Michael Gillibrand, a Cub Scout Leader and Network leader from Bridestowe recently took a leading part in the National Scout St Georges Day Servicer. He achieved his Queen’s Scout Award in October 2015, and soon after applied for Colour Party or Service planning team for this year. (These roles are only open to Queen’s Scouts between the ages of 18-25). The Queen’s Scout is the highest award a Youth member can achieve in scouting and is open to all members between the ages between 16 and 25.
The Queen’s Scout Award contains similar criteria to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, Which he has also received at St James’s Palace in February, as well as other Scout based activities such as nights away, international, environmental and values activities. Michael’s main activities were playing in Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band, fencing with North Tamar Fencing Club and Volunteering with Bridestowe scout group. He is still playing in Okehampton band and cub leader for Bridestowe and would like to do more fencing, but hasn’t had the time. He also said that the most challenging part was his expedition, the final part he had to complete, but that completing it gave him the biggest thrill as it proved that he could do anything he set his mind too, and the Queen’s scout award was an ambition since the age of 9, as a cub scout.
In November Michael attended a selection day for Service planning team, colour party and Section Leaders for 2016’s National Scout Service and parade at Windsor Castle. Here he took part in activities such as drill and planning a mock international event with other Queen’s Scouts, to see how which team they would be most suitable for. 2 days later he got a phone call saying he’d been selected for the Service planning and development team. This meant that he would be part of a team of 4 who planned and delivered the National Scout Service in St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle, as well as write and deliver the intercessions in the Matins service the same day. This was done over a series of 5 weekends between December and April.
After a lot of planning and rehearsal, the day had finally come and the Service team went to the chapel for matins, after wishing the Colour party good luck. Still feeling nervous Michael barely looked up from my notes whilst delivering m my portion of the intercessions from the lectern. In the afternoon however, he took a moment to look at the faces of some of the 650 Queens scouts sitting in the chapel, including 9 others from Devon, to hear the service he had no nerves whatsoever, and found that he didn’t need to look at my notes. He felt that it didn’t feel like talking to a crowd of over 600, but to individual Queen’s scouts, congratulating them in his own special way. He also said that it was this point he fully appreciated the importance of the Queen’s scout award and what it meant to him personally, and.
The theme of the service was “a journey through scouting” with the title being “Let us Journey On”, The audience were asked to reflect on their journey to becoming Queen’s Scouts. The team had put together a series of audio clips from members from all sections (Beaver, Cub, Scout, Explorer, Network) and the guest speaker, John May secretary general of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, also gave an inspirational and reflective talk about one of his memories as a scout. After John May and our Audio clips Queen’s Scouts and guests were asked to think of their next challenge, a situation which saw Bear Grylls and HRH Prince Michael Of Kent sharing a pen.
Trying to sum up the day at Windsor Michael said “Overall it
was an amazing experience that’s hard to sum up in words. The closest I can get
is that it was an amazing but very draining day. Definitely not one I'm going
to forget, but was surprised about how emotional it made me. I hope everyone
who was there enjoyed the experience as much as I did.
“There's something about looking out over a crowd of 600+ queens scouts that made me immensely proud of belonging to the worldwide family of scouting, and the bond the Service Team and Colour Party as a single team of 10 is also a very special part of it.”
Scouting continues to provide adventurous, challenging and fun development opportunities for young people, regardless of religion, race, social or economic background.