Jennifer Lee’s journey to achieve the silver level of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has led her to big adventures from her hometown in Burnaby.
“One of my proudest moments was standing on the summit of the Chilkoot Pass,” Lee told Black Press Media.
She remembers standing on the edge of the Coast Mountain range in the Yukon thinking,“Wow, I’ve come this far and I can see this huge expanse of wilderness in front of me.”
Lee wanted to chase the summit to learn more about the people who’d hiked it during the Klondike Gold Rush.
She enjoyed the trail’s historical significance and saw a variety of interesting artifacts, such as a boiler.
“Somebody thought they could carry a boiler over the mountain range and very quickly realized that was not going to happen.”
And her journey isn’t over.
She plans to canoe the Yukon River and “continue to be a better Canadian” to achieve the award’s gold level.
Lee also worked on her public speaking skills with Toast Masters, volunteered at a seniors’ home, developed her endurance for swimming, and practised playing her guitar during the program.
To be eligible for the award, youth ages 14-24 must fulfill four different activities over at least one year: service to the community, development of a skill, physical recreation, and an adventurous journey in nature.
It’s divided into three levels – bronze, silver, and gold – and comes with a lapel pin, certificate, and school credit.
More than 15,000 youth participate in the program in B.C. and Yukon, and are mentored by almost 1,000 volunteers through schools, community centres, and youth organizations.