Bear Grylls on whirlwind tour to thank volunteers
Chief Scout Bear Grylls flew, biked and hiked in stage two of his plan to visit the whole of the UK in the next four years. At a series of events in London and the south east, Bear was on hand to inspire the current generation of young Scouts and say thank you to the thousands of adult volunteers that give up their free time for Scouting.
Starting off in Newham on Saturday, Bear joined Scouts taking part in a Scouting Skills challenge. He then hopped on a motorbike to greet members of the East London District, who were celebrating their centenary and a recent growth in membership.
And so the day continued, with events in central London that included a showcase of international expeditions at Baden-Powell House, a chance to talk to Queen's Scouts at the award reception inside the Science Museum and a surprise drop-in on some Cubs who were completing their Local Knowledge badge in the city.
Having a blast
Shortly after, Bear swapped bike for helicopter, enabling him to get to more Scouts in quicker time. The events included camps, skills weekends and a unit of young people preparing to go to the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden next year.
Speaking about the tour, Bear said ‘It’s always a blast hanging out with Scouts, and meeting the dedicated team of volunteers who make Scouting happen is always inspiring.’
Saturday ended at a family camp at Frylands Wood campsite in Croydon, where Bear played games with Scouts, and met leaders and parents to thank them for their support.
Grey skies, great times
Overnight downpours in the region meant Sunday started in a damp fashion, but this deterred neither the hoards of young campers and their hardy leaders nor the Chief Scout.
An early start in Hampshire had Bear congratulating hikers from Essex who were finishing off the County Marathon. The visits kept on coming, with the excitement building as Scouts of all ages looked through the clouds to try and be the first to spot the Chief’s helicopter.
In Maidstone a collection of excitable Scouts and Explorers set a series of challenges for Bear to compete in. In West Sussex, a starstruck Cub Scout said after meeting the Chief that 'Bear Grylls is the awesomest person ever!'
A goal to grow
At the end of an intense weekend, as Bear visited a new activity centre building at Braid Wood in Buckinghamshire, he reflected on the scale of his goal:
‘I want every young person that wants to be involved in Scouting to be able to join in. But in order to make this happen we need our adult volunteers to keep growing the Movement and delivering the high level of exciting activities I've witnessed this weekend. So my aim is to encourage, inspire and, most importantly, thank Scouting’s army of adult volunteers so that the adventure continues.’