[O]n Sunday 24th April 2016, Explorer Scouts Rebecca Haslam, from Hoosiders ESU based in Penrith, Michael Frost, Matthew Fleming, Jack Smith and Peter Young from Xenolith ESU based in Ulverston were honoured along with over 650 new queen scouts by international adventurer Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, at Windsor Castle for gaining their Queen’s Scouts Awards. Bear was joined by Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO.
The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest honour in Scouting and is awarded for outstanding personal achievement. This honour is achieved by young people aged between 16 and 25 who have completed a range of challenges, which includes service to their community, completing an expedition in wild country, undertaking a five-day residential project in an unfamiliar environment and learning a new skill or developing an existing talent.
Rebecca, who is 25, is now the leader of Hoosiders ESU and did her expedition in Black Mountains in Wales, where they tested rucksacks (one fell apart midway). She was part of the team which lit beacons to start Paralympics Games in 2012 by climbing Scafell Pike. Rebecca’s residential project was at Bendrigg Outdoor Activity Centre teaching children with learning difficulties.
Michael is 19yrs and an assistant leader at Xenolith ESU, Jack aged 19yrs, Matthew and Peter both aged 18yrs are now members of the South West Lakes Network. All four completed their expedition canoeing the River Spey in Aviemore, Scotland.
They all completed their International experience at Zellhof International camp in Austria and their community service involved the creation of the Factory Shop Community Garden in Ulverston. Matthew, Peter and Jack completed their residential project while gaining their National Citizen Award while Michael completed his as part of his Audi apprentice training programme.
Matthew Fleming said: “This was a brilliant day we all enjoyed ourselves, a great climax to gaining the Queen Scout and It was good to listen to the ‘Bear’ and meet Prince Michael of Kent”
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 today. They are 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. Since the Queen’s Scout Award was instigated, over 100,000 of these awards 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 is today announcing 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.