THREE hundred Queen’s Scouts were honoured by international adventurer Chief Scout, Bear Grylls at Windsor Castle for gaining their Queen’s Scouts Awards on Sunday.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest honour in Scouting and is awarded for outstanding personal achievement and among those receiving the honour were Matthew Holmes, 18, from Chester-le-Street, and Sarah Stokes, 25, from Gateshead.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who was joined by Princess Beatrice of York for the presentation, said: “All these young people have worked incredibly hard to learn new skills and achieve their Queen’s Scout Awards. I am so full of admiration for their spirit, grit and determination. They have served their community, lead others and undertaken expeditions in the UK and around the world. As Queen’s Scouts they are leading lights and an inspiration to over half a million Scouts in the UK and I am so pleased that Scouting has honoured them today. I am just so proud of all they have achieved.”

This honour is achieved by young people aged between 16 and 25 who have completed a range of challenges, which includes service to their community, completing an expedition in wild country, undertaking a five-day residential project in an unfamiliar environment and learning a new skill or developing an existing talent.

Sarah said: “Scouting is the reason I’m where I am today. If it hadn’t have been the people that allowed me to join as the only girl in the early days, to the friends that I met along the way that encouraged me to challenge myself and to try new things, I wouldn’t have the confidence I have, the job I’ve got, or my love for the outdoors. Scouting is well and truly in my blood.”

The annual Windsor Castle event has been held regularly since 1934 on the Sunday nearest to St George’s Day. St George is the Patron Saint of Scouting. Since the Queen’s Scout Award was instigated, more than 100,000 have been presented to young men and women for outstanding personal achievements and service to their local communities.

They have learnt new skills and taken part in many of the 200 different activities on offer by Scouting across the UK.