Air Cadet Timothy Woods of Pierrefonds was awarded the silver-level Duke of Edinburgh’s Award recently, one of 22 Quebecers to receive the honour.
The 18-year-old was presented with a certificate by Quebec Lt.-Gov. Pierre Duchesne at a ceremony in Quebec City last month.
Woods is a member of the 690 Lakeshore Squadron Air Cadets. It was through the cadets that he heard about the awards.
The awards were established in 1956 by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, to help young people become physically fit, responsible citizens.
Participants work at their own speed to complete challenges at bronze, silver and gold levels.
The Canadian branch of the “Duke” awards, established in 1963, has 37,000 participants.
“I like the ‘Duke’ awards because they help mobilize young people,” mom Valerie Woods said.
“Timothy keeps fit and is involved in the community. He still plays (video games), but he’s also willing to drop the game and go do volunteer work.”
Participants take on challenges in four categories. They must be involved in community outreach, be working on a particular skill, be involved in a physical activity and go on an adventure trip.
Woods completed his bronze level in December 2010.
For the silver level, he completed a four-day, solo, survival trip in the Nova Scotia wilderness; continued work on the construction of a large-scale, remote-controlled airplane with fellow cadets; trained for the running/shooting and skiing/shooting biathlon while helping the younger athletes with their air-rifle skills; regularly curled at the Pointe-Claire Curling Club and helped with various outreach initiatives, including the Salvation Army food drive in Kirkland.
“I tend to be somewhat withdrawn in social situations and the awards have helped me reach beyond my boundaries,” Woods said.
“The program helps you learn how to be self-motivated and, because you keep track of everything you do, you can see where there is room for improvement.
“I like the fact that you work at your own pace and don’t have to deal with the pressure of tight deadlines.”
Woods is finishing Grade 11 at John Rennie High School in Pointe-Claire and wants to study computer science at John Abbott College next year.
He’s already started working on his gold level. —-
To find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, visit www.dukeofed.org.