The DofE International Award is an internationally recognized, voluntary, non-competitive, and flexible programme of cultural, and adventurous activities for all young people aged between 14 and 25 years old. The programme strives to help the involved students to develop skills such as leadership, perseverance, teamwork, and communication. VIS was the first school in Austria to offer the Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Programme in 2014 with more than 100 students having been involved in the programme ever since.
To complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s programme, the students need to complete four main sections: Volunteering, such as helping people, the community or society, Physical, such as sports, Skills, learning a new ability and the Expedition, where the students need to plan, train and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition. The aim of the programme is that through the development of these types of soft skills, students come closer to reaching their potential in life.
This year the Silver team has had their first practice of the year. 16 students who have (almost) completed bronze have moved on to silver and have undertaken their first big test. The pre-practice journey is designed to test the students physical and mental strength and on top of that, navigational skills. The first day consisted of a 2000 meter climb over 20 km of walking. We stayed on top of the Rax in the Otto-Haus to recover from a grueling day.
Separately, The DofE Bronze teams had the pre-practice journey in the Vienna Wienerwald. The students practiced basic navigation skills using the compass and the map.
All students have managed to complete the walks and the assigned tasks, and developed perseverance by showing their commitment to the Silver and Bronze Awards.