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Graham Thompson

At the beginning of 2016, fifteen S3 students from Moffat Academy embarked on the challenge of completing our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award under the generous guidance of our physics teacher, Mr J. Wrightson. This week I had a big smile on my face when my certificate arrived marking my completion of this level.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award encouraged pupils aged 14-25 to participate an hour each week in a range of voluntary physical, skills and expedition activities with regular recording and monitoring of their progress. I have always enjoyed a wide variety of sports and being outdoors so completing these sections came fairly naturally for me.

I began Scouts in the Beaver Section of 9th Lockerbie Scouts, working my way through Cubs and completing my Gold Chief Scout Award in September 2015. It was at the presentation of this award that I realised how much enjoyment I had had from the Scouting Movement and thought it would be nice to give some of my time to help other youngsters attending the 9th Lockerbie Scouts. For the past 18 months I have volunteered weekly with the Beaver Colony at Lockerbie and would like to thank Mrs. Anne-Marie Humes for this opportunity. For my skill I decided to learn how to use a camera properly, how to take a variety of images in different lighting and how to use Photoshop. I had great fun exploring the local countryside looking for suitable photographs and I would like to thank Penny Humphreys for all her guidance and help in developing this skill.

Perhaps the highlight of this year was climbing Ben Nevis as part of our Diamond Anniversary Challenge. We all reached the summit with a sense of achievement. The whole Duke of Edinburgh experience has been full of fun and adventure and it has pushed our personal boundaries and gained us new skills. I am really looking forward to rising to the next challenge – the Silver Level of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

By Graham Thompson S4Q