Ideas to help you continue to progress with your Award from home during the COVID-19 virus outbreak

For The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award participants, the COVID-19 virus outbreak means that your Award progress has been delayed as many of the Award activities usually happen at the school or other organisations that are currently closed. However, there are many ways in which you can continue your activities for the Physical Recreation, Skills and Voluntary Service sections from home, to ensure that you can keep your Award progress on track and combat the inevitable boredom and anxiety you may face. During these uncertain times, it’s important that you stay engaged, active and healthy in a safe and positive way and the Award can be a great way of doing so.
Below you can find some suggestions for creative ways to continue Award activities at home, whilst providing enough evidence to your Assessors and Award Leaders to continue progressing with your goals.
Physical Recreation
This section is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and increasing your fitness. It is very important to keep this up, especially if you are restricted to your house. Whatever activity and goal you have chosen for the Physical Recreation section, there are many ways to continue progressing by doing your own home workouts. Increasing your fitness levels in home workout sessions will undoubtedly contribute to your physical recreation goals. There are also more specific targeted exercise programmes that can be done from home to specifically develop strength, coordination, reflexes, flexibility or fitness that will contribute to your goal. Get in contact with your Assessor to get some ideas, or you can look online to find limitless ideas for home workout sessions to work towards your chosen goal. It’s important to show evidence of your progress to your Assessor, so be sure to upload any photos, videos or workout plans to your Online Record Book (ORB) weekly logs.
Progress towards your Skills section is something that can easily be done from the confines of your own home. If you are learning a musical instrument, a new language, cooking new recipes, designing software or creating art, chances are you have all the tools you need at home to continue working towards your goal. Get in contact with your Award Leader or Assessor to help you find some activities that can be done from home, or alternatively you can look online to find tutorials to help you continue your progress towards that skill. Once you have found some suitable activities that can be done at home, be sure to take lots of photos or videos of the activity so that you can show your Assessor the progress you have made. You can upload these photos or videos directly to the Online Record Book (ORB) when creating your weekly logs.
Voluntary Service
The Voluntary Service section may seem difficult to complete remotely, especially if you have chosen a group project activity with your peers, or if your goal requires you to visit a particular location away from your home. However, there are always activities that can be done from home that contribute to your overall goal. Remotely working towards a project is possible, as you can start a chat group with your fellow participants and brainstorm activities that can be done at home to continue contributing to the project. Online research, creating brochures for raising awareness or posting helpful things online for the community can all be activities that contribute to your goal. If you are not sure what activities can be done to contribute to your Service section, get in contact with your Award Leader or Assessor to support you in finding new creative ideas.
Adventurous Journey
As the Adventurous Journey section is a group activity, it represents the most challenging section to complete during the virus outbreak. All scheduled practice and qualifying Adventurous Journeys have been delayed, which is important to prevent the spread of the virus. However, that doesn’t mean that all progress must be halted. There are many resources available online with activities to develop your navigation, first aid, environmental awareness and camp craft skills that you can do at home. It’s important to stay in contact with your team, so that you can ensure that when the school reopens and your Journeys can resume, you will be more prepared!
Gold Residential Project
Finally, if you are at Gold Level, you can also start planning in detail what you may wish to do for your Residential Project from your home and potentially reaching out to organisations that you are keen to support and/or work with for your project.
Changing section activities
Whilst the ‘ideal’ situation for a participant progressing through the Award remains that they pick an activity and stick to it for the time requirements for the relevant level, the COVID-19 virus outbreak is a good example where pragmatic and practical solutions should apply. I would therefore strongly encourage you to discuss with your Award Leader the appropriateness of changing activities should you need to, in order to remain active in the Award.
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