Top award for scout Bethany

A teenage girl from mid Suffolk has used her dress-making skills to secure the highest honour in scouting - the Queen's Scout Award.

STOWMARKET: A teenage girl from mid Suffolk has used her dress-making skills to secure the highest honour in scouting - the Queen's Scout Award.

Bethany Gilson, 17, of Whatfield Way, Stowmarket, said she had really enjoyed putting in the many extra hours required for the honour.

There are a number of criteria youngsters must meet before they can be named Queen's Scouts and Bethany had to learn and perfect a new skill, spend several nights under canvas and carry out some challenging physical activities.

She said: “It recognises all the things I have done. I would definitely encourage others to get involved (in Scouting) - I enjoy meeting new people and I have lots of friends who are involved.”

The skill Bethany chose to perfect as part of her award tasks was dress-making - a talent not normally associated with the scouting movement.

Bethany, who has just started her AS Level studies and would one day like to be a doctor, said she had dedicated many evenings and weekends to securing the right to be named a Queen's Scout.

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She said she was excited to have been given her certificate at a London ceremony attended by new Chief Scout and top TV survival expert Bear Grylls. She received her certificate from UK Chief Commissioner Wayne Bulpitt.

She added: “We had a breakfast with Bear Grylls in the morning and then the presentation in the afternoon. Then we had a tour of the Science Museum.”

Bethany's parents Adrian and Claire accompanied her to London to the award ceremony and said they were “very proud” of her for all the effort she had made.

She received a standing ovation when she was given her title at the AGM of the Suffolk County Scout Council last month.

Overseeing his last meeting in the role, outgoing county commissioner John Mabb said Bethany had done “extremely well” to complete all her challenges.

nYou are not actually presented with a Queen's Scout Award - you officially become a Queen's Scout.

nCandidates need to have been a member of the Adventure Scouts or the Scout Network for at least 18 months to qualify.

nThey need to spend 18 nights away from home - at least 12 must be camping.

nTo qualify for the award, scouts need to hold the Duke of Edinburgh's Award or complete the five Queen's Scout Challenges.

nThey must also complete two activities from the list of International, Environment and Values activities.

nThe award is the culmination of everything that can be achieved in Scouting.

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