If you’ve been browsing our site looking to take your next school trip, then you may have seen one of our program categories called the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) International Award. The organization’s main purpose is to “help young people build life-long belief in themselves, supporting them to take on their own challenges, follow their passions, and discover talents they never knew they had.” Here at WildChina, we are delighted to support your student’s personal goals and aspirations during your school trip in China. Whether your students want to participate in Adventurous Journeys (AJs) or Residential Projects, we offer a range of options that can be personalized. Keep reading to find out more about what the Duke of Edinburgh International Award is and how your students can participate in it on their next school trip to China.
What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?
The main driver behind the Duke of Edinburgh program is to help young people become better learners, humanitarians, and citizens of the earth. They believe that achieving an award is not about competition or being first. Participating in the program helps students with personal development as well as skills that would help them throughout their careers. In fact, top employers recognize this award. The DofE Award is a charity that is funded by donations, Participation Places, and licenses.
As of 2022, DofE released their post-pandemic annual statistics, which showed that more than 321,000 participants began a program, marking the highest record in their 66-year history.
There are three levels to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Participants receive their awards as they complete each level.
The requirements at the Bronze level include:
- A practice journey duration of 1 full day out
- A qualifying journey duration of 2 days & 1 night
- 20 km hiking distance
The requirements at the Silver level include:
• A practice journey duration of 2 days & 1 night
- A qualifying journey duration of 3 days & 2 nights
- 40 km hiking distance
The requirements at the Gold level include:
• A practice journey duration of 2 days & 1 night
- A qualifying journey duration of 4 days & 3 nights
- 60 km hiking distance
For individuals, the steps they would take are to:
- Find an award center and register online
- Choose an award level
- Plan their activities
- Check in with their assessors
- Set goals
- Track their progress
- Keep up with their activities
- Submit their award for approval
If you choose to follow one of WildChina’s Duke of Edinburgh programs on your school trip to China, the process will be simpler since we have everything planned for you. Any of your students who are participating in the program will get to fulfill their requirements very quickly since many of our trips are action-packed. We can also help you customize your school trip to China.
WildChina’s Duke of Edinburgh Programs
Encouraging young people with non-formal education, increasing fitness levels, cultivating a sense of adventure, and volunteering in communities is where WildChina comes in. On your school trip in China, we want to help your students learn all they can about themselves and the world around them while having lots of fun. Each of our DofE trips targets goals in four areas, which are service/volunteering, skills, physical recreation, and expedition/Adventurous Journeys (AJs).
The Gold level actually includes a residential goal or section where participants have to undertake an activity or specific course with people they don’t know. Participants have to live in a residential setting in an unfamiliar environment.
The DofE’s AJs are ones that encourage personal discovery and adventure. With that being said, most of our programs can be counted towards DofE’s Awards. Depending on the learning objectives you want to reach on your school trip in China, you can take your pick.
Beijing Adventurous Journey
We suggest a trip to Beijing where we’ll take you hiking along the Great Wall, enjoying the panoramic views, and volunteering in the nearby remote villages. Once you arrive, you’ll be doing some navigation practice, which includes map reading and compass skills. Gear use skills practice is also part of this trip. You’ll be doing tent setups and cooking on the campsites. After spending a night in the guest house, you’ll start with an orienteering hike to familiarize yourself with the surrounding area. The evening will be spent in a guesthouse.
After a self-cooked breakfast on day 2, you’ll transfer to Huanghuacheng (黄花城, huáng huā chéng) to do gear and team checking and go on route plans in small groups. This fulfills the skills and expedition goals in the DofE program. The area offers a gorgeous view of a serene lake set against mountain valleys, and even more trails of the Great Wall in the distance. Your students will get to converse and spend time with each other as they learn together. What better way to explore an area with monumental history on your school trip to China?
On the third day, you’ll go on an 8-hour trek from Ximatigou Village to Sidaohe village, which will be a total of 15 km or a little over 9 miles. There, you will take your time to take in the wonderful scenery in the quaint old villages. Afterward, we will take a bus back to the city and check in to a hotel.
Two other Duke of Edinburgh International Award trips we have is ‘Himalayan Adventure’ and ‘Beyond the Wall – The Mountains of Xinglong County.’ We very recently talked about these two school trips to China, along with a few other ones in our “4 Mountain Exploration Trips in China” blog post, so make sure you check that out as well!
Ready to start planning your Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey with WildChina?
We hope you’ve got some inspiration for your next school trip to China! If you or your students have specific goals they want to focus more on, our Academic Managers would be happy to help you tailor your school trip to China. Our educators want to help you experience local life and knowledge. If that is what you are looking for, then we look forward to hearing from you. If you also have learning objectives and a budget in mind, feel free to drop us an email or call us so we can get started on your school trip to China.
Sources: Plan An Adventurous Journey for the Duke of Edinburgh in China