On Saturday 19th November at St James’s Church, Weybridge, the Walton & Weybridge District (one of the 18 Scout districts in Surrey) hosted the award of Gold Awards to over 80 scouts from thirteen districts. The boys and girls had taken about four years to earn this well-merited award. Their commitment to scouting and their overcoming the challenges they faced, especially the 17 mile overnight expedition, demonstrated their resilience. They have doubtless gained more self-confidence and learnt the ability to overcome problems. They would also have made close friends and experienced working as a team.
There was a real buzz in the church hall before the award ceremony in the church. Parents and members of the family of the award winners, scouts of all ages – including leaders and instructors – all happily conversed while enjoying the good refreshments on offer.
Once everybody was seated in the church, Assistant County Commissioner (Scouts) Paul Iverson welcomed everybody, before the Mayor of Elmbridge, Simon Waugh, congratulated the Gold Award recipients. He was followed by County Commissioner Joe Rogerson, who praised the young scouts and encouraged them to carry on scouting and put all their knowledge to further good use. The High Sheriff gave out the certificates, and then spoke of his pleasure at meeting many of the young people and their leaders during the reception, when he heard of their escapades and adventures on the expedition, which was the toughest of their assignments. He spoke of his admiration for them for their commitment and achievement, and thanked the leaders and instructors for their guidance and dedication.
The evening ended after two video presentations and a recorded message from the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.
It is comforting to know that the joys of scouting are being enjoyed by so many in the county, of all ages. Some scouts have been continually involved for decades, and even for more than 50 years! The skills that youngsters learn from being a scout are invaluable and can set someone up for life. Each week, over 450,000 young people have the opportunity to have fun and adventure while they develop the skills which will stand them in good stead. It’s worth so much – for the future of our communities, our county and our country. Surrey Scouts has around 13,500 scouts between the ages of 6 and 25, who are assisted by over 3,400 volunteers, across 176 Scout Groups in the 18 districts.
The High Sheriff is most grateful to Martin Gerrard QPM DL for inviting him to present the awards, and to the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet Sam Tough who kindly chaperoned him throughout the evening, along with his impending successor Oliver Bates.