Four Young Men from the Victoria British Columbia Stake recently achieved the Queen’s Venturer Scout Award, the highest individual Scouting proficiency award. This award is presented to Venturer Scouts who after three years of program testing have acquired competence and skills that will be of considerable use to themselves, their company and community. They will have been recognized by their company, advisor and Scouts Canada as being worthy of receiving this award which signifies they have both the character and ability to be of significant help to other people. The award consists of a cloth emblem and a parchment signed by the Governor General of Canada.
These four recipients met with dignitaries including BC’s Premier Christy Clark and received this most prestigious award from the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia and Provincial Patron of Scouts Canada, the Honourable Judith Guichon, at Government House in Victoria. Fulfilling the requirements for this award has been quite an accomplishment for these boys, their leaders and parents.
Each of the young men including their leader spoke of their experiences in Scouting:
Mathew Ruttan said, “The achievement of the Queen's Venturer Award was a dignifying experience. The celebration in our honour was full of formality and congratulations. However, despite the exhilaration of receiving the award, the experience of going through the program with my closest friends created the real achievement. The brotherly bond between us is something that could never be represented through a badge or certificate, and that is what Scouting has given me. This program has helped me develop a love for the beauty of the earth, for my friends and a knowledge of the things around me. This is what I have taken from my experience and I know it will stay with me forever.”
Brock Gill, who started the Scouting program as a Cub at eight years of age, commented, “In our stake centre, we have a board that displays the names of the people that have earned their Chief Scout and Queen's Venturer awards and served a mission. If you are able to accomplish all three, your name goes under the heading Triple Crown and this was my inspiration to get the Queen's Venturer award. My favourite and most memorable part of working toward the award was the camping and hiking. The fifty hours of service seemed to go by quickly and being a Church member gave us so many opportunities to serve. I am glad to have set this goal as a Cub and carried through as a Chief Scout. Now by completing the Queen’s Venturer, I am one step closer to serving a mission and ultimately receiving the Triple Crown.”
Timothy Orrego said, “Working towards the Queen's Venturer award has been an awesome past few years. It has helped me learn skills I hope to use throughout my life. I have been challenged physically and mentally as I've worked toward the requirements for this award. I have gained an increased love of the world around me, the outdoor environment and the emotional world of serving others and helping to create a better future for my descendants. It has been great growing with my Venturer company as we worked in the Scouting program and in the Priesthood. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was that of continuously moving forward, even when you think you can't go any farther. I've been on camps where the mountainside seems impossible to climb, the trail seems to go on forever or the road we are biking would never end. I've learned to enjoy the journey as well as the rest at the end. Many times while going through life, we are faced with seemingly impossible obstacles, but I know from this Scouting experience that nothing is truly impossible, even when it seems so. If we push forward with all our might, it will all be worth it in the end and we will receive a blessed reward.
Jaryd Palfrey felt accomplished, not necessarily from receiving the actual award, but from completing so many hikes and camps in order to obtain it. “I learned a lot throughout the process of achieving this award, especially through hands-on experience like map reading and first-aid. Some highlights included hiking the Juan de Fuca, West Coast and Cape Scott Trails and snow camps.”
Scouter Stewart Gill commented, “As a leader for these four boys from the time they were Cubs till they finished as Ventures, from the ages of 8 to 18, I had the great opportunity to enjoy this experience with them. The ten years went by fast, and they are full of great memories both physical and spiritual. One of the hikes that we did was the Juan de Fuca Trail, all 47 km in one rainy day. The terrain included climbing up and down hills, going through dense forests and over the rocky beaches on the west coast. This trip was one of the most challenging hikes that pushed us to the limit. While hiking, the boys likened their experience to that of the pioneers who pushed on and on even when their legs felt like they could not take another step. Another adventure was a 300km bike ride in two and one half days. Through the Scouting program, these boys have grown close to one another and have come to trust each other fully. The Scouting program along with Seminary and other Church programs have helped strengthen and prepare these boys to succeed as missionaries in the near future.”