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 Post subject: DofE, should we bother?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:14 pm
Posts: 176
Location: London
Apart from the fact that I like the idea very much and will encourage DCs to opt in, are there any hard facts I should know that could help persuading them to go the extra mile? DS in particular is not interested (too lazy and this would take precious time away from online video games, sigh) and his school is not pushing for it AFAIK, I don't even know what to do. But maybe he is too young (finishing y9 now) and the info will come next year? Is the school supposed to help with this or are we on our own?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
There are lots of benefits, not least the strong friendships that are formed.

DD1 went straight to Silver, then Gold. Even though it is two years ago now she is still in constant touch with some of her team. They are all over the UK but still communicate all the time. Being away alone together they become close through the shared experience (or perhaps some end up having each other!) Some very big chats happened that might not have under other circumstances.

Also having to actually get out and do something for others and participate in activities sounds like it might get your ds away from more self centred activities.

The school should be having information evenings that you can go along to.

You might want to find a friend with an older ds to talk to him about it. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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In my opinion it is only worth doing if you intend to carry on to Gold. It is very much a tick box exercise at Bronze, with very little autonomy or even "going it alone or in a small group" - they are shepherded around and if your child has been camping before, they will probably have had much the same experience. It is more autonomous at Silver and more again at Gold. There are other ways of forming strong bonds with peers (that cost significantly less) and the bidggest benefit is probably the enforced volunteering which, frankly, looks better if done outside of a specific scheme!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:21 pm 
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I totally disagree with most of what DG says.

D of E has strayed so far from where it started that it's not what i was imho. It's far better to organise volunteering off your own back and teamwork can be learned from an orchestra, a sports club, etc. Some schools offer camping as part of their Year 7/8 school visits.

When you have to volunteer to tick a box then it's meaningless.

If he's not keen then don't bother - get him to follow another interest.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
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I think it very much depends on the child. I have one that did D of E bronze and 1 that didn’t.
Dd who did it was encouraged to push herself a bit to develop her indoor climbing skills at a local climbing wall, volunteer at a charity shop where she ended up carrying on volunteering long after D of E had finished. She enjoyed the exped and camping side too.

DS just wasn’t bothered...so I didn’t push it with him..it was just as well...it turned out he was actually quite unwell at the time...we just hadn’t caught on yet:(
He wants to do NCS next year which will be a better fit for him.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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In our family the experience was negative in 2 cases and neutral in the other. All 3 only did bronze as that was enough to put them off. 2 of my lot ended up in groups which fell out very soon into the thing, over things like unsuitable shoes leading to blisters leading to not walking fast enough; poor mapreading; wanting to get up at 11 am, that type of thing. The neutral one has got far more pleasure from camping with friends/scouts and far more benefit from volunteering outside DofE (all of mine have been working in a volunteering capacity since they were 15 in various scenarios).

I do have a relative who did gold and on balance after a trip to the Palace was glad. This DC did however get a very nasty kidney infection after 3 days without drinking anything as the open camping part doesn't necessarily take place where there is fresh water or loos and it was the same weekend those marines (?) died on manoeuvres from the effects of dehydration.

Up to your child. If you are doing it for UCAS stop right there as (with the possible exception of gold) it won't make a blind bit of difference and there are other ways to impress. Like acing your exams, which is really all that most universities care about unless you want to do Medicine or Vet Med. If you're doing it for personal development then maybe worth it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Dd didn't do Bronze as she wasn't that bothered and only considered it as she thought it might "look good". We advised her not to do it and she's glad. If she wants to go on and do Silver or Gold she still can as DG said. (My dh had never heard of it before he changed school at 6th form. He then did gold and really loved it).
Ds is doing Bronze but only because his entire boys' brigade is doing it - if he doesn't he'll get left out of things. So for him it is a chance to spend more time with people he gets on with outside of school which I am quite happy about. He's not doing anything new other than the expedition and the volunteering (which he sort of does anyway, this will formalise it a bit more) because he already does the other things.
I suppose it depends on why you want her to do it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:14 pm
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Location: London
Hmmm, it does look like a tick box exercise indeed, I'd rather have him doing a paid job than volunteering...at what age can they do summer jobs in this country?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
There will be lots of vacancies in the fields picking fruit....


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
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Neither of mine did DofE. DS wanted to but we knew it would clash with certain cricket weekends, and DD paid her deposit and then decided it wasn’t for her. I was quite relieved, tbh. I’d heard stories of friends falling out and really didn’t want to have to listen to petty stories that were important to her but not so much to me.


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