Prestigious award for dedicated Scout Miles
A 17-year-old Explorer Scout with learning difficulties has become only the fourth person in 10 years to achieve a prestigious award in Kent.
Miles Taken, of the 8th South Ashford Scout Group, received the Young Leaders’ belt buckle, which qualifies him to supervise younger Scouts at meetings and during activities.
Miles, of Willesborough, who suffers from dyslexia, dyspraxia and memory problems, was presented with the belt buckle by district commissioner Peter Doy and district Explorer Scout commissioner James Sparshatt .
He was also given the Chief Scout’s Diamond Award, an activities and skills based qualification that is the final step before starting the Queen’s Scout Award – the top badge in Scouting.
Proud mum Frances Taken , said: “This was an enormous achievement. It is so rare an award it was the first time the district commissioner had seen one. Miles has worked extremely hard this year and is determined to finish everything he has started but he has done this with the support of those around him.”
Miles, who goes to Swadelands School in Lenham, is now working to complete the final two pieces of his young Scouting career – his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and the Queen’s Scout Award.
In preparation for these awards he has already passed his driving test, volunteered at a Scout group and become a regular cyclist and will soon take part in a two-week residential course at a film school in Northampton.
The final piece of the puzzle will be an expedition to Finland in March next year but he needs to raise £1,600 to go.
Miles said: “We will be expected to walk in snow shoes, deal with very cold temperatures, have one night in a snow house we have to build ourselves, learn how to husky sleigh ride and even climb in this challenging environment.
“It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that will allow me to prove to others that even with disabilities such as mine you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”
Miles’ ultimate ambition is to become a full Scout leader after he turns 18.
Sponsor Miles’ Finland expedition at http://www.gofundme. com/cjtx28 Miles was not the only member of the 8th Ashford Scout Group to receive awards on July 23.
Bailey Chilton received the Silver Award, the highest Cub Scout badge, from assistant district commissioner Doreen Beach.
To achieve part of his award, Miles instructed Scouts Carrie Trice and Flynn Smith through their Faith Badges and he presented the badges to them.
Jennifer Woods was surprised to receive a badge in recognition of her long service to the Cub section.
The evening ended with refreshments and a celebratory cake was made by Susan George and iced with the award designs.
Scout leader Colin Ladley said: “It has been a busy year for the 8th Ashford Scout Group, which has also celebrated being in existence for 100 years and one of the Scouts, Jake Causebrook, has been selected to represent Ashford District and UK Scouts at the World Jamboree in Japan in 2015.”
Miles Taken is pictured with fellow Explorer Scouts Carrie Trice and Flynn Bond who received Faith Badge Awards
Bailey Chilton received a silver award