Getting my Queen Scout Award was not easy and I had to work hard for a long time. I did my nights away in 2 WSJ and an international I ran in Croatia with my explorer scouts. My skills were an ongoing skill for me as it was my passion for playing my trumpet reaching grade 6 and being a member of County Youth Brass Band for several years. My physical was refereeing football matches and showing that I had improved by going up level by level. My service is my ongoing service to the amazing scout movement. I am currently an explorer leader in Northampton district and have also been a cub leader. I love what I do in scouting. It’s like my second family! My brother my sister and my mum have all received theirs Queen Scout Award so it was almost certain that I was going to do mine. Finally, I have recently achieved my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award so trying both this and my Queen Scout was easy! Lots of things that you probably already do as a scout/ a sportsperson/ a volunteer may already qualify for parts of your Queen Scout so a little message from me to you is to push yourself to achieve this award because there are only a select few that follow through and it’s great to say to family and Friends. I have achieved the highest award in scouting! Scout and proud!
I only became a scout because of Gang Show and the fact that my guide unit was closing – so if anyone had said to me when I first started out, that just over 10 years later I would have completed my Gold DofE and became a Queen Scout I wouldn’t have believed them! During my time of doing the award, I have gained some invaluable experiences and skills and made some great friends. I have been on some amazing camps, both international and locally, achieved my Young Leader Belt Buckle Award, and pushed myself to achieve doing the expedition - which was always going to be my biggest challenge as I didn’t have the foundations of being in the movement from beaver level and I feel that this is my biggest personal achievement and actually turned out to be my favourite bit of the award! I couldn’t thank both the district awards team and county awards team for their ongoing support and enable me with the skills and experiences to achieve these awards. I've surprised myself in achieving this, so if I can do it, anyone can achieve this if you put your mind to it!
I have thoroughly enjoyed working towards my Queen Scout Award and would recommend it. For the international element of my award, I was lucky enough to attend the World Scout Jamboree in Japan, which was a completely unforgettable experience and I am still in contact with some people I met over there, even 3 years on from the experience! For the other elements of the award, I stuck with the Japan theme as I taught Cubs how to make sushi and taught beavers some cultural dances and games I learnt at the Jamboree. I also taught other members of the group and their families how to make sushi at our Group Tea. This seemed to go down well and I enjoyed the experience too! As for the expedition section, I completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, which was a cold but fun experience in the Snowdonia National Park. During my time working towards this award, I have learnt navigation skills ready for my DofE, teamwork skills at the Jamboree to complete tasks successfully and I have learnt to be more confident in making new friends and public speaking to people to explain activities. I enjoyed the whole experience and would 100% recommend it and would do it all again if I could!
I feel that everything I am about to say is so ‘Cliché’ and more than likely has been said by thousands of people who have received the Queens Scout Award before me, but everything I am to type is true, again – just like the thousands of people before.
When I completed the award I was asked to write about my experience of what I had to do to receive the Queens Scout Award but I am sure by now most of you know what I had to do. If not then you can google it. For me receiving the Queens Scout Award isn’t just about doing a some nights away, a long 5 day hike in the countryside a few other bits and finish it off with a presentation, for me this is 20 years of Scouting (4/5th of my life!) and everything it has done for me and I have done for it.
When I was 5 years old walking into my local village hall on a (then) Thursday night I would have never of thought that I would be writing and reflecting this stage of my life. Nor at this stage of my life would I think I would be trying to aspire and encourage people to do what I have done. What have I done I hear you ask? I simply reply with ‘a lot!’
For each and one of us Scouting has brought us all different things unique to us, maybe some sort of void you had in your life before scouting, for me this void was an opportunity. The opportunity to do more sports than what the education system gives us, to join more than just my schools Netball and Rounder’s team. The opportunity to meet new people with the same interests but not only those of your age but those who are 50+ years older than you.
In my Scouting time, I have travelled all over England attending various camps as well going abroad to Kenya once and New York Twice. I learnt how to rock climb, Kayak, Canoe, Stand up Paddling, windsurf, conquer my fear of heights, snowboard, make a fire quickly, look at any tent ever made and instantly know how to put it up, pack a bag, find myself when lost… the list is endless. Again all things which you won’t ever learn in day-to-day life.
But as well as all the great skills Scouting has given me the best bit is friendship. Some of which who I met when I was 5 years old who have been with me ever since and some of which I met last September as I helped set up Nene Valley Network who were new to Scouting completely. This is the unique thing about Scouting is that we all start off differently – some were born into scouting like me, some were too scared to join when they were younger or some just didn’t know what Scouting was all about. But although we start at different stages and different parts of our life we all end up in the same place - around the campfire singing songs and having a laugh.
I feel like I could go on forever as it is so hard for me to write down something which I am so passionate about, something I could talk about for hours on end and something which has been such a massive part of my life. But the one thing which that I do want to say gives it Scouting a go.