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A Day of Celebration and Achievement

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, was joined by Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, and TV’s Steve Backshall in honouring thirty-two Queen Scouts from Hampshire at Windsor Castle on Sunday 24th April 2016.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest goal in Scouting and is gained for outstanding personal achievement.  The young people, aged between 16 and 25, must contour a range of challenges, from making in impact in their community, to completing an adventurous expedition, undertaking a five-day residential project in an unfamiliar environment and to learning a new skill or developing an existing talent.

Lizzie Harvey, aged 24, from Hampshire was one of over 650 new Queen’s Scouts receiving her award.  She said: “Gaining my Queen Scout Award has been not only a great personal achievement, but also a personal adventure.  It was a challenge to fit my professional life around my award, but Scouting was flexible in allowing me to get the balance right.  I had the opportunity to make new friends when I trekked Dartmoor for my expedition, the chance to travel abroad and make a difference teaching youth empowerment in North Africa, and had so much fun volunteering with my local Scouts that I have continued to do so.  Steve Backshall hi-fived me!”

Laura Betterbridge, aged 18, added: “Completing the Queen’s Scout Award was a fun and life changing experience.  Like most people my age, I was juggling the challenge with my academic commitments.  Learning to keep focused and organised showed me that goals are achievable.  The biggest highlight for me was waterfall jumping in Mexico, along with the lifelong international Scouting friendships that I have made.  I would encourage anyone who likes a challenge to give Scouting a go.”

Alix Nichols, aged 17, also from Hampshire said:” During my award achievements, I was able to boost my confidence and try out yacht sailing in a new group of friends.  Travelling to Uganda allowed me to experience a new culture whilst helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.  The challenge has inspired me to volunteer aboard again.  I am in the process of volunteering of my local Scout group, and will soon be abseiling down the spinnaker tower in Portsmouth to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.”

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, said: “All these young people have lived the adventure of a lifetime to achieve their Queen’s Scout Awards, and I admire that spirit so much.   They are huge inspirations to over half a million Scouts in the UK and I am so pleased that Scouting has honoured them.  They are truly amazing.”

The annual Windsor Castle event has been held regularly since 1934 on the Sunday nearest to St. George’s Day (23rd April).  St. George is the Patron Saint of Scouting, because of his faith and courage in the presence of a difficulty, including that of a dragon.

Since the Queen’s Scout Award was instigated, over 100,000 of these honours have been presented to young men and women for outstanding personal achievements and service to their local communities.  They have learnt new skills and taken part in many of the 200 different activities on offer by Scouting across the UK.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the top award in The Scout Association’s programme.  Following an extensive programme refresh, Scouting has announced the largest ever revamp of its activity programme with the launch of 165 new and updated badges, making up a total of 250 age-appropriate badges for its youth membership (6-18 yrs).   These new badges introduce community impact for the first time, whilst the others are based around three core themes of Outdoor and Adventure, World and Skills. A new Disability Awareness badge has been introduced, and outdoor skills remain a key part of Scouting with new Navigator and Camp Craft badges.  The badges complement The Scout Association’s Strategic Plan for 2018 which maintains a focus on growth, inclusivity, youth shaped and community impact.  The changes reflect the changing demands and interests of today’s young people who have particularly asked for leadership and teamwork to be recognised.

Scouting is a key part of today’s modern community, continually growing to offer fun, challenge and adventure to boys and girls aged 6 to 25, as well as adults too.  To find out more, visit scouts.org.uk or call 0845 300 1818

   

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