As one of Canada’s most recognized youth development programs, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award aims to encourage young people to take on new challenges, set goals and “take control of their lives and their futures.” Since its inception, the Award has involved more than 1 million students across 130 countries. Within its three levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold, there are four main sections to complete – skill development, community service, physical recreation, and the undertaking of an adventurous journey.
Students ages 14-24 may sign up online at In CDS’s case, as a designated Group within the organization, Ms. Heather Castellan serves as the faculty facilitator and helps students ensure that they are meeting the requirements. Award participants then go about setting their own goals and pace making every journey unique.

Program's History

CDS began offering this program in 1990, four years after the opening of our Senior School. Lesley Emerson ’94 was the first student to achieve Gold medal status and many others have attained Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards since.
The passing of Prince Philip in April 2021 prompted CDS to reflect upon its history with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program, which he founded in the UK in 1956 and launched in Canada in 1963.
In the beginning, the Duke of Edinburgh would often travel to Canada to present Gold Awards to Canadian students, including Jill Daley ’98 and Danielle Black ’00. Later, presenters included Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and the Governor General.
Julia Garbe '17, now in her final year as an engineering student at the University of Waterloo, received her Gold Award from Prince Harry in 2018 and had this to say. “I would encourage anyone to give the Duke of Ed Awards a try. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and opens a lot of doors and builds habits that will change your life for the better.”
While the Awards program is not a scholarship, it is a tremendous honour and badge of achievement for some accomplishments and endeavours a student may have attempted on their own, as well as others that would have taken them outside their comfort zone.
Students interested in becoming involved in the Duke of Ed Award program at CDS should contact Ms. Castellan for more information.

List of 2 news stories.

  • Temagami Experience

    For our Breakout Week experience, we set out on a four-day canoe trip in the Temagami wilderness area. This style of canoe tripping combines methods first used by many Native First Nations peoples which were adopted by early European explorers and fur traders, most notably, the French voyageurs.
    Read More
  • Reconnecting Through Disconnecting in Temagami

    For our Breakout Week experience, a group of students set out on a three-day canoe trip in the sublime, yet serene setting of the Temagami area. It was a traditional style of canoe tripping that Camp Temagami, our base camp, has embraced. This style combines methods first used by many Native Canadian tribes, with those used by early European explorers and fur traders, most notably, the French voyageurs.
    Read More

Land Acknowledgment

CDS wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. For thousands of years, these have been the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We also recognize the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples who also shared this land.  CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for these lands and waters for future generations.

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5 
(905) 833-1220

Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.