The expedition season’s just round the corner and we thought you might like an update on some of the hot topics for 2015. This newsletter has some helpful hints, some suggestions and some perks that you might find useful for the upcoming deluge of DofE groups.
Read it on Flipsnack, or download the PDF.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please get in touch Scotland@DofE.org or 0131 343 0920.
Thanks to the raffle takings at #ExpedFest15 we were able to make this £584 donation to the Mountain Bothies Association. They estimate that it will be used for the maintenance of up to five bothies this year.
There are quite a few DofE groups who use bothies in Scotland during expeditions. They’re a great place to take shelter should you need it, but everyone should remember that they also need to be treated with respect.
We’ve developed a few resources for the use of bothies that you might want to take a look at. Our Bothies 101 sheet gives you the basics of how to use a bothy responsibly. If you’re looking for more info you’ll find it in the Bothy session plan, which can be used in expedition training.
Our thanks goes out to everyone at #ExpedFest15 who bought raffle tickets, to Gartmore House for hosting us and to all our great supporters who donated prizes.
It’s Student Volunteering Week so we did 10 questions in 10 minutes with Hannah – a DofE volunteer at the new Napier Students’ Association group. Here we go…
1. DofE Level? Gold
2. University Programme? 3rd year of Architectural Technology at Edinburgh Napier University
3. Volunteer Position? Student Rep for the school of built environment and engineering, and a DofE Leader for the new Napier Students’ Association DofE group
4. What types of things do you do when you volunteer? Being a DofE Leader is still very new since we just got started a few weeks ago, but I went to #ExpedFest15 for that part of my volunteering. We were trained how to help run DofE expeditions. In my capacity as a student representative I attend a lot of meetings with staff at the uni to raise the concerns of students. I also meet with students to find out what they would like me to raise.
5. How many hours a week do you volunteer? Right now I manage about 2 hours a week.
6. Did you volunteer at uni before starting DofE? Yes, I’ve been volunteering at Napier since 2nd year.
7. Why do you volunteer? I get such a sense of pride from doing it; knowing that you’ve gone out of your way to help someone else. It’s great for other people to know you’re there for them because you want to help.
8. What’s the best thing about volunteering? When I was 16 I did World Challenge and volunteered for 2 weeks in a school in India to raise awareness of the importance of female education. I’ve been able to carry that experience forward into uni. There’s not very many females in my programme and so volunteering is really important for me to show other women that they have a voice and can make a difference.
9. Will your volunteering help you with your future career plans? Just getting involved with DofE will give me such a big step up in the job market. I also think that because Napier is the first university in Scotland to deliver it that it show’s we’re leading the way.
10. Did you get dizzy making that #ExpedFest15 video? Oh yes! It was definitely a challenge to edit it, but it was great fun to make.
To find out more about the DofE in Higher and Further education, please visit our new DofE for Students page.
We’re starting a new story series here at DofE Scotland. I, Jamie, the Communications Officer, will be going out to visit DofE groups across Scotland, getting the scoop on all the good goings-on. That's me on the left. We’re calling the series ‘Jamie’s Jaunts’ and you can follow it using the hashtag #JamiesJaunts
This week I had my first Jaunt – to Prestwick Academy for their Leadership programme presentation. Here’s how I got on…
So many smiles! On the young people getting their certificates. On the proud teachers and supporters. On the faces of the group that will be next.
The grins were out in force at Prestwick Academy for the first ever group of participants who completed the DofE Leadership Programme in a local authority school.
The participants, who all worked towards their Gold Awards, signed up for the chance to get elbows deep in the running of the school’s DofE centre.
The programme at Prestwick is modelled off a business leadership programme – with participants rotating over four ‘departments’ of the centre – administration, logistics, pupil mentoring and communication.
They got the chance to mentor younger pupils doing their Bronze, manage the kit store and more – all whilst doing their own DofE!
By the smiles and all account, it’s been a great success for everyone involved.
Ross, one of the participants had a wee chat with me after the presentation. He said that “it is worth it. It’s really good. I’d recommend it to anyone that want to do it. Just go for it!”
Ray, one of the volunteers was also full of praise for the new young leaders saying that it’s really brought them out of their shells and made them so much more confident.
The programme’s been such a success that an even bigger group are already signed up to the next Leadership programme. This presentation is likely to be the first of many – and with all the smiles going round, I can’t help but smile at that :)
If you have an event you’d like me to jaunt to, just get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Are glow worms glowing, glowing, gone? What is the ‘plight of the bumblebee'? You can find out by becoming a citizen scientist for your DofE!
There are so many ways that DofE participants can contribute to Citizen Science projects to assist conservation efforts in Scotland. The Conservation Volunteers has just come out with a great new resource that makes that even easier – a guide to the DofE and Citizen Science.
What is Citizen Science?
It’s people like you helping to record the world around you. Conservationists need your help to gather info about Scotland’s wild places – track wildlife, tree growth, invasive species and more.
Above all, citizen science is fun! Your enthusiasm is more important than your expertise. Some of the apps in the guide make it really easy for you to get outside and enjoy learning more about the natural world. Get inspired!
How can it be used for my DofE?
The guide takes you through all the ideas that you can use for your DofE, but here’s a quick run-down.
- Volunteering – work with the conservation organisations listed in the guide to volunteer your time and get outdoors for projects like habitat management.
- Skills – opportunities are endless! Learn how to identify species, do a ‘bioblitz’ learn about life cycles. There’s tons more listed in the guide
- Expedition – go on an ancient tree hunt, be a Dragon Finder, help with the Big Bat map, all of these things are creative expedition aims. You could even contribute to them on your practice or fitness walks.
Download the guide today and find out more about how you can become a citizen scientist.
For more stories please visit our news archive.