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George Beattie, a dynamic Eight-year-old member of the 44th Braid Scout Group in Edinburgh, has set a new standard of excellence in Scouting. Demonstrating extraordinary dedication and enthusiasm, George has not only earned every badge available during his time as a Beaver Scout but has also been honoured with a Commendation Award for his remarkable achievements.

A Record-Breaking Beaver Scout Journey

George’s journey in the Scouts is nothing short of inspirational. During his time as a Beaver, he earned all 24 Activity Badges, including ‘Emergancy Aid’, ‘Disability Awareness’, ‘Global Issues’, and ‘Money Skills’. In addition to these, he also achieved 15 staged activity badges such as ‘Air Activities’, ‘Community Impact’, ‘Navigator’, ‘Paddle Sports’, and ‘Nights Away’, along with the Thistle Award, which focuses on Scotland, its people, and culture. His accomplishments culminated in the attainment of the Chief Scouts Bronze Award, the highest honour for Beavers, after completing all six Challenge Badges.

George’s mother, Dianne, expressed her pride: “George absolutely loves Scouting and was an eager Beaver from the start. Following his brother William’s enthusiasm to participate in the weekly programme and work on badges at home, George also made himself very busy! We are fortunate to be part of such a hardworking and enthusiastic Scout group with dedicated leaders who encourage the development of skills and experiences.” The emphasis on developing Skills for Life has been a cornerstone of George’s success, equipping him with the knowledge and confidence to achieve his goals.

Dianne continued “The OSM system has been invaluable at facilitating badge work. George would often rushed home from a weekly meeting and log on to see which elements had been completed, often before the leader would have a chance to get home, let alone log on and populate OSM!”

TrailJam Adventure and Inspiring Others

Having been inspired by his big brother, William, who did extremely well in Cubs in his own right, obtaining all but one of the Cub badges, and is now enjoying being a Scout and developing new skills. George’s own enthusiasm for Scouting has also inspired others in his group to strive for similar achievements. Another young Beaver, Matthew Allan, has followed in George’s footsteps and completed all Beaver badges as well. This sense of camaraderie and mutual encouragement was evident during the group’s Cramond Island Adventure as part of TrailJam 2024. The Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts enjoyed exploring the island and collected several large bags of litter from the beaches, showcasing their commitment to community service and the environment. These activities are designed to instil valuable Skills for Life, such as teamwork, leadership, and environmental stewardship.

Meeting Their Majesties

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, George was selected to represent South East Scotland Scouts at the Edinburgh900 event, celebrating 900 years of the city. During this prestigious event at Edinburgh Castle, George had the honour of meeting Their Majesties The King and Queen. According to Kieran Collins, South East Scotland Scouts Communications Lead, “George became one of the first, if not the first youth member of the Scout Association to be presented to HM The King since he became Patron of the Scouts in June this year. Nationally, we know of no others who have previously met the King in this capacity.”

While meeting their Majesties, George explained his recent achievements, which have been nothing short of remarkable, The King, who was clearly impressed, proclaimed “You are now my favourite Scout”. This declaration is not just a personal accolade for George but a shining endorsement of the values and accomplishments of Scouting.

George was thrilled with this recognition: “I feel very proud to be the first to achieve this prestigious award and honoured to represent Scouting at such a significant event and to meet the King and Queen.”

The Support Behind the Success

The achievements of young Scouts like George are a testament to the dedication of the adult volunteers who make such achievements possible. The group, led by a committed team including Lucy Stewart, Mark Allan, Laura Szpruch, Paul Brennan, and Group Lead Volunteer Alison Hill, provides a robust programme that encourages children to excel. Activities have included everything from indoor sleepovers and visits to fire stations to hikes, picnics, and magic tricks. These activities are meticulously planned to impart essential Skills for Life, ensuring that young Scouts are well-prepared for future challenges.

Lucy Stewart, George’s Beaver Team Leader, commented: “George’s dedication and enthusiasm have been truly inspiring. He has shown what can be achieved with determination and a passion for learning. We are all incredibly proud of him and his achievements.”

Martin Elliot, Lead Volunteer for South East Scotland Scouts, praised George’s accomplishments: “I was thrilled to present a Commendation Award to George Beattie. This is an incredible achievement, and it was clear the positive effect that Scouting has had on him.”

Looking Forward

Now a Cub Scout, George has set his sights on earning all Cub badges, continuing his journey of growth and learning within the Scouts. His story serves as an inspiration to young Scouts everywhere, highlighting the rewards of dedication, hard work, and community involvement. George’s ambition reflects the core mission of the Scouts: to provide young people with the Skills for Life they need to thrive in an ever-changing world.