From participant to Community Leader

Lindsay at IGE 2008

Lindsay Stovel, IGE delegate from Manitoba, Canada, attended the IGE in Mauritius in 2008. Having left the event inspired, Lindsay considered how she could make an impact on the Award in Canada by recreating a similar event at home. As a result, she developed a summer camp programme called LEAD.

"It took five years for LEAD to fully launch, with the first event taking place in August 2013. The second LEAD event took place in August 2016, with just under 100 youth in attendance. The LEAD event has become a flagship event for the Award programme in Canada, thanks to Lindsay’s hard work and dedication. Lindsay went on to become the Executive Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Manitoba. 

IGE Mauritius 2008: the trip of a lifetime!

The IGE was an amazing experience for me; it was one that will stay with me forever. I felt like I was able to connect with the Award programme on a truly global scale, and really see the impact Lindsay on her Awardthat the international Award creates around the world. The event itself was wonderful. Over the two weeks in Mauritius, we participated in activities that are reflective of the Award sections: Service, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and Skills. We completed five skills workshops on blogging, story-telling, journalism, photography and videography. We had two full days of Adventurous Journey activities where we were given the opportunity to snorkel, hike and abseil. The abseiling was a highlight of the trip for much of the group. We also worked on three different community service projects during our time there.

We had the opportunity to get involved in the Emerging Leaders Forum—enabling us to brainstorm ideas and come up with the five topics that would be discussed at the Forum. We then prepared workshops on those five topics. On the day of the Forum, HRH The Earl of Wessex, along with members of the International Council, attended our workshops and gave us feedback on our ideas. The International Council later selected which ideas they thought we could work on to produce over the succeeding three years. Youth representatives were selected to be involved in this development process.

The IGE was an experience that we will all remember forever—truly the trip of a lifetime! I returned to Canada feeling highly motivated and excited about the future of the Award in Canada and around the world.

The development of LEAD 

LEAD has really taken off in the last few years. It has been so rewarding to see so many young Canadians getting actively involved. Participation in the event grew from 80 to 100 young people between 2013 and 2016, and I hope it will continue to develop. It is a nine day summer camp that helps young people complete the Award and provides each individual with skills and confidence that helps them immensely in all areas of life.

I couldn’t have created LEAD without the skills I took away from IGE Mauritius. I remember feeling like it was an impossible task to truly make a lasting impact on the lives of Canadian young people as an individual. However, when I considered the communication skills and determination I developed at IGE, and the connections I made, I knew I had the tools to enable more young people to have access to a similar experience.

I have come out of all of this as a more globally-minded, passionate, organised and driven individual.”

Find out more about IGE 2017 here.