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Reflecting on a day spent celebrating the achievements of our young people.

Yesterday we celebrated the achievements of young people from across Merseyside Scouts at our annual awards event. Almost 280 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network members from Groups and Units across Merseyside came together at SS Peter & Paul’s Church in Crosby to receive the top awards for their section.

This was their moment. Their opportunity to stand in front of their family and be recognised for the hard work, commitment, passion and enthusiasm they put in to achieving their award.  And they shone, from the smallest Beaver to our oldest Explorer and Network member, the pride in their achievement was obvious.

Some were nervous about making that step into the spotlight in front of hundreds of other Scouts and their families; others took it all in their stride; and some were bouncing with excitement. There was even one young man who leapt off the platform with a giant whoop after receiving his award!

From my spot at the side of the stage, I was privileged to see it all - the look on their faces while they waited; the pride shining through as they received their award from our County Commissioner, Peter Oliver; and the huge smiles as they passed me to have their photos taken.

Bronze and Silver Award recipients were treated to an opportunity to meet and greet some of the creatures and critters brought along by our friends at Exo Teach. Snakes, scorpions, spiders and lizards got up close and personal with our young people, as well as ‘Baden Owl’ renamed especially just for us.

Baden Owl

For the first time, we recognised some of our Young Leaders who had completed all of the training to achieve their Young Leader Belt Buckle. These young people are just some of the Young Leaders who give their time each week to run activities for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and have undertaken training to help them develop their own leadership skills. I know we’ll be seeing them all as they continue to develop and take on leadership roles in the future.

Our Queen Scout Award recipients, Emma-Jane Draco and Luke Roberts, shared with the Scouts and Explorers some of their experiences from undertaking a challenging five day expedition in the Lake District; to completing five days service at Bibby’s Farm Scout Camp Site helping to build the hammock village; and how completing the award has helped them build confidence, better communication and teamwork skills. Later this month they will join other Queen’s Scout Award recipients at Windsor Castle to receive their award from a member of the Royal Family, and what an amazing experience that will be.

Merseyside Scout’s Chair of Trustees David Steer Esq QC DL joined us to celebrate the achievements of our young people. He shared his thoughts on how Scouting helps young people develop their skills, particularly through the Award scheme we offer, and how these are recognised and valued by employers “not just for today, but for life!” Universities and employers are always keen to see a Scouting background on their application forms, as they know the skills we help young people develop will be of value to them. Leadership, communication, confidence, resilience, teamwork and so many other skills which our young people develop, really are skills for life.

Even though the day was about recognising the achievements of our young people, it was important for us that we took a moment to thank the leaders and supporters in the room who had worked alongside our award recipients to teach them new skills. All our volunteers work incredibly hard and give freely of their time to create fantastic opportunities for our members. This support was recognised by the young people and their families with a deafening round of applause.

It was a brilliant day recognising so many amazing young people and a true celebration of all their hard work. You should all be very proud of your achievements. Congratulations from all of us across Team Merseyside!

Young Peoples Awards