Tips for Award Leaders during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Keeping your participants motivated during school closures and limited work sessions can be especially challenging.

We have compiled some tips for you below. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other proven suggestions or ideas.

  • Host regular low-threshold virtual meetings that simply have the nature of a nice exchange unrelated to instruction (Facetime, Zoom, Snapchat, Jitsi, Whereby); perhaps schedule and send reminders in advance if possible
  • Conduct your preparatory training sessions for expeditions virtually (or suggest participants go on You Tube to learn how to read maps, how to cook a great meal with a Trangia stove, etc.) – perhaps your participants* could also make fun videos for your school explaining some topics
  • Suggest Corona-compatible activities and show them the vast amount of activities available they may not have thought of yet. Check out our Activities page for a more comprehensive list. If you have ideas you’d like to share, write to us. You can find the list under the menu item “Participate at Duke – Activities”, here are just a few:
  • Zooniverse for example allows anyone to participate in real cutting-edge research in many areas of the sciences, humanities, and more. The Zooniverse creates opportunities to find answers and contribute to real discoveries
  • Helping an award leader can be a service, so encourage a tech-savvy participant to help set up meetings and take a leadership role to motivate other participants
  • Some school groups have their own Instagram page for the Award
  • Encourage students to engage in an online community together. Opportunities: Share what they are doing – possibly do online activities together (cook a meal together at home, etc.) and share it under the hashtag #awardathome on the school’s Instagram account
  • Share tips on planning an expedition and identify a possible area (there is also the option of doing a virtual expedition with your participants – feel free to contact us for more information)
  • Take on a group challenge! Do a music project, virtually climb a mountain together for physical activity – there are many opportunities that are often also suitable for fundraising, e.g. for expedition equipment or for a social project nearby
  • Set up a buddy system
  • Ask students to lead meetings to encourage engagement – have a pair of students plan and lead a meeting for the rest of the group (have them prepare it, come up with ideas, send reminders, etc.)
  • Encourage students to lead activities that others can participate in digitally, e.g. a homework review session
  • Host a social event with virtual board games
  • Encourage students to use this time to complete an award that is in limbo – now is the time!