CGS student Megan strikes DofE gold

September 29 2017

It was a proud moment for Megan Densley when she collected her gold Duke of Edinburgh Award at Buckingham Palace this summer.

It was a proud moment for Megan Densley when she collected her gold Duke of Edinburgh Award at Buckingham Palace this summer.

 The Colston’s Girls’ School student’s achievement was a result of navigating 100 kilometres of Dartmoor’s vast, open landscapes.

 She was presented with the award by TV chef and new Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith. 

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl and Countess of Wessex also attended the ceremony. 

Megan, 18, completed the award while she was in Year 12 at CGS Sixth Form. She finished the challenge along with friends Veronica Girgis, Victoria Heath and Emma Hilton. 

They spent a gruelling four days on the expedition, covering 25 kilometres of moorland a day.

 “It was a really hard four days and was very strange not seeing any houses or streets, just lots of fields and trees,” Megan said. “We got lost a few times, but by the final day we knew what we were doing and where we were going. 

“We weren’t allowed mobile phones either, and we were away while Brexit happened – we didn’t know anything until we’d finished. It really took us away from human life.” 

While on the expedition, Megan’s day mainly consisted of walking, cooking and sleeping. They navigated the moors using a map and compass. 

In the run-up to the expedition, Megan had to endure weekend training sessions in the cold, learning practical skills to help her complete the challenge.   

“I like to think that my group was really prepared… as soon as it rained we were throwing up our storm shelter.” 

Megan’s DfE journey began in Year 10 when she achieved her bronze award. She then completed her silver award in Year 11.

 Megan said achieving the gold award would not have been possible without the support of her dad, Kevin. 

“If it wasn’t for my dad, I probably wouldn’t have completed silver and gold – he has really helped and encouraged me over the years. The bronze was very tough as I chose to do swimming, and I didn’t want to carry on. But by the end of it I could swim a mile and a half without stopping. I’m so pleased I stuck at it.” 

Megan, who is part of the RAF Air Cadets, wore her cadet uniform to the collect her award. She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got there – it was all very surreal. I was only allowed one person in with me, so I took in my dad. 

“It was a really nice and relaxed afternoon – it wasn’t rushed at all. I even had some time to look around the grounds before the presentation.”

 Now that Megan has completed her final award, she hopes to take the qualification to become a DfE leader where she will be able to take out groups on day walks. 

 “I would really encourage other young people to complete Duke of Edinburgh. It looks so good on the CV and is a good talking point when going for interviews – I encourage everyone to take part.”

 Megan has now started an apprenticeship in the finance department at the Ministry of Defence, where she will train to become a qualified accountant.