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Royal Presentation

by Graham on March 5, 2013

Recently I had the honour of being invited to visit St James’s Palace in London to receive my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award from the Earl of Wessex – HRH Prince Edward.  The invitation included one guest – and this was my Dad.

My involvement in 1st Hazel Grove Scout Group has provided me with the opportunity to partake in the Duke of Edinburgh’s bronze, silver and gold awards and my invitation to the palace felt like a formal recognition of the commitment and hard work required to complete the awards and gave me a very positive sense of achievement.

On the day of the awards, because my presentation was in the afternoon, we had the opportunity to spend time seeing some of the sights before making our way to St James’s Palace.  There was a small band playing to greet us on our arrival at the Palace.  For the presentation I had to be in full scout uniform and as there were several presentations going on in different rooms, I was directed to join the group made up of the scouts who had gained the award from all around the United Kingdom and we were shown into a large banqueting room.  It was a beautiful ex-ballroom and being in such wonderful surroundings filled with other members of the scouting movement, made me very proud of both the achievement and also of the scouting organisation.

We listened to the highly motivational story of Bonita Norris, the youngest woman to climb Everest, following which she presented us with our certificates.

In smaller groups, we were positioned in small semi circles ready for the entrance of the Earl of Wessex.  He walked around the room interacting with the scouts and their guests.  An amusing comment raised a smile from the Prince during his time spent with the group I was in.  He asked if anyone had done their expedition outside the UK.  After a few moments of silence, a young man informed him that he had done his expedition in “Wales”.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the leaders and supporters of 1st Hazel Grove for providing the opportunity for me and others to gain this award through scouting.  I offer my particular thanks to the District Duke of Edinburgh team, especially Ann, Jill, Bill and Andy, plus my Leaders Luke and Craig from the 1st Hazel Grove Explorer Unit.

Olivia Cohen

Olivia is now an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader at 1st Hazel Grove’s Sycamore Beavers

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