My name is Dominika and I have been completing the DofE since I was 14. Each of the activities I have done throughout those 4 years had special significance for me.
I joined the programme four years ago. I am a proud holder of all the three awards – the bronze, silver and gold one, which I completed just recently. The programme however gave me much more than the internationally recognized award. I this statement I would like to share describe some of my DofE experience and skill I gained through the programme.
I naturally tend to take part in multiple activities and to help people in my community. However, when I joined the programme when I was 14, I also gained the sense of team spirit while doing all of this. All of my classmate and friends also got involved and together we went to retirement home and to a children’s sanatorium. We played floorball together and joined many other activities. We had to note the hours spent doing these activities into our DofE log books and the goal of completing the bronze level certificate definitely was motivational. However, all those activities were truly meaningful and fulfilling for us, so getting the certificate certainly wasn’t the sole purpose. The first adventurous journey made us experience team cooperation from an entirely different angle. Discovering new cultures and nature, planning the route and cooking of our meals was all like from Foglar’s adventurous book.
The experience with the bronze level award proved to me that I could join further levels, which led me to complete the silver and gold ones as well. The gold expedition in Banat in Romania has widened my horizons even further. Five days and nights of rain, soaked feet and clothes, being lost in fog and an escape from wild cows… I have to admit that we each had our moment of questioning why we were doing all this, thinking “I could be somewhere warm, why am I doing this?“ At these times we discovered that maintaining good mood and mutual support could help us overcome these insecurities and to successfully finish the journey.
As part of DofE I helped at a retirement home, I taught English in a kindergarten and I worked in the school Café. I also payed floorball, piano and I sang in school choir. I have hiked in Křivoklátsko, Písecko and Romanian Banat. While experiencing all of these enjoyable and difficult moments I discovered discovered true friendship. DofE helped me to develop physically, mentally and made me realize that I do want to continue with personal development.
I believe that it is important for young people to do something more, something above their everyday duties, something that can help the other members in the community.