Olds brothers receive Duke of Edinburgh award
Olds residents Ben and Jesse Peachment received the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award from Gov.-Gen. David Johnston last Valentine’s Day in Calgary.
To get the award, which is open to youth aged between 14 and 25, the brothers focused on four main areas.
“The four different things that you have to do to get the awards are physical fitness, start a hobby or a skill, go on an adventurous journey like a camping trip or an expedition, and do volunteer service in the community,” said Ben.
The awards have three different levels, bronze silver and gold. The bronze and silver levels last six months, while the gold level lasts a year.
Both brothers were encouraged to get the awards by their Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron officer David Olsen.
“He started talking about it and some other cadets that I knew were also involved in it,” said Ben.
“I thought I would give it a try. It is a nice award and it is pretty simple, especially when you are a cadet.”
Many activities done by the brothers while in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets could count towards service and physical education.
Meanwhile, seeing Ben do the different award levels inspired Jesse to do the same.
“I thought that it sounded like a cool program,” he said.
“I get an award and I get to do some stuff that I have been putting off of late, like physical fitness and practising my hobby. I thought it was a good opportunity to challenge myself.”
The brothers say that undergoing the Duke of Edinburgh Award process has taught them hard work and dedication.
“I really had to keep it at it every week to keep building that time,” said Ben.
“It gave me a real sense of pride when I did get it done.”
Moreover, Jesse says the award taught him about valuing citizenship.
“The benefits are phenomenal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ben has aged out of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and is studying kinesiology and sports at Red Deer College.
“Past gold, there is not a lot left to do with the program,” he said.
“I could continue with the program to help spread it or volunteer with the program, but not right now because I am busy with school.”
He is also about to become an officer with the cadets.
As for Jesse, he still has a year left in the cadets.
“The next big thing I suppose is getting ready for college,” he said.
“I don’t see any real opportunities like that popping up right away, but I will keep my eyes open.”