The Venture Award was created by BXM in 2016 when we noticed a trend in low participant numbers for DofE in schools which were unable to offer an opportunity for students in Year 7 & 8 to get involved in some form of outdoor educational trip. We felt a moral obligation to ensure every student has the opportunity to take part in some form of outdoor educational trip but wanted to ensure this wasn’t just another trip, it had to help build character and raise aspirations of young people too.
We created The Venture Award to focus on 3 key values:
- Being a Luminary
- Working Independently
Each participant must complete a booklet which contains three sections; helping others, learning something new and being active. Each week participants must complete an activity for 30 or 45 minutes (depending on their level) which falls into these categories and reflect on how this made them feel, what they have done well and what they could perhaps improve on. These activities can change week by week to help young people explore what they are interested in and what they enjoy.
The helping others section is all about giving back and being selfless. It could be helping younger students with their homework or guided reading, helping a family member or even a school teacher.
Learning something new is a chance for participants to grow existing or develop new skills. Perhaps playing a musical instrument, learning a language or some fundraising.
The being active section encourages participants to take part in an activity to raise their heartrate. Going for a walk, playing in a team sport or a solo sport, maybe even going to the gym.
The Expedition –
During ‘Level one’
As part of level one, participants take part in a 24-hour expedition based locally to their school. During the expedition they will work with BXM instructors at a campsite to complete activities which build on the key values of the award. They’ll cover basic navigation techniques and learn about risk management and how to keep themselves and others safe during an expedition. Participants also complete a range of teambuilding activities to encourage problem solving and working to individuals’ strengths and areas of improvement.
During ‘Level two’
The level two expedition is a step up from level one. Participants now complete a full 2-day expedition. This expedition is based locally to the school and sees participants learn, in much more detail, about navigation, campcraft and expedition skills to enable them to complete a full day walk on the 2nd day of the expedition supported by a member of the BXM team. Participants are encouraged to take responsibility of their own kit and will navigate themselves during the day walk. This level really sets up young people for their DofE in Year 9 and begins to get them to take responsibility for their actions & others around them as well as themselves.
The Venture Award is a development award scheme for young people typically in Year 7 and Year 8 of secondary school. The programme is designed to bridge the gap between primary school outdoor education residentials and The Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award students participate in during Year 9.
Now more than ever outdoor education is so important to help young people develop and get outside of their comfort zone. Reconnecting with nature helps to raise individual’s self-esteem and reduce stress levels. Participating schools often comment on how each student who takes part in the award returns to school post expedition a much more focused and motivated learner.
Providing memories to last a lifetime and ensuring young people enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment is exactly what we do best here at BXM.