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 5 news stories.

  • Memories from Last Week's Temagami Canoe Trip

    The Temagami canoe trip was a trip filled with laughs, excitement, and relaxation. At first, the thought of five days with no phone was terrible, but once we realized that there is always something to do during the day we forgot all about it. For someone who has never been camping before for fear of sleeping next to a bear, I had the most memorable time and would definitely recommend the trip to anyone with a sense of adventure.

    View Photo Gallery
    Read More
  • Students Attend Duke of Edinburgh Youth Summit

    Last month, Grade 10 students Jack Brown and Zak Khan attended the Duke of Edinburgh Youth Summit in Toronto with other students working on their Award from across the GTA. There they had an opportunity to meet both HRH Prince Edward, the new Duke of Edinburgh, and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell. Students had an opportunity to speak with Prince Edward and the Ltd. Governor about how the Award has positively impacted their lives and motivational speaker and Award Achiever, Fahd Alhattab, led them through a design-think workshop where ideas and opinions related to the future of the Award in Canada were discussed.
    Read More
  • Buzz Around the Campfire in Temagami

    Last week's Temagami Canoe and Duke of Edinburgh Award trip included a three-day paddle and camping voyage, as well as prep training and unpacking at base camp. Students pursuing their Duke of Ed (Bronze & Silver programmes) and the Grade 11 Outdoor Education program participated in this adventure. What a beautiful way to experience the northern landscape of Ontario and tune out from technology as we transition to autumn.

    View Photo Gallery
    Read More
  • Embracing The Great Outdoors

    Last month, the Grade 11 Outdoor Ed class embarked on an adventure none will soon forget. Six students accompanied by Mr. MacMillan and Ms. Leacock journeyed north to Espanola, Ont. – 70 km southwest of Sudbury. They were prepared this year, dressed in their woolens from head to toe as last year’s temperatures dipped down to -40C.
    Read More
  • 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


The Country Day School wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. Our nearest Indigenous Nations are now the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Chippewas of Georgina Island. The Dish with One Spoon Wampum covenant is often cited as an example of the shared responsibility for caring for these lands among the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples who would call these their traditional territories. CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection to this land can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for the land 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.