SISTERS Rebecca and Claire Mollart braved one of the worst storms in living memory, travelled thousands of miles across the globe and devoted years of their lives to achieving their childhood dream – receiving the sought-after Queen’s Scout Award.
The committed Scouts from Highworth will be presented with the accolade by a member of the Royal family at Windsor Castle on Sunday, marking the end of a journey which began nearly nine years ago for 25-year-old Claire.
The Queen's Scout Award is the highest youth award achievable in the Scouting movement.
In order to receive the honour, the siblings first had to get the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award through a series of challenges, which included a gruelling expedition to the Black Mountains in Wales last October, leading a Scout unit for 12 months, learning to drive, getting a black belt in Taekwondo as well as teaching in Kenya.
The pair were then required to complete other volunteering tasks and deliver a presentation to finally qualify for the Queen’s Scout Award.
Being awarded the special badge and certificate had been a dream of Claire’s ever since she was a little girl, having spent her childhood admiring her parents’ Queen’s Scout Awards.
It became 18-year-old Rebecca’s goal when she turned 13 and set out to scoop every one of the Scouts’ top accolades. It took her just two and a half years to fulfil the award’s long list of requirements.
“I started when I was 16,” said Claire, a learning support assistant at New College. “I used to look at my parents’ Queen’s Scout Awards on the wall when I was really young. I’ve been doing mine for a long time because I took a break when I went to uni in Swansea. The award is for under-25s, so I made it by a month.
“I put off the expedition for quite a while and when we finally did it in the Black Mountains there was a hurricane. It was 55 miles in total.
“The best part of it for me was doing my presentation at the end to my Scouts in Highworth. Two of the 10 year olds came to me and asked ‘When can we do ours’?’. That moment was better than all the challenges put together.”
Rebecca, who is undergoing an apprenticeship in outdoor activities at a Scout camp in Essex, said: “Given how much I struggled during the expedition I didn’t expect to get it. It was a lot harder than I expected. For me Scouts is all about the adventure and without Scouts I would have never got near my career path.
“It was just great. I went to Kenya to teach and build classrooms as part of the challenge with New College. I have a lot of memories.”
Claire added: “It takes long-term commitment and I’m so proud we did it. I love the Scouts. I love how Scouts learn and are pushed to do new things. And I love the international side of it too and I have made friends from all over the world going to the international jamboree in Sweden. It has changed my life.”