Making the Most of Your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Residential Week in Scotland

A group of people canoeing with mountains in the background as part of their Gold DofE award.

Beginning your journey to achieving a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a significant undertaking. Like the Bronze and Silver awards, there are four main sections of the programme; Volunteering, Physical, Skills, and Expedition. However, at the Gold level, participants will also complete a Residential section. The Residential Week stands out as a unique and enriching experience as participants have a chance to enhance an often challenging skill while meeting new people from different backgrounds.

Choosing the right location for this part of your DofE adventure is crucial to ensure you get the most out of your experience. In this guide, we’ll explore what the Gold DofE Residential Week entails, considerations when selecting a location, and why Active Outdoor Pursuits could be the ideal choice to make the most of your experience.

What Are the Requirements of a Gold DofE Residential Week?

As part of the Residential section of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, participants must engage in a shared activity or specific course with people unfamiliar to you, in a residential setting away from home. This section provides flexibility but requires participation with an organised group or Approved Activity Provider. You must join individually, not with friends, a school group, or a youth trip. Participants can stay at a number of places as part of their Residential week — including boats, camps, or activity centres (as long as they are not with a friend or relative).

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Residential Week offers an opportunity to broaden interests and experiences, whether trying something new or pursuing existing interests from other DofE sections. Ideally lasting five consecutive days with a minimum of four nights away, the activity can be related to the participant’s interests. In exceptional cases, with advance permission from a Licensed Organisation, this commitment can span two weekends but must involve at least four nights away within a 12-month period, focusing on the same activity.

Choosing the Location for Your Residential Week in Scotland

Selecting the perfect location for your Gold DofE Residential Week requires careful consideration. Look for a place that provides a safe yet adventurous setting. Consider factors such as proximity to nature, available activities, and the overall atmosphere. It’s essential to choose a location that not only meets the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award criteria but also offers an environment conducive to personal growth and teamwork.

To ensure that your chosen residential centre is DofE-approved, there are specific requirements that must be met. Participants should verify that the centre complies with DofE guidelines, including safety standards, qualified staff, and appropriate facilities. To do this, participants can check the list of Residential Opportunities approved by the organisation on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award website.

Gold DofE Residential Week at Active Outdoor Pursuits

Active Outdoor Pursuits is proud to be an approved provider of the Gold DofE Residential Week. With a commitment to safety, experienced instructors, and a wide range of outdoor activities, Active Outdoor Pursuits offers an immersive experience that aligns seamlessly with the goals of the DofE programme. Participants can expect a challenging yet supportive environment that fosters personal development and teamwork. We offer two residential experiences for participants so they can choose to build on a talent developed during other sections of their award or try something brand new such as skiing or snowboarding.

The Multi-Activity DofE Gold Residential Week offers five days of enjoyable outdoor activities, encompassing a blend of land, water, and rock-based sports. All necessary technical and safety equipment for the activities is supplied by us.

Anticipated activities include:

Dates for this course usually run between April and October each year.

The Snowsports Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential Week commences with a winter walk, followed by three full-day ski lessons and one full-day snowboard lesson. The use of our snowsports equipment is inclusive, but participants are kindly requested to provide their own clothing. Dates for the Snowsports Residential run during the February half-term holidays.

A group of people taking part in snowboarding and skiing with Active Outdoor Pursuits

Why Choose Active Outdoor Pursuits for Your Gold Residential Week?

As a DofE Approved Activity Provider for Residential Weeks, we can provide an unforgettable Gold DofE Residential experience at our outdoor centre, Cairngorms Adventure Centre in Newtonmore, Scotland.

Qualified Professionals
Our team of professionals all have National Governing Body qualifications in a wide variety of land-based, water sports, and snow sports offered as part of the Residential experience. As an AALA licenced provider of Adventure Activities, we have extensive Health and Safety Policies and Procedures relating to risk assessment, staff qualifications, operational systems/protocols, booking systems, equipment, venues, accident and emergency procedures, first aid etc. These ensure all services and activities adhere to national health and safety standards in our industry sector.

Fantastic Accommodation
Opting for Active Outdoor Pursuits for your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Residential Week comes with the benefit of self-catered accommodation in shared dorm rooms. Participants gain access to a communal kitchen equipped with an oven, hobs, microwave, fridge, freezer and utensils. Conveniently, there’s a supermarket just a brief five-minute walk from the centre, allowing easy procurement of provisions for the entire week. Furthermore, the centre boasts a dedicated drying room, ensuring that any wet kit and clothing can be efficiently dried overnight. This guarantees that participants start each day of their adventure with gear that’s ready for action!

Accommodation in Newtonmore provided as part of Gold DofE Residential Week in Scotland
Interior of Accommodation in Newtonmore provided as part of Gold DofE Residential Week in Scotland

Wide Range of Activities
A key benefit of opting for Active Outdoor Pursuits for your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Residential Week is the diverse array of activities available. Participants can select from two distinct Residential Week options, each offering a unique outdoor experience. The February Snowsports DofE Residential Week, set in the stunning Cairngorm Mountains, offers the chance to ski or snowboard against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. The Cairngorms, transformed into a picturesque winter wonderland with snow-covered peaks and verdant forests, provide an ideal setting for snowsports enthusiasts. For those looking to mix it up across land, water and rock, our Multi-Activity Residential Week provides the opportunity to dip your toes into a number of different activities. This ensures a dynamic and engaging experience throughout the week, with something new and exciting each day.

Book Your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Residential Week in Scotland

Embarking on your journey towards the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a path filled with growth, challenge, and discovery. By choosing Active Outdoor Pursuits for your Residential Week, you’re not just fulfilling a programme requirement; you’re opening doors to a world of adventure and learning. Whether you’re carving your path down the snowy slopes of Cairngorm Mountain Resort or navigating the diverse terrains of land, water, and rock, each experience is designed to enhance your skills, boost your confidence, and foster lifelong friendships.

As you prepare to take this significant step in your DofE journey, remember choosing where your Residential section takes place is more than just a decision for an activity provider; it’s a commitment to an enriching adventure that resonates with your aspirations and goals. So, gear up for an unforgettable journey with us, where each day brings new challenges, new learning, and new opportunities to grow.

Contact us today to find out more and book your Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Residential Week in Scotland.

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