Scout Leader Amy Clews from Luton will join an elite band of Queen’s Scouts, aged between 14 & 25, who visit St James Palace at Windsor Castle this year for the St George’s Day celebrations, reports Helen Halsey.
To become a Queen’s Scout, Amy had to complete major challenges including a five day expedition in Snowdonia and a two week trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
The award has requirements in categories including Skill, Physical Activity, Volunteering, Self-Led Expedition and Residential Experience, as well as a selection from the Community, International and Values criteria. Amy says her trip to Nepal, which lasted two weeks and included visits to Tengboche Temple, to watch a blessing ceremony for climbers attempting to summit Everest, and Thukla Pass Memorial, a park dedicated to those who have lost their lives in the attempts, was “hands down one of the best experiences I have ever had”
Her UK expedition involved four nights spent in the wilds of Snowdonia hiking with all her food, camping and personal equipment. Amy, together with her friend Heather, joined a Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award open expedition carrying out a study of wild mushrooms. The biggest challenge may not have been the distance or terrain, but rather the extreme weather conditions, as unusually high temperatures meant carrying extra water and meeting up en-route with the assessors to replenish supplies.
The volunteering aspect of the award was easy for Amy to fulfil, as she is an active Scouter carrying out roles including Falkes District Young Leader Training Co-ordinator, and Assistant Explorer Scout Leader, working with young people aged 14-18.
During her time in Scouting, Amy has taken part in and organised many camps and residential experiences, including attending one at Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland, where she says “the atmosphere is amazing, everyone is very positive and very happy to be a part of all the celebrations”.
Having played netball competitively since she was 11, there was no question about how to tick the “physical activity” box. She succeeded in her personal goal of developing her skills and fitness, moving positions from Wing Defence to play in Wing Attack and, later, Centre.
All that remains is to make a presentation about her Queen’s Scout Award experience to members of the District Team and Griffin Explorer Section. For some this might be the most daunting challenge of all, but not for Amy, who takes it all in her stride.