Eleven youths from across Sask. honoured by Royals with Duke of Edinburgh Award

Eleven young people from across Saskatchewan were honoured at Government House on Thursday with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards, which were presented by Their Royal Highness The Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Gold Awards recognize youths between the ages of 14 and 24 who achieve five sections in the award’s criteria: volunteer service, a skill, physical recreation, an adventurous journey, and a residential project.

Recipients also must work continually on the project for at least 18 months.

This year’s recipients are:

Aidan Andrews, Regina, All Saints D of EEvan Beaulieu, Shellbrook, IndependantCharles Brooke, Saskatoon, 107 Spitfire Air CadetsBritney Favreau, Balgonie, IndependentJack Gehring, Regina, 41 Hercules Air CadetsShanae Harvey, Regina, Edgeley Youth GroupSheldyn Moore, Star City, IndependentJill Northcott, Milo, Ab, Strathcona Tweedsmuir SchoolFaith Ogundipe, Regina, IndependentVanessa Pratchler, Govan, First Strasbourg Girl GuidesDylan Powell, Regina, All Saints D of E

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Gehring , 19, did much of the work for his award in conjunction with cadets. He went on a field exercise for his adventurous journey in addition to hiking the Mickleson Trail in South Dakota for five days, helped some younger peers earn their wings as a ground school instructor, developed his marksmanship skills, and competed at a national level in gymnastics.

He said it was very hard to do it all at the same time, especially the hike.

“I’m a sucker for punishment I guess,” he laughed.

“The weather was very bad. It snowed the whole time, except for the last day… 70 pound bags, we had to carry. We hiked a total of 65 kilometres.”

Gehring said it didn’t feel real at first knowing he was getting the award from royalty.

“Even though this is an individual achievement, everyone who does it knows it’s a team effort,” The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward said.

Part of that team effort came from people like Pat Lawson, who was awarded a 25 year volunteer certificate. Lawson started the All Saints D of E Group in 1998.

Ken Turner of Midale, SK also received a 25 year volunteer certificate, primarily for his work with the Army Cadets.

“There’s lots of young people out there who say, oh the Duke of Edinburgh Award I could do that,” Prince Edward said.

“But the difference is you know you can. Well done.”

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