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Flag a Munro, April-style

The Commonwealth Connections project is now done and dusted, but here in the office we're feeling a bit reflective on it and thought you might be too. Here's April Miller's memories for you. You can also take a look at the memories scrapbook on the Commonwealth Connections page. Happy reading!

April Miller"I first heard about Flag a Munro at my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award leadership residential in April. I met the team that flagged the first Munro in Aviemore we all congratulated them and they encouraged us to take part in the Flag a Munro Challenge. From that point on I knew that I would form my own team. This wasn’t my first Munro I have climbed quite a few with my dad but this would certainly be my most memorable. It has the most meaning behind it because it is part of the commonwealth legacy.

Considering we had an early start of 6am I was actually wide awake and really excited. My team consisted of my friends Shona, Lauren, my Uncle Ian, Cousin Alan and my dad.

Alan was very excited because this was his first Munro. He is only 9 years of age. I picked Ben Chonzie which is just outside Comrie (Perthshire); we started the walk at around 9:45am. Along the route we met some curious walkers asking what our flags were about and we explained to them about the flag a Munro event. As we were nearing the top we stopped for lunch to boost us for the final push.

After we finished lunch we started the final climb. This was the toughest part but we got great weather for most of the day a few spots of rain here and there but apart from that it was sunny. We reached the peak at 1:13pm. We were all over the moon, Alan had made a t-shirt that had all the hashtags e.g. #Flagamunro, #BenChonzie, #CommonwealthLegacy. As we reached the cairn the heavens opened and we had to pull on our waterproofs only to find that I left my waterproof trousers in the car. We sat inside the wall shaped cairn and had something to eat and took some pictures.

April and team at the SummitWe began our descent at around 1:35pm but were stopped shortly after as I fell on the uneven grass. As I fell I heard the snap in my ankle. It was awful. I couldn’t move and I was in so much pain. A few walkers stopped to help one man and his dog gave me an emergency blanket. Then a doctor just happened to be out walking with his wife, he examined my foot. My dad then phoned mountain rescue and another man gave him a GPS so that they knew our exact position. We had to wait an hour for the helicopter to arrive. I was laying on the wet grass my friend lying next to me under the blanket it was quite some experience. I have always wanted to experience a helicopter ride but under different circumstances.

When we arrived at the hospital I was taken into A&E to get an X-ray, after that I was seen by the doctor and told that I had torn the ligaments and muscles in my ankle. It was heart breaking to think I had to cancel my Gold expedition it took a lot to let it go but in the end it’s what was best for my own health. The fact that I couldn’t achieve my dream this year was devastating it took me a lot to get my head around that I would not be attending the gold award presentations next year. That is the thing with life there are lots of bends in the road that you are not prepared for but you just need to learn to accept these and that life doesn’t always go in one direction but sometimes for the best.

The DofE isn’t just an award it is so much more than that, it gives you experiences you might never have experienced but apart from that you meet so many new friends that are interested for the same reason you are and not just the badge. Well for me I think that the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is much more than a badge it brings so many people together. I have always wanted to meet the Duke of Edinburgh and when that opportunity was taken away this year I couldn’t believe it I literally had no words to describe how upset I was, if anything it has boosted my motivation to do everything I can to be involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. I take great pride in encouraging other young people to participate and try their best to achieve their own goals not what someone else wants of them.

Aileen Campbell MSP and April with the Flag a Munro mosaic

On the 20th of July I was invited to Scotland House for the Commonwealth Connections Celebration. I was asked to present the flag a Munro Mosaic to Aileen Campbell, Minister for children and young people. The mosaic was made up of pictures from all the Munros flagged. It was a great privilege to present this artwork."

April Miller
Girls’ Brigade Scotland Gold DofE Participant

 


Changes to the website

We're going to be making some changes to the Scotland pages on the website in the next couple weeks.

The biggest change is going to be the training pages. From now on, all routine training courses in Scotland will be listed in the Opportunities Finder only. These include Intro to the DofE, Expedition Supervisor and Expedition Assessor training courses.

If you're interested in joining a training course in Scotland, just click on Opportunities Finder on the right hand side of this page >>>
and have a quick search for the course you're looking for.

We'll keep you up to date on how the re-organisation of these pages progresses - please bear with us as we work out the kinks! Questions or suggestions? Let Jamie know at jamie.mitchell@dofe.org


Commonwealth Connections Scrapbook

We asked for your memories of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and you didn't disappoint. We've collected a selection of them in the Commonwealth Connections Scrapbook, which tells the story of all the DofE activities around the Commonwealth Games. Have a flip through it below by clicking on 'click to read' where you will also be able to share it and download a copy for yourself.

Thanks to everyone who supported the projects and who sent in their Commonwealth connections for the book.


 

 For more stories please visit our news archive.

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The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
Rosebery House
9 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh
EH12 5EZ
phone: 0131 343 0920
Email: scotland@DofE.org  

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