I Failed You, Mr Duke Sir

Captain L here, ready and reporting for duty.
But wait, no … I cannot be Captain L, Llama Leader, Cacti Conquerer — this cannot be me.
Let me explain.

I failed Duke of edinburgh.
Yup, I did — I know, I’m ashamed too.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Duke of edinburgh award (or the DofE) is a scheme, supported by Prince Philip himself (like, the ACTUAL Duke of edinburgh). To complete the Bronze award (which I was attempting to do), you have to spend 3-6 months volunteering for a charity/organisation, taking up a new sport and learning a new skill. I found this all quite straight-forward: I play a sport, I play the clarinet (skills there), and I started volunteering for a charity. However, the next bit is where I felt just a tiny little bit nervous.
You then have to do a two day walk through the countryside, with no phone, no technology, and just a map for support. Additionally, you have to camp overnight between the two days. Ugh.

The practice walk went OK, I guess. That happened back in June, and although I hated it and was shit-scared throughout the whole thing, it went alright, and I survived. However, the qualifying expedition (like it needs a scary name, right) didn’t go quite as well.
I arrived at our starting point — an old castle — with my group (oh yeah, you walk in a group), and yeah — i was nervous. It was a bit better than the practice though, because I knew what I was in for. We set off, and immediately got lost — but I didn’t freak, and i’m proud of that, actually. And, in fairness, we hardly got lost at all throughout the rest of the day — RESULT!
The Saturday was lovely: the weather was hot — maybe a little too hot, but summer is a rarity in the UK, so I made the most of it. We saw this really cute white horse, and all I wanted to do was stop, and see if it would join in (in horse-tongue, obvs) with my rendition of Taylor Swift’s white Horse. Additionally, we stumbled across this really classic country fair, which was just so beautiful in a kind of this-shouldn’t-exist-in-2017 way.

After the walk, we set up camp at our campsite, and cooked our meal on this little stove thing (Deliveru, anyone?). It was still quite warm in the evening; the UK is currently experiencing an unnaturally warm summer, so we chatted for a bit, before going to bed (well, tent).
I woke up the next morning, and felt … ill. I know, i know — I thought I was just a bit nervous or stressed, and that it would go away once I got up, dressed, and had something to eat. In short, within the hour, I puked.
I couldn’t go on, so I failed, and got sent home. For the record, I was actually ill; I didn’t eat for 36 hours, and stayed home from school today (Monday).

The DofE is meant to give you this amazing leadership quality, so, uh, I haven’t got that … yay! But, um, I still plan to be leader: I am basically Theressa May, for my UK peeps.
Everyone was really disappointed for me, but if I’m being honest, I’m not that irritated. I enjoyed what I did, it was an experience, but I don’t want to do it again — it just wasn’t my thing. All the same, I’m glad I signed up to do it, and although I fell at the final hurdle, I’m glad i made it that far, and proved to myself that I could do it.

L XX

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23 thoughts on “I Failed You, Mr Duke Sir

  1. Hope you’re feeling better now L! I’m still proud of you llama leader – I was going to do dofe but didn’t have enough confidence to even go to the information evening and sign up 😂 you’ve still gained lots of skills from the experience I’m sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem! Yeah it is a great opportunity, aww thanks! Unfortunately I missed the opportunity – my college don’t do dofe, but I’ve been lucky to have loads of amazing experiences with scouts that I’m very grateful for 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you feel better now L! You can’t help getting ill so I hope you don’t beat yourself up about it too much. I bet your whole overall experience was positive so don’t let this ruin those awesome memories you have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. We believe it’s food poisoning… not feeling significantly better today, but I’m determined to return to school tomorrow (I’m an awful ill-person!)
      TBH, I haven’t been all that keen on the expedition side of DofE: it makes me feel out-of-control, and the teacher at my school in charge of the whole thing has been next to useless, and verging on insulting. All the same, I’m glad I did this much of the award 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m happy you’re glad you still did the award. TBH, I was going to do it but at the last minute dropped out. I hated the thought of expeditions but hearing from some of my friends who did it, I’m kind of sad I didn’t do it in the end. Also, good luck trying to drag yourself into school tomorrow. You can do it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The expedition was by far my least favourite part. All I’d say is that you really have to commit to DofE, and have the time to do it and enjoy it

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope you get better, if its any consolation i forgot to break my boots in and got my group lost and made them do another 2 hours of walking in the heat. You could do it next year or even try ncs if you wanted

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ahh I did DofE bronze so I know how stressful and exhausting it is to drag that ridiculous rucksack around for two days and oh my god being ill after the first day must have been so so frustrating. You didn’t really deserve to fail that to be honest, but you still picked up all the skills and I just hope you’re feeling better now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no! You can’t help being ill though, it’s just one of those things that pop up when you don’t want them to😔 But I hope you feel better now and remember, you can still do it later in life! I think it’s until you’re 21? But hey you tried! I’m too lazy for dofe, plus too many complications!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Even if you “failed,” and that’s in quotation marks, you still got the experience. You practiced the skills and the sport – even if you did it already. I feel like DofE is more about the things you gained rather than completing it. Yes, that’s rich of me to say seeming as I never actually did it but it just wasn’t something I wanted to do. Don’t be disappointed in yourself; rather, be proud that you got to where you did. You not completing it wasn’t your fault and the fact that you did as much as you can shows that you have the determination to do it and more besides 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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