The Duke of Edinburgh International Award is an extracurricular program that was founded in 1953 in England and is present in over 140 countries around the world.
The Award is completely voluntary and pushes participants to commit to learning a new Skill, Physical Activity, and completing a Service for increasingly greater amounts of time as they go through the Bronze, Silver and Gold level.
During each level, participants need to complete 2 Adventurous Journeys or AJs. The AJ for Bronze level which we started this year is a 2 day 1 night camping trip during which the participants need to be completely self reliant. Prior to undertaking the AJ, the participants are trained in First Aid, Camp Craft, Navigation and Route Planning among other things.
After completing all the training, the participants were tasked with creating their route plans and annotating the map they would use to navigate during the hike.
In total the participants walked for 14KM on the first day and 13KM on the second day. They are required to carry everything that they might need for both days in hiking bags on their backs including all their food and water, their tents and sleeping bags along with anything else they deem necessary.
They are not allowed to purchase anything during the hike and are not allowed to carry any electronics (other than a camera). They must rely on themselves and work as a team to complete the journey successfully. The participants also have to come up with an Aim that they will work towards at different stages of the AJ. The Aim that the participants selected during this AJ was to ratio the circumference of the Cedar trees they found along the journey to get an idea of the different ages of the trees present in the Chouf Biosphere.