Top Scout­ing hon­our for ded­i­cated Kaija

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By IVY WISE

BAMAWM teenager Kaija Pedler has been awarded one of the high­est Scout­ing hon­ours.

The lo­cal Ven­turer re­ceived a Queen’s Scout Award from the Gov­er­nor of Vic­to­ria, Linda Des­sau, at Gov­ern­ment House last month.

Only a se­lect few Ven­tur­ers who are Scout­ing mem­bers aged be­tween 14 and 17 achieve the hon­our each year.

Kaija, who at­tends school at St Joseph’s Col­lege in Echuca, is the only Ven­turer from the River­gums District (Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester and El­more) to achieve the award in the past three years.

The now 18-year-old said the jour­ney to achieve the award had been chal­leng­ing, but in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing.

‘‘While the work­load and com­mit­ment of com­bin­ing school and Ven­tur­ers was test­ing at times, I now feel like I can achieve any­thing I set out to do in the fu­ture,’’ she said.

The Queen’s Scout Award rep­re­sents hun­dreds of hours of ded­i­cated de­vel­op­ment in ar­eas in­clud­ing ser­vice to the com­mu­nity, lead­er­ship, per­sonal growth and out­door ad­ven­ture.

For Kaija, her high­lights in­cluded a 50km hike in the Warby ranges, at­tend­ing the World Jam­boree in Ja­pan in 2015 and co-organising Knit for Nepal, where more than 220kg of blan­kets were sent to re­mote ar­eas of Nepal for peo­ple re­cov­er­ing from the 2015 earth­quakes.

The Ven­tur­ers plan their own Queen’s Scout pro­gram, or­gan­ise friends and fam­ily to take part in ac­tiv­i­ties and com­mu­nity ser­vice and ex­er­cise ex­em­plary self-dis­ci­pline to see it through.

Scouts Vic­to­ria chief com­mis­sioner Bren­dan Wat­son said the Queen’s Scout Award was a marker of fu­ture suc­cess in life.

‘‘It is an ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­fort for these al­ready oc­cu­pied sec­ondary stu­dents in their fi­nal years at school to achieve their Queen’s Scout at the same time,’’ he said.

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