Maryssa’s Testimonial

My journey in the award program began in 2015 at the age 14 with a group of 12 other young individuals. As I was still a teenager at that time, I was very energetic, ready to broaden my knowledge and skills through the various planned activities as part of the program.

The preparation leading up to the bronze expedition was noteworthy with countless skills gained such as map reading which I must say is now one of the most beneficial skills I’m using in my everyday life.

After 6 months of activities, I successfully completed my bronze award expedition. The one night stay in a tent was unforgettable and unmatched when surrounded by my peers and caring facilitators.

Moving on to my silver award, this level was a bit more challenging as I had to balance my last years of secondary level education alongside the award program where I had to put in extra hours. This challenge has enabled me today to have better time management skills and to also multi-task when needed.

The silver level consisted mainly of exploration and has enabled me to improve my observation and evaluation skills plus after completing each activity level I found that I had grown closer with my peers, creating a group of dynamic and determined strong young adults.

As I began my journey for the gold award the challenges continued to amass. I was in a new school with new responsibilities studying my A levels in Geography, Psychology and Biology. The new environment meant that I was further away from the support of my award leaders and peers. This pushed us to find new alternatives to bond, meet and plan for the gold expedition.

Regardless of the different transitions in which I was going through in my personal life, I was correctly guided by my award leaders to prepare for the expedition. There were refresher courses such as first aid training, packing, map reading and team building activities that prepared us for the challenge while I completed the service, skills and physical activities. One of my favorite activities at this level was the night challenge that tested our mental strength and team motivation.

The main challenges that I personally faced during my years in completing the award program were individual differences. Along the way we met many new colleagues and acquaintances that developed my character as a young adult today, so often we had to put aside those individual differences to accommodate for the task at hand and so often these differences aided the group to succeed in task completion.

The Gold award expedition in Mauritius 2018 was exigent as it required us to put on the big boy pants for the chores to be completed leading up to the main event. We found ourselves looking for sponsors to accommodate for travelling fees, leaving our comfort zone completely for an international experience where our challenge started on the day we left the airport of which our flight got delayed.

The skills, knowledge, strengths and team spirit shared has made the expedition an outstanding experience.

However the journey did not complete at the gold expedition, we had one last task to prove that we are worthy of the gold pin in the residential project. A weekend full of community service giving back to the community one last time as gold award recipients.