There are three levels of the award, most participants start at Bronze and work up through Silver to Gold over 4 or more years. However, depending on your age and determination, you can start at any level. All levels have three individual sections; Volunteering, Physical and Skill and one team section, the Expedition. The duration and commitment required for these activities increases with successive levels. At Gold level only there is an additional individual section, the Residential.
|Age||School Year 9||School Year 10||16+|
|Volunteering||3 months||6 months||12 months|
|Physical||3 months||3 months||6 months|
|Skill||3 months||3 months||6 months|
|plus an extra 3 months|
of any one of the above
|plus an extra 3 months|
of either physical or skill
|plus an extra 6 months|
of either physical or skill
|Expedition||2 days, 1 night||3 days, 2 nights||4 days, 3 nights|
|Residential||5 days, 4 nights|
There are extra requirements if you go direct to either Silver or Gold, see https://www.dofe.org/do/timescales/
This requires you to commit your time to help someone else. As an Explorer Scouts you could choose to become a Young Leader and support a junior unit like Beavers or Cubs. (You need to be 14 to be a YL and you will need to do YL training see https://www.kentexplorers.org.uk/page-young_leaders.html) Or you could help coaching younger members in a sport you are good at, or help with a charity, a community, or a family friend.
Basically anything that gets you a bit sweaty! This could be a team or individual sport, ballet, martial arts, archery, swimming, cycling, going to the gym, belly dancing or just walking.
An activity such as music, art or drama, science or technology, sport umpiring or coaching, or a life skill like cookery, gardening, or learning to drive, but can be as unusual as bell ringing or beekeeping.
There are lots of ideas at https://www.dofe.org/do/ideas/
Volunteering, Physical and Skill are all individual activities that you do in your own time, and they are of your own choice. You can use something you do already, or choose to take up something new. You cannot use any activity that you are paid to do, or anything that is part of your normal school curriculum, but an after-school club is acceptable.
For each of these three sections, you need to commit an average of one hour a week over the time period. A couple of hours a fortnight, or 15 minutes every other day, are just as acceptable. Intervals of more than 14 day would need discussion with a leader for approval. You must keep a detailed log of what you do, when, and how long it took. Keep records with screenshots, photos, and so on.
You need to have an independent assessor for each section, not a family member and preferably someone who is experienced or qualified in your chosen activity, so it could be a teacher, coach or family friend. Once you have completed your timescale, your assessor needs to write a report either online at https://www.dofe.org/assessor/ or in the tear out page from your DofE welcome booklet.
Unlike the individual sections, your expedition will be with a team of between 4 and 7 members. We will train you in all the skills you need to be able to do this confidently and competently. Our training will cover navigation, cooking, campcraft, kit, first aid and emergency procedures. This is usually offered as 6 evening sessions at Ruckinge Scout Hall, a full day First Aid course, a full day navigation training and a training weekend. You will then be ready to plan your own expedition, starting with a Practice Expedition and, if that is successful, followed by the Qualifying Expedition a couple of months later.
The expedition is not just a random ramble, but a planned route to achieve a piece of research or do a project, which your team will chose in advance. This could be to do with wildlife or nature, tourism, social aspects, or something fun like tracing the history of Winnie the Pooh in Ashdown Forest! Your training weekend and practice expedition projects could count towards your Scouting Awards.
Usually our expeditions are with other units in Kent Scouts, so an offer an opportunity to meet Scouting friends from all over the county. Bronze expeditions are usually in Kent, Silver in Surrey or Sussex and Gold can be in the Lake District, Snowdonia or other challenging environments. There are also options to do your expeditions in other countries.
Most expeditions are on foot, but is is possible to do a paddling, cycling or riding expedition. There are also options for those who have a disability. So if Kent Scouts cannot offer the experience you are looking for, there are other opportunities at https://www.dofe.org/opportunity-finder/opportunity-for-dofe-participant
See our Expedition page for more information and our Programme for dates. These areas require you to log in.
At Gold level, there is an extra section to accomplish; the Residential. This is where you go a little out of your comfort zone and make new friends, learn new skills or offer your services to help other. The Residential must be for at least five consecutive days and four nights, with a minimum of four other people, none of whom should not be known to you. You can check if your idea meets the requirements at https://www.dofe.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Residential_Checklist.pdf and look for opportunities at https://www.dofe.org/opportunity-finder/opportunity-for-dofe-participant
You can find more details of all activities at https://www.dofe.org/do/activities/
All sections are managed online at https://edofe.org/ Once your registration has been processed, you will receive a username and temporary password and you can then log in and make plans or all your activities. All information on the progress of your award is then logged onto your eDofE account, either by yourself and by your DofE leaders.