Learn About the Duke of Edinburgh International Award

An Internationally Recognized Achievement

Founded in 1956 by HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth development award with over a million-youth participating in over 140 countries. It is now available to youth aged 14 to 24 as part of the Northern Star Scouting. The Award is only available in Minnesota through Northern Star Scouting and is part of only a few Scouting Councils around the USA to be the FIRST the launch the Award.

The Award is an exciting self-development program focusing on creating global citizens and empowering young people on a journey of personal discovery and development of life skills through service, physical fitness, skill development and an adventurous journey. The Award is achieved through activities within the local community and is largely self-directed. The Award also provides the perfect opportunity to further challenge Eagle, Summit and Quartermaster award holders and keep them connected to Scouting, as well as also work alongside those awards. It can be an alternative to traditional Scout advancement but can also assist Scouts obtain rank.

Award participants were celebrated at a Global Award Ceremony held at the World Scout Jamboree last Summer. Participants, Leaders and Award holders from over 130 + Countries gathered together to celebrate more than 240 inspirational Scouts as they received their awards. Scouts also gathered at Philmont Scout Ranch setting out on treks as part of their Award.

Youth who are 14 – 24 years and interested in participating in the Award, and/or Leaders who would like to facilitate the award in your home unit or district, can contact us to get started on the Award from the details below.

Vicki Jurek
Duke of Edinburgh Award Coordinator
[email protected]

Bob Gwinn
Duke of Edinburgh Award Coordinator
[email protected]

Duke of Edinburgh at the World Scout Jamboree

What better setting to receive a Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award than with Scouts from all over the world? More than 200 youth from nine countries earned bronze, silver and gold distinctions of the internationally-recognized honor during the World Scout Jamboree. The ceremony was part of several award events during the jamboree, which wrapped up at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia last summer.

Youth have been striving for this award since the 1950s. The Boy Scouts of America are now partnered with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA, bringing the opportunity for American Scouts to earn the award. It’s available for young people ages 14 to 24 who devote months to community service, learning new skills and participating in physical fitness and adventurous activities.

Worldwide, the award draws more than 1.3 million participants and 200,000 volunteers in more than 130 countries and territories. Some of the other countries represented during the jamboree ceremony included Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Slovakia, Ireland Australia and the USA.

This year, more 700 Americans in 13 states have participated in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program.

“Ask anyone from abroad about the award and likely they will tell you it celebrates what young people are capable of,” says Elizabeth Higgins-Beard, CEO of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA. “The award challenges them to reflect, dig a bit deeper and perhaps try something new.”


How can an adult support this process?

  • Become an Award Leader in your Unit. You as a unit leader can become a Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader, by taking an online training and then delivering this award to the youth in your unit with the support of the Northern Star Scouting Duke of Edinburgh Council Team.
  • Recruit New Award Participants. Promote this opportunity to young people in and around your unit.
  • Provide Adventurous Journey opportunities. Help to facilitate the Adventurous Journey requirement.


The award is challenging but flexible. Its requirements sufficiently stringent but attainable.  The award aligns with existing Scouting activities and advancement requirements.

“Participants doing their award become world ready,” says Elizabeth Higgins-Beard, CEO for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA. Young people will develop “resilience, leadership, teamwork abilities, problem-solving skills and confidence — all while having fun and engaging in their community.”


What are the requirements for the award?

The award is open to young people ages 14 to 24. There are three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

  • Bronze: Age 14 to 24; six months minimum participation
  • Silver: Age 15 to 24; 12 months minimum participation
  • Gold: Age 16 to 24; 18 months minimum participation

When earning the award, young people are challenged over time with goals in four section activities:

  • Make a difference through community Service
    • Description: Volunteering in the community, demonstrating social responsibility
    • Examples: Visiting the elderly, coaching a sport or serving as a tutor
  • Engage in Physical Fitness
    • Description: Improving fitness, enjoying healthy lifestyles
    • Examples: Soccer, running, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding or dancing
  • Learn a new Skill
    • Description: Developing talents, increasing self-confidence
    • Examples: Learning to play an instrument, making a craft, fishing, directing a short film
  • Challenge themselves and others in a team-based Adventurous Journey
    • Description: Discovering a spirit of adventure, gaining a deeper understanding of the outdoors
    • Examples: Taking a hike, climbing a mountain, studying the natural world

There’s a fifth activity, for those seeking the Gold-level award only, that involves a Residential Project.

Examples of that include taking part in a historical re-enactment, building a new hiking trail, attending a conference as a youth representative and more.

What do participants receive?

In addition to the chance to engage with the world and better understand themselves, you mean?

Youth who earn their award at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels are awarded an international certificate of recognition and a medal for their achievements at local celebrations.

Gold-level participants also are celebrated at a national Gold ceremony hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA.

Why should a Scout strive to earn their award?

Several reasons:

  1. It’s recognized worldwide with a globally-consistent framework, meaning award-holders have international standing.
  2. It enhances a young person’s résumé in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
  3. It’s fun to earn.

Is there a cost to the Award?

There is a cost involved in the participating in the Award. This includes access to the online resources, your record personal book as well as your Award Certificate and Medal. Scholarships are available on request.

Bronze $100

Silver $125

Gold $150

All payments are to be made at the Northern Star Scouting Leadership Center before starting the Award.

Choose a form below to get started or more information.

Youth Interest Form Adult Interest Form

Contact us

Nicole DeYoung

District Director
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Learn About the Duke of Edinburgh International Award