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FAQs and practical notes about the Award program at Eastwood International School in Lebanon

Remember that the idea behind The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards is to incite motivation propelled by the participants themselves.
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Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQS)

Is there a cost for signing up to do the Awards?
While there is no direct cost for the merit of achieving the Award, officially, there can be costs involved in the participation of activities. Of course, this would be the case with any initiative someone takes to learn something new, or to go on a trip of any kind.

For example, if the goal is to learn a musical instrument, then a student may need to pay a teacher for this instruction. Or, they may need to buy the instrument, and maintain it.

There are costs associated with the Adventurous Journey portion of the Award program. Participants pay a fee of $200 USD to cover transportation costs, as well as entry to the protected area where the hike takes place. In addition, participants will need to have some camping gear, which they may need to purchase (if they don’t have them already). This includes hiking shoes, a hiking backpack, a sleeping bag, a water pouch and other camping tools and equipment.

Eastwood International School will provide tents, a small cooking stove and a gas bottle, to be shared by the students on the Adventurous Journey.

Is there an age restriction to participating in the Awards?
Anyone enrolled at our school in Lebanon, starting at age 14, is eligible to participate in the Award program. Typically, the Bronze program begins at age 14, Silver at age 15 and Gold at age 16. Though, these are only the minimum requirements, and each level can start at a later age.
Students should finish their goals within the allotted weeks per award level. However, it’s possible it can take them longer, which would then determine the age they can start the next level.

Students who join the program past the minimum age requirements can also complete extra hours towards their level completion, to be eligible for the Award. See above for more details.

We recommend students begin at age 14. This will make the program easier in later years, as the requirements get more demanding.

We should note that, technically, this Award is eligible for participants up to age 24. Though, we aim for our students to complete their sections in the year they start, and before they graduate.

How is the Award program supervised and tracked?
Everyone who signs up to participate in the Award program meets with a Leader and Assessor. Goals are outlined, confirmed and written down.

From there, progress is logged by the students in the Foundation website’s Online Record Book.

When hours are completed towards all sections, the Leader and Assessor will review the proof of completion, and sign off on it. This signoff is needed before the application for the award is sent to England for final approval.

Can I just go on an Adventurous Journey, or do one part of the Award?
While the Adventurous Journeys can seem enticing, they not open to everyone. In fact, only students who have diligently worked on their other goals are taken on these trips.

This trip is not just a fun camping hike that we do at our school in Lebanon (though it is fun!). It is a symbolic component of the The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards program. It acts as the culmination of dedicated effort and planning. wich spans several weeks prior. The students who go on this trip have worked hard to earn it, and work hard to complete it.

Regarding the rest of the Award sections, we would encourage anyone to try new things, set goals and achieve them. This is exactly what the program hopes to inspire in young people around the world.

However, to be eligible for an official Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, one has to complete all of its requirements, and provide proof that they have done so. Eastwood International School provides trained facilitators to act as Assessors and Leaders for those who wish to stay accountable to their goals, for the entirety of the program.

Is the Adventurous Journey safe? Is there adult supervision on this trip?
We have Award Leaders and Assessors who go on every Adventurous Journey with our students. They are adult employees of Eastwood International School in Lebanon, and act as known guides to the Award participants throughout the year (i.e. they are familiar faces to the students). They have been trained for the trip by The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. Parents do not go on this trip.

A big part of the Adventurous Journey is the learning and preparation work that the students do on their own, beforehand. The trip is designed to push the participants beyond their comfort zone, and to teach them responsibility. It is supposed to be hard. But, it is never meant to be unsafe. The kids stay in a group, and learn first aid and wilderness skills before they go, too.

The adults will be nearby, but out of sight, during the journey. At certain points in the day, they will meet with the group along the route to check in and give assessments. For more risky parts of the hike, the trained Leaders and Assessors are with the kids the entire time.

If I volunteer for the Award, does that count towards my service in the IBDP?
Yes! Hours spent on The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award may count towards CAS hours in the IBDP, at Eastwood International School in Beirut.
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