Earning the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as a young person is a thrilling and engaging experience that will leave you memories and skills for a lifetime. As well as presenting young people with the chance to develop a broad and impressive range of new skills, DofE presents the opportunity for friendships and teamwork, while giving any CV a notable boost. It’s likely you knew most of this already – but did you know, however, that the tabletop game Warhammer can help you earn your Award?
It’s true: Warhammer, the miniature strategic war game, can help you earn the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. But before we explain exactly how, first we’d better quickly explain what both the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Warhammer actually are - just in case you’re unfamiliar with them.
What is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?
In 1956, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: a voluntary programme in which young people complete activities designed to push them mentally and physically, to help them become more resilient and well-rounded adults. To obtain the Award, participants must complete four distinct parts of the programme; these are Volunteering, Expedition, Physical, and Skills.
- Volunteering sees participants get involved with their local communities, demonstrate social responsibility, and strive to make a positive contribution to society.
- Expedition requires participants to find their inner explorer and head out on a mission in the great outdoors.
- The Physical section of the Award encourages young people to increase their physical fitness, and to enjoy a healthy lifestyle to improve both their physical and mental health.
- The Skills section of DofE gives participants the opportunity to improve their existing abilities and broaden their horizons by learning new ones.
DofE is recognised across the UK as the leading award for young people, and makes for a fantastic addition to any CV or university application. Every young person, from every walk of life, has something to gain from the scheme.
Okay – so we’re clear on DofE. But what’s Warhammer?
Whatever city or town you reside in, you’ll likely have seen shops on the high street: a jet-black facade, with one giant window displaying a thousand tiny, complicated figurines frozen in battle. Warhammer is a tabletop game first created in 1983, which has proved immensely popular over the past four decades.
Players choose one of many factions – anything from humans and elves to orcs and giant insects – and build armies by assembling and painting figurines with their own personal designs. Then, players compete with one another to win battles by placing their armies on a tabletop battlefield. By using dice rolls and rulers, they duke it out to see whose army and strategy is superior.
Right. But that sounds quite far removed from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, no?
Well, yes. When one thinks of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the usual things that spring to mind are trooping through blustery national parks led only by a map and compass. However, in the Skills section of the Award, participants are encouraged to choose a skill or talent they wish to learn or develop over a given time period, and agree this with their DofE Leader.
After enough time spent developing these new abilities, an agreed Assessor (an adult who is knowledgeable and experienced in the chosen field) will vouch for your completion of the task, and help you record your progress in reaching your goals.
What counts as a ‘Skill’?
Well, lots of things. Hundreds, in fact. You could develop skills within the performing arts, such as drama and poetry. Alternatively, you could get involved with animal care, for example learning how to care for horses, or beekeeping. You could learn all about botany, or how car engines work. You could study the design of film posters, or learn first aid. You can plan events, blow glass, decorate eggs, decorate cakes, or go gliding. There are also lots of Army Cadet activities that can count towards the Skills section of the Award, including shooting and skill at arms, fieldcraft, ceremonial drill, music, and military knowledge. You can see the full (and incredibly inspiring) list here.
And, as of 2020, Warhammer now counts towards the Skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards! It falls in the ‘Games and Recreation’ column, alongside model construction, painting and design, and woodwork, all of which can factor into the Warhammer experience.
What does this mean for you? Whether you’re a Warhammer fan, are considering starting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, or you simply want a new challenge, you have a great new opportunity before you. You can combine the two into something that’s at once incredibly fun, productive, and can help change the whole direction of your life.
So - what are you waiting for? Speak to your Detachment or Company DofE Leader to find out how you can sign up, and find your closest Warhammer shop here!