Queen Honours 600 Scouts At Rain-Hit Windsor Ceremony

PA  |  Posted: 29/04/2012 06:49 Updated: 29/04/2012 16:43   PA

The Queen braved heavy rain today to honour hundreds of high-achieving Scouts.

More than 600 youngsters and their proud families from the UK and around the Commonwealth flocked to Windsor Castle to take part in the annual scouting review.

It was hit by continual heavy rain and wind.

The Queen, who is patron of the Scout Association, wore a pale green, Karl Ludwig coat and matching hat by Peter Sommerville and was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen was met and introduced by the adventurer and television star Bear Grylls, who is Chief Scout.

He described the day as his favourite in the scouting calendar.

The majority of the youngsters received their Queen's Scout Award - the highest a Scout can achieve - while a small band of 50 youngsters received gallantry awards for demonstrating outstanding bravery in saving the lives of others.

To earn the Queen's Scout Award youngsters, aged between 16 and 25, need to have completed a range of tasks including an expedition in wild country, spend at least five days undertaking a residential product, as well as helping in their community.

Owen Griffiths, aged nine, from Northolt, west London, received the gallantry award for his swift response to his mother Lucinda having a stroke in their home.

Owen, who had to look after his 18-month-old sister Tamzin, phoned his grandmother for help and cared for his mother while help arrived.

Griffiths said: "Owen was so brave that day - I am so very proud of him.

"I cried when I found out about the award, he did so well."

Erin Billington, 18, from Leicestershire, said: "One of the best bits of achieving my Queen's Scout Award was my residential experience.

"I spent a week with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service learning how to wire up hoses from hydrants into engines, how to extinguish a fire and how to rescue people from a burning building.

"I also completed my expedition in the Yorkshire Dales.

"Hiking through the countryside with my mates and everything you need on your back is my idea of scouting."

Normally the review involves only UK Scouts but this year it included youngsters from as far afield as Uganda, Belize and St Lucia.

Bear Grylls said: "All these young people have lived the adventure of a lifetime to achieve their Queen's Scout Awards, and I admire that spirit so much.

"They are huge inspirations to all the other Scouts in the UK and I am so pleased that Scouting has honoured them today. They are amazing."

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Filed by Chris Wimpress  |