80 youth sign up following launch of Duke of Edinburgh Awards | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

80 youth sign up following launch of Duke of Edinburgh Awards

    While it has only been a month since the Duke of Edinburgh Awards were launched in Drumheller, already more than 80 youngsters have signed up to take part in the program.
    The program is a journey of self-discovery and community service for the young people ages 14-25. It is a self-directed development program with components that include volunteerism, personal skill development, physical recreation and adventure.    
    The RCMP in Drumheller has teamed up with community organizations for the Community Youth Challenge Project, and they are pleasantly surprised with the uptake.
    Constable Tomas Dobrich said they had modest expectations of about 20 students participating.
    “It surpassed our expectations,” he said. “We have participants from Delia, Carbon, DVSS and St. Anthony’s.”
    He said they will be introducing the program to more students in the new year, as well as expanding its core of trained mentors into the rural area.
    While the Duke of Edinburgh Awards program was founded in 1956 and came to Canada in 1963, awareness of the program was often in private schools or universities. The community project with the Drumheller RCMP is a pilot.
    Dobrich said since the Drumheller launch, interest is growing throughout the province.
    “Because of what we have done here in Drumheller, other detachments and areas such as the Edmonton Police Service have taken notice. They want to have the Duke of Edinburgh Awards with their police service", said Dobrich. "Fort McLeod is also trying to get involved.”
    Dobrich said they are looking for community leaders or organizational leaders who are interested in working with youth to train as mentors to help facilitate the program. While the program is self-directed, mentors are there to lend support when needed. They are planning more training in the new year. Those interested can contact Dobrich at 403-823-7590 for more information.
    This week the students who have registered will be receiving their work report books used to track their community service hours and progress.
    Dobrich said they are able to accommodate as many students who want to participate. It is a great resume-building tool, is recognized internationally and can open doors for students in the future.
    “It has not only exceeded our expectations," said Dobrich, “it has blown us away.”

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