Gold Award’s Presentation, Buckingham Palace – 17 May 2018
Janet Macleod attended her son Andrew’s Gold Award Presentation at Buckingham Palace in May. It made a real impact on her…
“I can’t find the words to describe to you how uniquely special it is to have the privilege to accompany your child to the Gold Award’s Presentation for their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Buckingham Palace.
“You unwittingly become your own mother and feel uncontrollably emotional at these fine, outstanding youngsters who will shape our future.
“They have grown up despite your best efforts to keep just a little bit of their infancy alive. Your pride beats in your chest so powerfully you fear you will burst and cause embarrassment (which you do anyway) all over the Palace Gardens.
“You remember the wet sleeping bags; the mould in the far recesses of the rucksack; the smell when they’d arrive back from their expedition; the worry of them virtually self-sufficient in the wilds; the drying of tents; the packing of dry noodles into vacant spaces in their dry bag; stuffing paper into soaking wet boots; the blisters; the pleas of, ‘but I need a day off, I’m exhausted…’; the sore back; the completely useless midgie nets; the completely useless 100% no nonsense waterproof gloves; the sneaky sweeties you stuffed in to surprise them when you know they’d hit rock bottom with miles and miles still to tread; the panic you can’t find a worthwhile residential and time is marching on; the sprint they’d make towards a warm shower as soon as they were back home.
“It all came home to roost as I watched their smiles. But as they formed their semi-circle and Prince Edward threw his hands aloft in front of them and bellowed, ‘You’ve done it! You are Gold Award achievers!’ I knew in an instant our future was safe.
“It’s not easy. It’s not meant to be. But, trust me, it’s worth it. That little lapel badge shouts loudly to the world they have achieved; they are resilient; they are determined; they are adventurous; they are compassionate; they are responsible; they are inquisitive; they are reflective; they are courageous – and standing in the beautiful late Spring sunshine in Buckingham Palace Gardens last May, they were happy.
“Lomond School made it all possible. Four years of encouragement, opportunity and guidance put that lapel badge in place. I’ve watched Mrs Harwood in action – she may be small, but she be fierce. She accompanied us on our bit of the adventure and Abigail, Andrew, Chiara, Mackenzie and Rona had nothing but respect for her and warm, genuine smiles in her company.
“Andrew’s take on the occasion, ‘It was special and good fun but I was roasting in my kilt! It’s amazing that such a small badge has such a lot of power.’
“It was truly marvellous. A moment in time. If you’re reading this and your child ‘isn’t sure’ – send them my way and I’ll show them the pictures.”
Janet Macleod – VERY proud Mum of Andrew and VERY proud teacher to Abi, Chiara, Mackenzie and Rona.