Welcome to the DofE in Scotland

Sign up now for the Scottish Leaders’ Conference 2018!

The Scottish Leaders’ Conference 2018 is now open for registration. Come along to Stirling on Saturday 27 January for a day of workshops, networking and learning.

The Conference workshop topics include: eDofE, fundraising for DofE centres, the impact of volunteering and more. The workshop sessions will be delivered by YouthLink Scotland, Volunteer Scotland and the DofE staff team.

The discounted rate of only £25 per delegate is made possible through the generous support of YouthLink Scotland. The delegate rate includes activities, refreshments, lunch and your delegate pack.

Sign up now via Surveymonkey.

New adventures for new Scots

“I love to hear the happy laughter and daft banter of the young folk enjoying their freedom (weather & midges allowing).”

This was Mike’s experience when he supervised a group of Syrian new Scots on their practice Bronze expedition over the summer.

Mike, a DofE Co-ordinator with the Aberdeenshire Council’s DofE team, has been working in partnership with his colleague Sandra, Inverurie Academy and the Council’s Syrian Relocation Coordinator, to help the young people through their DofE programme. The team thought it would be a great way to help the participants improve their English skills by exposing them to new situations and environments.

Syrian participants on expedition

Sandra explained how the group helped her to think outside the box with her DofE delivery, saying: “I found sometimes the cultural differences focused my mind to thinking differently to my norm. The young women taking part were unsure of what was expected and their parents needed reassurance. This led to them going for a walk with one of our other volunteers, which was a great small step forward.” The young women have not been out on their expedition yet, but the team is hopeful they will complete their expedition in 2018.

To get the young people excited about doing their DofE programme, Mike and Sandra showed them a lively video of previous participants out on expedition. As Mike explained, the group were “exchanging grins and laughing at the loopy antics on the screen.” When asked if they wanted to join in on the adventure – all the hands shot up.

Mike and Sandra took the group through the expedition training framework at Bronze level. An interpreter was not always available during the training, but they bypassed language barriers by encouraging those more capable in English to help translate. They also made good use of their smartphone apps. As Mike recounted, this led to some interesting moments: “I found myself attempting to mime a transmitter mast, must to everyone’s amusement. We did get there in the end!”

Syrian expedition training

They also accommodated the religious needs of the participants. They were given prayer time during meetings when necessary and Mike and Sandra completed their training before Ramadan began. Soon they were ready for their practice at Bennachie.

The school, pulling out all the stops, found kit for the participants who needed waterproofs, sleeping bags and other essentials ahead of the practice expedition. Once they were all ready to go – and had let a particularly nasty storm pass the day before – the participants set off on their first ever Scottish expedition.

The weather cooperated and they arrived at the campsite in good time. As Mike explained “once prayers were over, this camp was no exception, with a game creating raucous hilarity, which along with some serious midnight feasting, went on way past my bed time.”

The participants have been through a remarkable journey to come to Scotland from Syria. By taking part in DofE programmes they are able to explore new places and learn through new experiences. Sandra said: “I have seen these young people develop in language skills, confidence and willingness to try new things. I personally can’t believe how far they have come and I am looking forward to continuing working with them all.”

We at DofE Scotland are excited to hear more about their new adventures in the coming months. We will post updates about their DofE journey here on the website.

If you’re interested in learning more about this project, then please get in touch with us at Scotland@DofE.org or 0131 343 0920.

Five tips for getting your completions in

With the busy expedition season coming to a close, now is a great time to make sure participants get their sections submitted and approved on eDofE. Below are our top five tips for helping participants complete their programme.

  1. Ask your DofE Manager for a report of participants with only one section left to complete.
  2. Run an eDofE drop-in session to help participants upload evidence and submit their sections for approval.
  3. Let other DofE Leaders in your centre know which participants are close to completion. Ask them to remind participants to upload their evidence and submit their sections for approval.
  4. Use the ‘Directly Approve’ button to approve a section if a participant has entered all the required information but has not sent the section for approval.
  5. Use the ‘Expedition set up’ to add details of an expedition presentation to a participant’s account. You can also add evidence to a participant’s account yourself if they are struggling to use eDofE.

For more tips and advice on inspiring participants to complete, visit the Schools’ Calendar. If you need any further assistance, please get in touch with your DofE Manager or Operations Officer.

Register – Unlocking Leadership Potential Conference

Join us for the Unlocking Leadership Potential Conference, sponsored by Rachael Hamilton MSP, in The Members’ Room at the Scottish Parliament. All young people and adults are welcome!

When: Monday, 18 December 2017, 09:30 to 15:30
Where: Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

The day includes inspiring talks and breakout sessions that focus on leadership skills and participation. The two inspiring speakers will show how, even when you think no one is listening, you can still have an impact and make positive changes in your society. It all comes down to your passion for making a difference.

Contact calthomson@aol.com to register. Please mention any dietary or access requirements.

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