It’s the highest proficiency award possible for Canadian Scouts, and it’s not easy to achieve.
Recipients of the Chief Scout’s Award will have performed scores of community service hours and worked with a local community service agency to plan and implement a variety of community improvements. They will have learned about today’s environmental issues as part of the World Conservation Badge, and will have taken an active role to promote environmental awareness to both their neighbors and the general public.
Recipients of the Chief Scout’s Award will also have worked as trainers for their often younger counterparts and will have amassed more than 100 kilometres of hiking trails and the camping experiences accompanying those treks.
In short, they are fine young people and a credit to their community and their organization.
It’s no wonder the province’s chief scout, Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon, attended the June 11 ceremony at the Berwick Royal Oak Centre to mark this year’s presentation of this prestigious award.
“I was involved with scouting as a young person and have always respected the organization and the amazing young people who make the program what it is,” said Guichon in a private meeting with the recipients of this year’s award.
During that meeting, the lieutenant governor praised this year’s 12 recipients and answered questions regarding her past, her views on the environment and a variety of other issues affecting today’s youth.
Matthew DeMerchend, 15, is a former recipient of the award and acted as this year’s master of ceremonies.
“Scouts are a great way of giving back to the community. This year I’ve done more than 120 hours of community service work, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” said DeMerchend. “And the camaraderie is something you can’t easily describe…the Scouts are like my brothers and sisters.”
This summer, DeMerchend will be heading to Scotland, England and France, along with two of this year’s Chief Scout Award recipients.
“There’s a big international jamboree happening in Scotland,” explained DeMarchend. He added the jamboree will have representative Scouts from all over the world, providing an enormous opportunity to learn about their countries of origin and gather ideas on how to further improve the scouting at home in Victoria.
“You have to unbderstand, Scouts isn’t just an organization…it’s a movement. It’s a way of life that captures the heart and soul of its participants,” said Mike Tennisco, a Rover Advisor with Victoria Scouts. “We help young people reach their potential, and help to create the best fine young citizens.”
The lieutenant governor expressed those same sentiments as she presented the awards to this year’s recipients. “When I look at these young people, I know I’m looking at the best of our future,” she said.
The 2016 recipients of the Chief Scout’s Award are: Brody Rivers, Bruce York, Alistair Kenzie Scott, Niko Batinovic, Kyle Morgan, Matthew Newman, Dallas McNeil, Escher Nicholson, James Darby, Maya Kanstrup, Ian Petit and Alex Vailey.