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.