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310 years of voluntary service to Luton Scouts rewarded

Date: 1st May 2017 Author: Gerald Law
Luton Scouts District Commissioner Mark Webb handed out long service awards this week to 17 volunteer Scout Leaders. “That adds up to  an astonishing 310 years of dedicated service to Scouts in Luton,” he remarked.

They ranged from an impressive 50 year award down to five year certificates for four relative newcomers. He added, “These are the people who turn up week after week to train our young people in leadership, self-reliance, rock climbing, water activities and camping skills in a prize-winning, adventure-filled programme endorsed by our daredevil Chief Scout Bear Grylls. And they’ve done it for years. We owe them a massive vote of thanks.”

Tony Clitheroe, a motivational and inspiring Scout Leader from Stopsley, is one such individual. He has just received his 50-year long service award celebrating his greatest achievement yet.

Tony is Cub Scout Leader at the Someries Hill Scout Group in Stopsley and has been involved in Scouting since 1966. He loves working with young people because they have so much passion and excitement for life. At 84 he is thrilled to be one of just two Scout Leaders in the town to reach this half century milestone.

Tony said, “We’ve had as many as 100 members in the group and the lady Scouters are wonderful. I reckon I’ve played host to over 2000 Scouts in my time so we must be doing something right. Today we have around 50 young people and 12 leaders who all enjoy the fun, adventure and challenges we offer. I couldn’t find a better way to spend my retirement.”

Gerald Law and Steve Valentine are two more volunteers who each received 40-year long service awards.

Gerald is Luton Scouts media manager and has a long history of service to Scouts in Luton. For many years he planned and led the annual St George’s Day parade through the town. He said, “You get a real buzz out of seeing young people grow in stature and responsibility as they take on life’s challenges.”

Steve Valentine is Group Scout Leader for St Anne’s Scout Group. He has shared his passion for Scouting with Prince Edward and has taken his Group to adventures in the Swiss Alps. “It’s great fun,” he says.

Scout Leader Alan Burnham started his Scouting career in 1991 and his long service has now been recognised with a 25-year award. He is currently masterminding the selection of Scouts and Leaders for the Bedfordshire contingent to the World Scout Jamboree in America in 2019. His other claim to fame is an ability to make a fool of himself with strange antics for camp fire songs such as those for this year’s St George’s event.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who signed all the certificates added, “Life is about grabbing opportunities as these leaders have done. The prize doesn’t always go to the biggest and the strongest – it goes to those who persevere. This is a simple life lesson that Scouting teaches people.”

The 17 long service award winners are: 50 Years – Tony Clitheroe, 40 Years – Gerald Law and Stephen Valentine, 25 Years – Alan Burnham, Elaine Shane and Pete Harry, 20 Years – Sue Doyle and Adrian Kedge, 15 Years – Peter Crowson, 10 Years – Debbie Baker, Nicolla Hilliard, Richard Attwood and Corrine Scott, 5 Years – Tanya Allen, Kevin Ayres, Caroline Colclough and Emma Denya.

310 years of voluntary service to Luton Scouts rewarded
310 years of voluntary service to Luton Scouts rewarded
310 years of voluntary service to Luton Scouts rewarded

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls