By Emily Leitl
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In 2015 “The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award” was first introduced to our school. The award is available to ages 14-24 and is comprised of three levels. Participants of the award need to choose an activity in each of the four sections; service, physical recreation, skill and the adventurous journey. In all categories, the participants are trying to challenge themselves by setting goals and completing them within the amount of time given for each section. During the bronze award, three months of each activity should be fulfilled plus an extra three months in one section called the major section. The silver award requires 6 months of each activity and gold a minimum of 12 months. During the award, an adventurous journey is done in which a number of days of hiking range from 2 to 5 days depending on which level the member is completing. At the start of March, the members of this year’s International Award program hiked and camped in the Ardennes located in Belgium. Here, all of them hiked for 2 days, cooked meals for themselves and their group members and slept outside in the freezing cold. Many of the participants said; “It was not always easy and comfortable, but after completing the goals we had set ourselves we all were very proud.” Due to the cold and rainy weather during the practice journey, everybody’s clothes were soaked and the hiking was not always pleasant. Still, all groups safely made it to the end of the route they had planned for themselves. On the 13th of June, all groups will be heading out on their final expedition in Luxemburg to be able to complete their award and hopefully continue in the upcoming level next year. If you would like to join the award or get to know more about it, you are very welcome to contact Mr Gafan, who is the leader of the International award at AIS.

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