Jennifer Shaw

I was fortunate to receive my Gold Award from Prince Philip in Toronto in 1999. Working on the award through Girl Guides of Canada led me to so many things that I wouldn't otherwise have done, particularly my Gold expedition. We undertook to hike the Chilkoot Trail in northern Canada. The trail begins near Skagway, Alaska, and climbs a mountain; the border between Canada and the US is at the summit. The first thing you see when you climb over the last ridge is the Canadian flag. We were fortunate to have a crystal clear day when we did our climb, which is not always the case. From the top, you could see a chain of lakes stretching away into the distance under a beautiful blue sky (the picture I've attached is as we descended on the Canadian side).

Without the DofE program, I doubt I'd have had the chance to stand at the top of that mountain or have that memory. I have always been grateful for the skills and passions I developed as a result of being a part of the award program. And I am grateful to have been able to receive my award from the Duke himself - one of the last times (if not the last time) he would have presented them here.