On Tuesday 1st December ex-Explorer Scout Andrew Elder was surprised at his Cub Scout meeting at 2nd Crawcrook by the entry of his parents and former Explorer Scout Leader David Stokes.
Andrew recently left the Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit to join Blaydon Scout Network and moved from being a Young Leader to an adult Leader with 2nd Crawcrook Cubs. Before leaving Explorer Scouts Andrew had completed his Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award and his Queen’s Scout Award – Scouting’s highest award for young people.
David started by presenting Andrew with his overdue 50 Hikes Away and 100 Nights Away badges, which appeared to somewhat confuse Andrew. Things became clearer when David put on his Durham Scout County neckerchief, signifying that a more official presentation was in the works. David then presented Andrew’s DofE Gold and Queen’s Scout’s Award badges, explaining that the official certificates will be formally presented in 2016.
David explained all about the Awards to the gathered Cub Scouts, who were only moderately impressed at the thought of going to St James’ Palace to meet the Duke of Edinburgh to officially receive the DofE Gold Award and going to Windsor Castle in April as part of the Queen’s Scout’s Parade. They were however very excited by the thought of Andrew possibly meeting Chief Scout Bear Grylls in Windsor!!
As David explained, around 500 Scouts receive their Queen’s Scout Award every year, but it’s quite unusual to complete the Award before leaving Explorer Scouts. Andrew is the first Explorer Scout in Blaydon to have achieved his Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award and only the third Explorer Scout in Durham Scout County to have completed his Queen’s Scout Award as an Explorer Scout in the last three years.
To achieve these Awards Andrew has worked over a period of eighteen months to:
- Undertake a physical activity and improve fitness levels (regularly playing badminton)
- Learn a new new skill (improving cooking skills)
- Volunteer on a regular basis (as a Young Leader with 2nd Crawcrook Cub Scouts)
- Attend a week long residential experience with new people (on a course learning to drive a narrow boat)
- Undertake a practice and an assessed 4 day expedition in wild county
- Take part in International, Environmental and Value based programmes (including attending the World Scout Jamboree)
- Complete a minimum number of Nights Away
As you can see from the photos, this has clearly left Andrew completely exhausted, but excited about the thought of visiting the Royal Palaces next year for the formal presentation of his Awards.
David explained to the Cub Scouts that it’s a tradition of the Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit to ‘photobomb’ presentation photographs in the Unit and the Pack were pleased to oblige.
Andrew is the first of a group of Explorer Scouts completing these Awards in the District and we look forward to more surprise presentations in the future.
Well done Andrew and we wish you just as much fun and every success in the new District Scout Network.