The achievements of young people and volunteers in North East Wales were celebrated on the 27th of January as we hosted our first ever annual awards night – which saw guests accompanying their ball gowns and dinner suits with Scouting neckers.

Taking place at the Little Theatre in Rhyl, the ceremony was attended by volunteers and young people from our four districts: Flintshire, Llangollen, Vale of Clwyd, and Wrexham. We also welcomed special guests Rhian Moore, ScoutsCymru Chief Volunteer, and Ann Jones OBE, ScoutsCymru Vice President.

Our Lead Volunteer, Kevin Field, said: “One of the events I was sure that I wanted to organise every year was an awards presentation to celebrate the success of our young people and volunteers, and to give us a chance, as an Area, to come together and reflect on the year just gone and look forward to the year ahead.”

He added that this year, he and his team wanted to take a fresh approach to the awards. He added: “The awards categories were designed to be slightly quirky but still have a real meaning under them, so they weren’t just throwaway awards that were comical.”

Kevin became Clwyd Scout’s Lead Volunteer (previously Area Commissioner) back in August 2022. He organised the awards, alongside Jacob Jones, Clwyd’s Communications Lead, with the support of Esme Jones and Aimee Curtis, Clwyd’s Youth Leads.

Jaco Jones said, “We didn’t want this to be another evening of handing out normal scouting awards back to back. We wanted this to be different and diverse, reflecting our young people and volunteers. We spent a lot of time coming up with the categories and defining exactly what they were’.

Categories included the Trailblazing Trendsetter Award which celebrated the member who fearlessly takes on new challenges, setting trends that inspire others to follow. Another Award was the Enamel Camel Award given to the member who has carried a lot of weight this year, above and beyond their normal role/responsibilities, and in difficult circumstances.

The evening was filled with laughter, tears, and celebration. There was a noticeable ‘vibe’ within the room of supportiveness and friendship.

Our host for the evening, Jacob Jones, welcoming attendees from across the Area to the Little Theatre in Rhyl.

We would like to congratulate all of our winners:

⭐ Camp Crusader – Daisy White – Penycae Explorer Unit

⭐ Don’t Kiss the Chef – Anne Hughes and Julie Edwards – 2nd Rhyl Scout Group

⭐ Enamel Camel – Matthew Vickerstaff – 3rd Prestatyn Scout Group

⭐ Entertainer – Lucas Jones – Fusion Explorer Scout Unit

⭐ Heart of Gold – Paula Blundel – 1st Mynydd Isa Scout Group

⭐ MacGyver – Robert Griffiths – Bishops Own Scout Group

⭐ Needle and Thread – Amanda Littler – 1st Johnstown Scout Group

⭐ Smooth Operator – Mark Sayer – 1st Overton-on-Dee Scout Group

⭐ Spark – Ethan King – 1st Overton-on-Dee Scout Group

⭐ Super Connector – Rob Hilton – 41st Wrexham Scout Group

⭐ Trailblazing Trendsetter – Jamie Barlow – 41st Wrexham Scout Group

⭐ Zen Master – Callum Melluish – Buckley St Matthews Scout Group

Through the evening we also presented Outstanding Achievement in Scouting Awards to several young people and volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their duties and have embodied the Scout laws and values. Some examples of this include completing every Beaver badge, willingness to help everyone no matter the problem and inspiring younger sections with resilience and positivity, especially evident through their Jamboree.

Congratulations, once again, to our Outstanding Achievement in Scouting winners:

⭐ Amelia Sayer – Bishops Own Scout Group

⭐ Beth Hughes – 1st Bistre Scout Group

⭐ Jack Edwards – Phoenix Explorer Scout Unit

⭐ Jamie Barlow – Atlas Explorer Scout Unit

⭐ Joseph Crowe – 2d Rhyl Scout Group

⭐ Kirstie Jones – 1st Mynydd Isa Scout Group

⭐ Phil Harrison Royle – 1st Bistre Scout Group

⭐ Ralph Davies – 1st Saltney Ferry Scout Group

⭐ Sue Lloyd – Clwyd Scouts Area

⭐ Tamsin Harrison Royle – 1st Bistre Scout Group

Kevin Field also presented a handful of Commissioner’s Commendations, these are awarded by the Lead Volunteer and is used to recognise youth members, adult members, and non members for their contribution to the Scouts.

Commissioner’s Commendations:

⭐ Sue Lloyd – Clwyd Area

⭐ Dan Reynolds – 1st Mynydd Isa Scout Group

⭐ Andy Blundel – 1st Mynydd Isa Scout Group

Sue Lloyd (Area Training Manager) and Kevin Field (Area Lead Volunteer)
Kevin Field (Area Lead Volunteer) and Andy Blundel (1st Mynydd Isa Scout Group)

Kevin also touched on Transformation – the UK-wide process of change for Scouting which will simplify and improve the volunteer experience. We are one of the ‘early adopters’ of Transformation, meaning as an area. We have been trialling the new system before it is rolled out nationally. Kevin praised the team for their dedication and commitment to supporting and leading on these changes across Clwyd and setting a leading example to the rest of the UK.

Transformation Team:

⭐ David Morris – Clwyd Area Transformation Team

⭐ Dan Reynolds – Clwyd Area Transformation Team

⭐ Jacob Jones – Clwyd Area Transformation Team

⭐ Jan Joyston – Crosby – Clwyd Area Transformation Team

⭐ Mike Dawson – Clwyd Area Transformation Team

⭐ Russel Lodge – Clwyd Area Transformation Team

⭐ Sheila Dawson – Clwyd Area Transformation Team

Throughout the evening, we also heard captivating tales from Dinas Emrys: Unit 10 members about their challenging yet enriching experiences at the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea. Despite facing unexpected adversities like a heatwave, flooded tents, sewage issues, and an evacuation, the group embraced these challenges as opportunities for personal growth and cultural immersion in Seoul’s rich heritage. Their adventures were a testament to resilience, showcasing visits to historical sites, indulging in local cuisines, and engaging in international cultural exchanges. The inspirational leadership of Iestyn Nevatte, their Unit Leader, was particularly celebrated, earning him a Commissioner’s Commendation from Aimee Curtis, Youth Lead & World Scout Jamboree Participant, for his exceptional guidance.

⭐ Iestyn Nevatte – ScoutsCymru

Left to right: Kevin Field (Area Lead Volunteer), Iestyn Nevatte (ScoutsCymru, Unit 10 Leader) and Aimee Curtis (Area Youth Lead) with Iestyn’s Commissioner’s Commendation.

Members of K2 Explorers in Wrexham and Blaze Explorers from Flintshire also spoke about their international Scouting trip to Croatia. The trip included horse riding, scuba diving, water parks, and visits to local towns including Rovinj. They shared an exciting and informative video of their adventure.

The trip along with the World Scout Jamboree was supported by the new Area Horizon Fund – which supports Scouting members in Clwyd financially to take part in opportunities they may not otherwise be able to participate in.

Aimee and Esme, Clwyd’s two Youth Leads, also spoke about the future of Youth Shaped Scouting in Clwyd, including the introduction of youth forums to gather ideas and opinions from the area’s young people, and relaunching an active Network programme for members aged 18 to 25 across the Area.

Aimee Curtis, Clwyd Youth Lead, said: “The evening was a great success, hearing many inspiring stories and celebrating many great achievements throughout the Area.”

Kevin finished by sharing: “All in all, it was a very successful evening, and it will become a yearly event. We learnt a lot from it and the next one will be even better!”

Thank you to everyone who attended, nominated and joined us for our first award’s evening – here’s to the next one!