Royalty presents area youth with gold Duke of Edinburgh awards
It hasn't really sunk in how big of an award this is, but once it does I think I'll feel pretty proud of myself." Raine McDougald gold recipient
Three Drumheller and two area youth were honoured at the Duke of Edinburgh gold awards ceremony in Calgary last Friday, and one of Drumheller’s brightest represented 140 other Albertan teens in an address to His Royal Highness Prince Edward.
Raine McDougald, Avril Wilson, and Madison Colberg of Drumheller, and Moriah Ohlhauser of Carbon and Lowell Nelson of Morrin attended the ceremony at Canada Olympic Park on June 24 to honour their achievement of earning one of the highest international awards for youth.
Raine McDougald addressed the over 600 in attendance, including Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, on behalf of the recipients. Lowell Nelson was made a communications contact for media on behalf of his peers.
“It was awesome but kind of nerve-wracking,” said Raine McDougald, “but at the end of the day it was worth it. It hasn’t really sunk in how big of an award this is, but once it does I think I’ll feel pretty proud of myself.”
Drumheller RCMP Staff Sergeant Grant MacDonald attended as well, representing Drumheller and other Duke of Edinburgh mentors like himself in the Community Youth Challenge, a partnership between the awards organization and RCMP in western and northern Canada.
The Local Project Mentoring Group also included Katie Suntjens of Alberta Health Services, who also attended. The group is comprised of members of the local Asset Development Coalition, which supports the healthy development of children and adolescents, and includes members from Drumheller’s RCMP, Big Country Victim Services, the Town of Drumheller, Starland County, family resource workers at Christ the Redeemer, Golden Hills and Prairie Land School Divisions, Drumheller District 4-H, and Project REACH.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an international program founded by H.R.H. Prince Philip in 1956. The Award came to Canada in 1963 and was established in Alberta in 1976. Currently, over 6300 young people are working towards a level of their award in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The award recognizes youth for the volunteerism, academics, community involvement, athletics, and adventure.
Locals Avril Wilson, Madison Colberg, Moriah Ohlhauser, Raine McDougald, and Lowell Nelson were honoured at the Duke of Edinburgh gold awards ceremony in Calgary on June 24 for earning one of the highest international awards for youth, where Prince Edward was in attendance. Drumheller was well represented at the event, with locals Katie Suntjens of Alberta Health Services and Drumheller RCMP Staff Sergeant Grant MacDonald also attending as community mentors.