Carey Park Scout reaches high milestone

Scout leader Viv Campbell with Queens Scout award recipient Patrick Stephenson. Photo is supplied.

Scout leader Viv Campbell with Queens Scout award recipient Patrick Stephenson. Photo is supplied.

Patrick Stephenson was sitting in the common room of his shared apartment in Canberra during O week to talk to the Mail about his passion for the scouts.

Patrick has been part of a scout club since he was five years old, when his mother took him to an otter scout club in England.

He said that when they moved to Australia, he couldn't imagine not being part of a scout club here.

So he joined the Carey Park Scouts and gained friends as well as life long skills.

Scouts aim to teach young ones about the outdoors, from setting up a tent, cooking over the fire and navigating your way through bush.

Patrick said it also teaches you about interpersonal and leadership skills.

"I wouldn't have had the confidence to make new friends at uni straight away without those skills," he said.

During his time at the Carey Park Scouts, his family moved to Busselton, but Patrick didn't want to give up his commitment to the club.

"My dad would drive me every Friday night," he said.

"I'm so glad they [parents] made that sacrifice to put me through scouts."

As a scout you earn different badges as you work your way up in age and experience, starting from a joey, cub, venturer and then leader.

The leadership role is important as they run the clubs on a voluntary basis.

"We couldn't do anything without them," Patrick said.

One of his highlights over the years of being a scout was learning from Viv Campbell, who in the scout world is known as Rama.

"She inspired me everyday," he said.

Patrick said Rama had a pet hate for cooking sausages and bread while out bush and taught the scouts that you could cook almost anything over a camp fire.

"She taught us how to cook curries, stews and roast chicken," he said.

The teenager's commitment to scouts recently saw him achieve the rare honour of a Queen's Scout Award.

The Queen's Scout Award is the highest youth award achievable which is given to venturers who have already reached their standard venturer award and then they reach a Queen Scout standard in Leadership, Outdoor activities, personal growth and community involvement.

Patrick said only five others from the Carey Park Scouts had achieved the honour during his time at the club.

To achieve this, Patrick completed a four day trek along the Bibbulman Track.

He said he planned everything from who would go, the support crew, food and the logistics around COVID rules.

Patrick had a minor setback when the trek was going to take place when it was forecasted for torrential rain.

So it had to be rescheduled, but of course he ended having to go ahead with the trek in the middle of his year 12 exams.

"I felt like I was a bit cursed but it was a fun adventure," he said.

The trek itself was also challenging with Patrick having to step up and lead when people were stopping the walk from exhaustion.

"I really enjoyed seeing how the environment was recovering from the fires and it was a great feeling on the last day and being able to sleep in a warm bed," he said.

After the trek he had to make a presentation to what he thought was only six people.

"They surprised me and there were all my leaders from the past and other members, ended up having about 40 people there," he said.

Traditionally when you receive a Queen Scout Award there is a ceremony where the Governor General of your state presents the award to you.

However, Patrick had to move to Canberra for university before this could happen, so plans are afoot of organising the Federal Governor General to do it instead.