30 Days Wild Day 29 – Chief Scout award!

Hey everyone, it’s Dara here for the penultimate day of 30 Days Wild! What adventures we have had!

Yesterday we were extremely busy and it was hard to go do an ‘activity’ as such but I had a wonderful time watching Rooks at school, marvelling at their crafty cleverness and their raucous sound. I love to watch birds at school and tell everyone what species they are. I probably drone on a bit too long though! 
However, a really cool thing did happen at Scouts last night. I was awarded my Chief Cub Scout award!!! I didn’t know they were coming and it was such a surprise! This award is the highest accolade for young scouters and I was taken aback to receive it. I’m the fourth person in the history of Fermanagh scouting to receive it along with my good Scouting friend Kylah. 

I received the award for my commitment to making the world a better place – environmentally, socially and practically. I carried a range of hikes, challenges, bushcraft (the art of living in the wild without modern implements) activities and environmental projects. I studied bat populations, ecology and bat rescues. I made graphs and complied a project; it was such an enriching experience.

I have been a scout now for four years and they have been the best years of my life so far. Before I was a scout I had no physical outlet for my energies and passions. I had no friends who shared my passion for outdoor learning and although many of my fellow scouters maybe didn’t share the same intensity for nature – at least they liked to be outside!! 

My leader Tony, has been a very special person in my life. We met him on one of our weekend walks and as mum knew him from her childhood she asked about Scouts – my life changed from that point. He has taught me so much and helped me develop as a person who is more connected with people as well as nature. He’s one of the few people I can be myself around. His humour, compassion and drive to reach your potential has no bounds. I would be a different person if it weren’t for him and my scouting family – all my leaders, mentors and fellow scouts, I am so grateful for the help and support you have given me. 

Scouting is such a positive thing for young people to do, it teaches us how to be the best we possibly can – to be messengers of peace, to do good work, to be positive role models and most of all how to embrace and enjoy all things Wild! I have completed many challenges and learned so much. 

I am an innate naturalist but thanks to Scouts I’m now also an adventurer – that was the spirit that Tony brought out in me. He taught me to believe in myself and my potential – and here I am, now the recipient of a Chief Cub Scout and my journey is far from over. I look forward to my continued scouting journey! 
Yours in scouting ⚜️ 


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8 Responses

  1. Many congratulations, Dara! You never cease to amaze me that someone of your age can achieve so much, and inspire so many people. Delighted that Scouting plays such a large part in your life; a great encouragement for other youngsters to get involved.

    1. Thank you Mairi. It’s not been easy as I’ve experienced a lot of bullying (didn’t want it to be negative) in life and in scouts too but I’ve risen above it with the help of people like Tony and my parents ☺️

  2. It’s like awards season in your house! Congratulations on your scout award! Your scouting sounds great. I wasn’t a scout when I grew up, so I wasn’t much of an adventurer, but I was lucky that nature was never far away. There where also a lot of rooks at my school, and my father, who was a teacher there, remembers observing a tree creeper through the classroom window. I remember seeing squirrels, and because this was in Germany they were all red ones!

  3. Dara, I just read of your impressive accomplishments on the BBC website! I’m an American with Fermanagh roots, and am so thrilled to see a young person like you who makes a difference in our (very much in need of care) world. I am an educator at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa, and I teach people about our environment. If you are ever in the area, I would love to take you on a tour of the Museum and Aquarium as my guest. Oh, and I think your scoutmaster might just be related to me! We have Scout jamborees held near here, so it would not be out of the realm of possibility that you could take me up on my offer! Keep up the great work!

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