Borders Scout Leader awarded for going above and beyond

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Martin Elliot, Regional Commissioner, and Nina Kunkel

Scout Leader Nina Kunkel returned to Scouting 6 years ago when her eldest child joined the Beaver Scouts in Lauder part of the Borders Scouts District, having previously been from a Scouting Family in Ireland she was keen to get involved and learn all about Scouting in the UK, initially joining as the Beaver Scout Leader for the newly formed Tuesday Beavers. Her enthusiasm for the role was contagious and the colony of Beavers was quickly at maximum numbers and enjoying a full and varied programme.

Her Scouting progressed as her children moved up through the sections into Cubs and then Scouts but as the world turned upside down with the Global Pandemic, Nina’s life outside Scouts needed to step up a gear. Having previously been an ITU nurse, Nina swapped her business attire as a transplant coordinator for ICU Scrubs and joined the hundreds of dedicated NHS staff putting their lives at risk to help save the UK population from this new unknown covid19. 

Whilst working long shifts in the various Scottish Intensive care Units Nina was also an active member of the Cub leadership team at Lauderdale, who were probably one of the first to try the then new Scouting online, with the whole of the UK locked in their houses, Schools and businesses were shut but the Cubs met weekly on zoom, with quizzes, bingo, armpit fudge and taskmaster to name but a few of the meetings.

As the Scouting year continued in 2020 the young people were eventually allowed to meet face to face with outdoor restrictions, Nina continued to work in ITU as well as be at Cub meetings. In November 2020 sadly Nina caught Covid 19 at work and was quite poorly, but fortunately, she managed to recover and was back Scouting in 2021.

With this dedication to Scouting and volunteering to be in the thick of the NHS’ front line it was an easy decision for the South East Scotland Regional Commissioner Martin Elliot to award Nina with a Commissioners Commendation at a surprise visit to a camp in East Lothian on Saturday 27th August. 

Congratulations Nina from all the Young People and Leaders in Lauderdale Scout Group. the Scottish Borders and South East Scotland Scouts.

Scouting wishes, 

Andy Beaumont
District Commissioner, Borders Scouts District

Volunteer opportunity available

If you enjoy reading this and it resonates with you, then please get in touch to find out how you can become an adult volunteer in any one of the local Scout Groups across the Scottish Borders. It’s so rewarding for you in so many ways. You’ll only know if you try. You can work directly with the young people or more behind the scenes in whatever flexible role suits you in time, skill and space. You don’t have to have had any prior Scouting experience, you just need to want to do good, and help others.  If you believe in this as a set of values then this is a great opportunity for you. What’s not to like!  Please email us for an informal, no obligation, chat.