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Kia ora koutou

We wish you and your whānau safety.  Like all of Aotearoa, we have been through this before and our resilience, tenacity and community spirit drove us through.

This is a busy time for participants with study and exams looming, stay on track and make this time count.

So doing the Award, it’s a great time to keep focused on what you can do while in lockdown. During 2020 you took up the wero, worked in the community, exercised locally, learnt so much new stuff and through your creativity and adaptability, achieved a lot.  As in 2020, we are here to support all you seek to achieve and will respond to your innovation and ideas.

We have reinstated some of the COVID-19 adaptations until December 2021, details are below.

The Award team are now all working from home. If you have specific questions, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help. You can either email us on or phone me directly on 027 645 6696. 

He iti hau mairangi e tū te pāhokahoka

After the storm, the rainbow appears

Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui  

Karen Ross, National Director 


Progressing your Award during COVID-19


National Office

As you are all aware, we have a different way of managing how we live at present. Currently the Award National Office is operating business as usual as much as possible. While we are currently working from home, it is anticipated that there will be little disruption to the service and response you will receive from the Award.

The only function which is restricted is issuing certificates and badges, these will be produced and sent out on our return to our offices.


Award Adaptations

Due to the changing alert levels, we have reinstated some of the COVID adaptations, these will be in place until 31 December 2021.  These adaptations can be found here

Please note that if participants are able to carry out all components of the Adventurous Journey Section they should do so.  The COVID adaptations only apply where this isn’t possible.

Once your area returns to level 1 or level 2 then you must revert back to your usual activities.


Following is a list of suggestions for each section of the Award should we remain in lockdown situation for a lengthy period of time.  Participants may also decide to take a break from their activities and pick them up again later on, and that is fine too. Don’t forget: Participants have until they’re 25 to achieve their Award.


How to change activities on the Online Record Book for COVID adaptations:

If you are in lockdown (level 3 or 4) for an extended period of time you may need to change your Award activity for COVID for that lockdown period. Prior consent is required from your Award Leader and you must identify a suitable Assessor (not a family member).  

To add a new activity, go to the Award Section (e.g. Physical Recreation), navigate to Overview and then click on Add Additional Activity.   When you are selecting categories make sure you select 'Others' as the sub category and then type Covid Exemption in the 'Please specify your category' field. That way you can do your new activity for the lockdown period and then continue your usual activity.

Any questions about this please let us know.  Email 



Remember when choosing any activity, you need to set some goals and show how you've worked towards these goals.  Take a look at our advice on setting SMART Goals.


  Skills - find your genius!

Progress towards the Skills section is something that can easily be done from home.  If you're doing a Skill like learning a musical instrument, a new language, cooking, or creating art, chances are you have all the tools you need at home to keep working towards your goal.  Take a few photos or a video of your activity so you can show your Assessor the progress you have made.  You can upload these photos to your ORB record too.

If your chosen Skill is too difficult to continue at home, here's some suggestions of other Skills you could do -

  1. Lean a language - check out Duolingo
  2. Learn to cook, try out new recipes on your family!
  3. Paint or draw
  4. Learn to sew
  5. Graphic Design
  6. Learn chess online -
  7. App design and coding
  8. Become eco savvy - work through some of the Department of Conservation's online courses here.  You could do their Bird Indentification Course then head outside and learn what birds are in your backyard.  Take it a step further and build a bird feeder for wild birds!
  9. Card Making - perfect for sending to people while we're all in isolation
  10. Learn and practice meditation or mindfulness


   Voluntary Service - give back

Here are our top ten suggestions of Voluntary Service activities you could undertake at home -

  1. Shop for people who are unable to get to the supermarket and do their own shopping 
  2. Write to or phone older people in your community who are living on their own. Check out opportunities with Age Concern Wellington
  3. Do some graphic design for a charity
  4. Tutor younger students in subjects you're good at - you could do this over the phone or online
  5. Are you a keen knitter? You could knit items for your local hospital's premature babies, check out 27 free patterns here
  6. If you are over 16 years old and are fit and healthy, check out opportunities with the Student Volunteer Army
  7. Online research for charities
  8. Volunteer to translate with Translators without Borders
  9. Make blankets for animal shelters like the SPCA or HUHANZ - you could upcycle old sweatshirts and polar fleece tops into patchwork blankets
  10. Still stuck for an idea that appeals? Start a chat group with other Duke of Ed participants and brainstorm more ideas!


   Physical Recreation - break a sweat!

This section is all about improving fitness and wellbeing.  It's really important to keep this up.

  1. Learn yoga - try using an app or online videos to get started 
  2. Running/jogging/walking - challenge yourself to better your time or distance - remember you MUST stay in your own neighbourhood
  3. Fitness workouts online - check out Les Mills fitness classes on TVNZ
  4. Cycling - but only in your own neighbourhood!
  5. Weights training - if you haven't got weights, get creative with household items, cans of food are a great way to start!
  6. Zumba classes online
  7. Pilates
  8. Skateboarding in your neighbourhood - but NOT at skate parks as these are all out of bounds
  9. Trampolining 
  10. Swimming - if you're lucky enough to have your own pool!


  Adventurous Journey - get wild and explore!

While you can't get out and do your Adventurous Journey at the moment, you can still:

  • spend time planning the route, where you will camp and identify possible challenges
  • start training for your Adventurous Journey.  You need to check with your Award Leader first, you may be able to do online training for Bronze or Silver here
  • Practice pitching a tent in your backyard!
  • Check out what gear you already have, some might need some maintenance that you can do at home


  Gold Residential Project leave your comfort zone

The Gold Residential Project is only undertaken by Gold Award Participants.  If you are doing your Gold Award, you can start researching options for your Gold Residential Project, there are some great ideas on our website here.

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