Pres­ti­gious award for ded­i­cated Scout Miles

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Suz Elvey

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

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