends I will forever be friends with and learnt lessons I will never forget. Like not to leave the gas running because you will run out. Hahaha. The minute I got home I wanted to go on another duke of ed camp and immediately signed up for the next one.
Biggest challenge from doing the Award:
My biggest challenge was my year 1o camp. It was counted as my bronze training camp. We walked 30 kms in one day and camped there for the night. Just to walk the 30kms back just to make it in time for roast chicken dinner. That was the best dinner I have ever had. I don't know if it was a amazing dinner or because I was exhausted and felt like I was going to die. On the walk one of my friends was stuggling with carrying her pack so I helped her by carrying some of her stuff for her and motiviating her too. This was the challaging part for me. Because its hard to motivate someone alone but where you want to quit too it makes it harder. My whole body felt like it was going to die but I had to keep going for my friend and for herself. We finally made it, had dinner and went straight t0 bed. In the morning the view was beautiful. The sunset coming over the icy mountains behind us. A view I had never seen before. It made the whole experience worth it and made me realise after saying that I would never do anything like this again, that I wanted to do things like this with my friends and see these beautiful sights.
New Zealand
Have you continued any of your Award activities? If so, what:
As I am in the middle of my Silver Award I am continuing the activities everyday or week.
Tell us the story behind your photo:
I started my duke of ed journey in 2021 at my new school of St Peters. I have wanted to do duke of ed every since I saw year 13 receiving their gold duke of ed awards at my old schools prizegiving. I wanted to get my gold award ever since then. I have always loved helping others ever since I was little so this come as not challenge through the award. I also loved sport with my friends and competing games (of netball). The challenging piece of duke of ed that allowed me to meet new people and get out of my comfort zone was the skill activity. But duke of ed helped me find my love for gardening and that's how I found my passion for growing seedlings in my greenhouse for my family. This also lead me to donating winter veggies as service. But my favourite part of duke of ed by far in the camps. I love being outside with my friends problem solving and figuring out problems so this is my element. The camps St Peters Duke of Ed provided were out of this world and where I made some of my very best friends. I loved every minute to setting up my tent to cooking my own dinner. I am now a camp away from finishing my silver duke of ed through St Peters Cambridge and am excited to receive my award.
Award Role: