Mike Walters

I've been helping facilitate awards (particularly expeditions) within Scouting. Over 40 successful expeditions run, and a few assessed along the way, over 100 participants and only 1 incident of any note (although it did involve a helicopter & a LOT of paperwork to follow - all's well that ends well !!)

Attended daughters Gold presentation at Buckingham Palace, which was a fabulous way to celebrate her completing the levels, and son has also also completed his (awaiting presentations, as many are).

I feel the Awards are fantastic to help give the young people stories to tell: experiences to share, make them feel more confident and better rounded humans: all a fantastically worthwhile endeavour.

For me, Mid-Wales as an expedition area is just beautiful. Very remote, a true Gold experience!
Favourite memory was hiding behind a wall as a team went past, hearing their somewhat strange conversation about "having a dog if you lose a partner"....then later, telling a story at the next 'checkpoint' to them about how we had heard someone at a local cafe explain how "they believed that if you lost a partner, you should get a dog"....then walking off.
They were completely befuddled at it!
It has been a pleasure to have been part of the experience.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say the DofE experience can help form that village: what an inspired idea the whole programme is: long may it continue!