The Perse School

Buckingham Palace date for Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award-winning Perse student

8 May 2018

Buckingham Palace beckons for Lewis Naughton (Upper Sixth) after securing his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Lewis will be presented with his accolade in a special ceremony at the Royal residence on 24 May after successfully completing the scheme.

He said: “I’m thrilled to get the Gold Award. It’s one of those processes that takes 18 months or so working towards it and it’s a big undertaking, so it’s brilliant to tick it off.

“Everybody wants to go to Buckingham Palace, so it’s a bit of a dream to be going there for the presentation. I’m extremely excited about it and I’m taking my mum, so I’ve earned lots of brownie points in that respect!”

Lewis said he owed it to The Perse for getting him interested in outdoor pursuits after joining Perse Exploration Society in Year 7. He went on to be given the chance to work towards a Gold DofE Award in Year 11.

He said: “I absolutely loved doing it. We headed up to the Cairngorms for a five-day hike, which was fascinating. We had to carry all our supplies with us, which in itself was quite a challenge, and to actually live out of a backpack properly for five days was fun to do.

“I think the biggest thing you learn when you go out into these environments isn’t actually the skills to use a knife or an axe. You take yourself out of the comfortable environment of a classroom and put yourself where emotions are flaring and you have to learn to deal with different things, so I think it’s those leadership and teamwork skills where you develop the most.

“What I enjoy most is taking those friendships you make in the classroom out of the school environment. You go into the field and realise people are different. You can really start to bond with someone and see what their real interests are.

“As a scheme, the DofE is terrific. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get involved.”

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