Anyone done DofE outside of school?

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annieeboo
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I'm desperate to do DofE but my school doesn't offer it. Is it possible for me to still do it? Has anyone else done it without their school? How did you do it?

I emailed the DofE team but they just told me to ask my school to start running it (they won't) then sent me some local groups like cadets and scouts.

Do I just sign up online and then I'll get instructions on what to do next? I just don't know what will happen as don't I need a DofE leader? I really don't know how it all works. Can anyone enlighten me?

Thanks!
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alicerlow
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(Original post by annieeboo)
I'm desperate to do DofE but my school doesn't offer it. Is it possible for me to still do it? Has anyone else done it without their school? How did you do it?

I emailed the DofE team but they just told me to ask my school to start running it (they won't) then sent me some local groups like cadets and scouts.

Do I just sign up online and then I'll get instructions on what to do next? I just don't know what will happen as don't I need a DofE leader? I really don't know how it all works. Can anyone enlighten me?

Thanks!
It's absolutely possible to do DofE without your school (quite often it's a lot more rewarding too).

I have completed all of my DofEs (Bronze through to Gold) with my local Explorer Scout unit. I already had contact with the leaders through scouting, but I'd say your best bet is to get in contact with them first, whether it be a Cadet/Scout group etc. I would find contact details for the leaders and contact them directly, or find out what day they meet and drop in then.

I know groups start DofE at different times of the year, but at my unit we signed up for DofE around October/November. We meet once a fortnight and throughout the year we do training for DofE as well as normal scout activities (like outdoor games, first aid, weekend trips and hikes etc.). Most of the explorers have come through their scout groups, but there are still quite a few who have never been a scout, so it's very open. As many schools don't offer it, there are lots of people who join just for Gold, so it's very common to join a group without knowing anyone.

It also kind of depends on whether you just want to do DofE, or be part of the scouts/Cadets too, because often you have to pay weekly/fortnightly to be in the group on top of the DofE payment. Saying this, doing DofE with a charitable group like scouts does mean that you often pay considerably less for DofE because the leaders are volunteers, and aren't paid for what they do.

From personal experience, having all of my school friends do bronze and silver DofE with school while I did it with explorers, I realised how much more training and support we got. Loads of schools are brilliant for dofE, but my school gave hardly any training on how to use a compass, map-reading, navigation or first aid training, and their whole expedition was along a canal. My explorer leaders are all qualified in first aid and have much more training in navigation than most school teachers, mainly because they love the outdoors and give up their spare time to training scouts.

I had a great experience doing DofE through explorers and would highly recommend it anyone thinking about it, because through scouting, you mix with like-minded people who really want to make their experience as worth-while as possible.
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annieeboo
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(Original post by alicerlow)
It's absolutely possible to do DofE without your school (quite often it's a lot more rewarding too).

I have completed all of my DofEs (Bronze through to Gold) with my local Explorer Scout unit. I already had contact with the leaders through scouting, but I'd say your best bet is to get in contact with them first, whether it be a Cadet/Scout group etc. I would find contact details for the leaders and contact them directly, or find out what day they meet and drop in then.

I know groups start DofE at different times of the year, but at my unit we signed up for DofE around October/November. We meet once a fortnight and throughout the year we do training for DofE as well as normal scout activities (like outdoor games, first aid, weekend trips and hikes etc.). Most of the explorers have come through their scout groups, but there are still quite a few who have never been a scout, so it's very open. As many schools don't offer it, there are lots of people who join just for Gold, so it's very common to join a group without knowing anyone.

It also kind of depends on whether you just want to do DofE, or be part of the scouts/Cadets too, because often you have to pay weekly/fortnightly to be in the group on top of the DofE payment. Saying this, doing DofE with a charitable group like scouts does mean that you often pay considerably less for DofE because the leaders are volunteers, and aren't paid for what they do.

From personal experience, having all of my school friends do bronze and silver DofE with school while I did it with explorers, I realised how much more training and support we got. Loads of schools are brilliant for dofE, but my school gave hardly any training on how to use a compass, map-reading, navigation or first aid training, and their whole expedition was along a canal. My explorer leaders are all qualified in first aid and have much more training in navigation than most school teachers, mainly because they love the outdoors and give up their spare time to training scouts.

I had a great experience doing DofE through explorers and would highly recommend it anyone thinking about it, because through scouting, you mix with like-minded people who really want to make their experience as worth-while as possible.
Thanks so much this was really helpful!!!

So basically I just need to ask a scouts group if I can do DofE with them? Will one of the members be my DofE leader?

I really wouldn't want to take part in the actual scouts group so I'm so glad I wouldn't have to, I literally just need someone to host DofE haha.
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alicerlow
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(Original post by annieeboo)
Thanks so much this was really helpful!!!

So basically I just need to ask a scouts group if I can do DofE with them? Will one of the members be my DofE leader?

I really wouldn't want to take part in the actual scouts group so I'm so glad I wouldn't have to, I literally just need someone to host DofE haha.
I'm sure most Explorer scout groups (scouts (age 10-14) are too young to do DofE because you have to be over 14) would be more than happy to accept anyone who wants to do DofE with them. I presume lots do offer DofE, I haven't heard of any that don't.

There's lots of leaders at my group who run different aspects of DofE, so they're all my leaders really. In terms of the assessor, who kind of only has to come for your expedition and presentation (if you have one), you won't see them as much as the explorer leaders.

Whilst doing the training, it is kind of expected that you turn up for all meetings, whether they focus on DofE training or not, but as soon as you've finished the award that you want, bronze, silver of Gold, there's nothing to stop you from leaving if you want.

Most likely you'll make lots of friends, as the groups tend to be small (roughly 4-7 people in each) and you'll spend a lot of time with these people.
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annieeboo
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(Original post by alicerlow)
I'm sure most Explorer scout groups (scouts (age 10-14) are too young to do DofE because you have to be over 14) would be more than happy to accept anyone who wants to do DofE with them. I presume lots do offer DofE, I haven't heard of any that don't.

There's lots of leaders at my group who run different aspects of DofE, so they're all my leaders really. In terms of the assessor, who kind of only has to come for your expedition and presentation (if you have one), you won't see them as much as the explorer leaders.

Whilst doing the training, it is kind of expected that you turn up for all meetings, whether they focus on DofE training or not, but as soon as you've finished the award that you want, bronze, silver of Gold, there's nothing to stop you from leaving if you want.

Most likely you'll make lots of friends, as the groups tend to be small (roughly 4-7 people in each) and you'll spend a lot of time with these people.
Great!

I just don't really have the money to spend doing Explorer scouts sessions if I don't really want to do it (my parents wouldn't like me doing it anyway), I'm only interested in the Dofe. However, if (like you said) it's expected and I have to go to the Explorer scouts meetings then I'll do. Do you know roughly how much it'd cost?
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alicerlow
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(Original post by annieeboo)
Great!

I just don't really have the money to spend doing Explorer scouts sessions if I don't really want to do it (my parents wouldn't like me doing it anyway), I'm only interested in the Dofe. However, if (like you said) it's expected and I have to go to the Explorer scouts meetings then I'll do. Do you know roughly how much it'd cost?
I pay £5 per explorer meeting, so £2.50 per week.

Each award takes about a year to complete from start to finish, so however much that adds up to over a year.

I'm speaking solely based on my experience, every group differs, so these prices may vary from place to place.
I think we paid roughly £100 for Bronze, £200 for Silver and £350 for Gold.
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