Stephanie gets Royal approval
RUNNING half marathons and trekking across the Lake District in driving rain is not every young person's idea of a fun weekend.But Woodbridge youngster Stephanie Johnson was not to be put off - even when she stepped in a puddle right up to her middle.
RUNNING half marathons and trekking across the Lake District in driving rain is not every young person's idea of a fun weekend.
But Woodbridge youngster Stephanie Johnson was not to be put off - even when she stepped in a puddle right up to her middle.
For 18 months Stephanie, now 20, took part in a variety of activities in a bid to get her Duke of Edinburgh award.
All her hard work has paid off and next month she is off to St. James's Palace to receive her certificate in a ceremony attended by Prince Philip, who is patron of the project.
Stephanie, formerly from Bury Hill Close, Woodbridge is now studying at the School of Art in Winchester.
But she started the award while she was studying in the sixth form at Deben High School, Felixstowe.
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As well as learning how to play the piano and working with the Woodbridge Rainbows (Brownies) as a leader she also went on hiking and camping expeditions in the Lake District.
It was while she was on such expedition that she ended up swallowed up in a muddy bog and having to be pulled out by friends.
She said: "The trouble was I was out in the wilderness for four days.
"You can't have a bath or change your clothes or anything."
So why out yourself through doing something like that just for a certificate?
It seems that many companies operate the Award for their young employees as the course can develop skills of leadership, teamwork, enthusiasm and determination.
Stephanie said they are certainly qualities that she has picked up.
She said: "It is definitely worth doing it.
"You get a lot more skills and a lot of perseverance.
"I used to hate PE at school and would do anything to get out of it – now I just love being out in the fresh air doing stuff."
The Duke of Edinburgh Awards have been in place for the last 40 years to give young people the chance to learn new things, learn about themselves and to work together with their community.