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Jared Sewell hiked, played piano and nurtured kiwi to achieve his Duke of Edinburgh gold award. Photo: SUPPLIED

HPC student hikes up gold award

Helping Hawke’s Bay kiwi was one experience a Hauraki Plains College student had on his journey to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh gold award.
The award is available to all 14 to 24-year-olds, regardless of their background and anyone over 16 who has achieved silver can undertake the gold level.
Jared Sewell told The Profile it was “pretty amazing” to achieve gold after many hours of community service and outdoor recreation.
“I think [the gold award] would really look good on scholarship applications, CV’s and tertiary and job applications,” he said.
“It will show that I’ve built resilience and committed to the time required to do it.”
Jared, who is in year 13, said his gold award was divided into five sections which included adventurous journey.
This section is split into preparation and training, practice journey and qualifying journey.
“I did my training and my practice journey in one session and that involved a four day and three night trip in Kaweka Forest Park in Hawkes Bay, that was in April 2021,” he said.
“I did my qualifying journey which is another four day exhibition last December, eight hours a day was the requirement of tramping and then a four day loop to practice our bushcraft, navigation and risk assessment.”
Jared said his gold award also required him to take part in physical recreation, skills and voluntary service sections for one hour each week.
“For my physical recreation I did mountain biking and my main activity was hiking and you have to get your 52 hours for the section and I think I ended up with 380 hours,” he said.
“For my skills section I did piano, I’ve been learning piano for probably ten years now, and I’m up to grade 6 of my Trinity College London piano exams which I’ll be doing in September.
“For my voluntary service I’ve been walking an elderly lady’s dog in Thames.” Jared said his final section of the award was a residential project which he achieved through five days of volunteering with the Environment, Conservation and Outdoor Education Trust at Hawkes Bay in April.
“I did the first day at the Opouahi Kiwi Creche in Tutira where I did trapping, clearing bush off the fence and getting ready for the kiwis to be moved in,” he said.
“The next two days I did trapping, clearing the traps and recording them on the Trap.NZ app and then the last two days I was doing the kiwi health checks.
“We went out and monitored with an aerial, listened for the signals and tracked [the kiwis] and then we would do their health checks, weigh them, take their beak length and send them back.”
Jared said he received a total of $2216 from the Ministry of Education Gifted Learners Award to go towards his bronze and gold levels and received $686 from the Hauraki Plains College Snow Douglas Trust to go towards silver.
Jared said he planned to continue enjoying the outdoors and walk from Cape Reinga to Bluff in his gap year after leaving school.
“I have recently started a YouTube channel of my tramping adventures where I will also be posting weekly videos while on the Te Araroa trail [3000km length of New Zealand] this summer,” he said.
“I started university papers last year and I’m just studying computer science and looking towards an engineering degree after my gap year.” Details: Jared’s YouTube channel is On the Trail NZ