Michal Zapletal

Michal Zapletal


Being active and involved in various activities is my idea of living. DofE supports that and that is the main reason why I decided to take part in completing the Award. I would not be able to live happily without sport, meeting new people and trying out new stuff. DofE allows me to keep track of what I do and enjoy it even more when being awarded.

When I started the Silver Award, I already had some camping experience and that gave me the opportunity to become our team leader. It is always interesting to observe people’s reactions on a fellow friend guiding the team. This time both sides learned. I improved my communication skills and they now know how to work towards a set goal without losing motivation.   

For our adventurous journey we decided to explore the history and origin of Schwarzenberg channel, for centuries used to transport wooden logs. It was very nice to see its source in Šumava Mountains as well as to cycle along its entire length. When we set off as a team for this journey, some of us were not used to being out of our comfort zone for more than a few hours. We had four days. It was a great challenge for me to keep us motivated and to continue doing well during our stay in the nature as well as it was challenging for all to try out new stuff such as cleaning the dishes in the river and brushing our teeth at the same spot.  

The most enjoyable part of the journey for the team were the evenings when we took out our cooking supplies – knife, spoon, plates and a stove – and started preparing our meals. Some of us have brought ingredients while the others were happy with pre cooked meals, which clearly showed who likes cooking and who prefers eating. Using the limited equipment it took quite a while to prepare the food, but we all managed to get the meals ready. People got interested into each other’s food and we ended up sharing all we had and having more of a feast than a usual dinner around a small campfire.  

The award programme taught us how to work towards a set target and how to achieve it, as well as how important it is to work as a team. These skills are two of the most valuable in the journey of life and will be very useful in the future. I am really looking forward to continue the Gold Award now! 

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