Three young beaver scouts from Durrow have been honoured with a prestigious Chief Scout award, after conquering challenges that would be daunting to many adults, from mountain hiking to growing vegetables.
Stephen Murphy, Darragh Conroy and Eoghan Whelan all aged eight years old took up the Chief Scout Award challenge, and tackled a range of tasks with gusto, including kayaking and carol singing. All the tasks had to be completed with six months, marking their final year as beavers.
They are the first in Durrow to receive the award, which is part of the new Scouting Ireland programme.
Beaver leader Debbie Stapleton is proud of their achievements.
“We are all absolutely thrilled with them. For that age group, it is a huge achievement. Their parents were a great support throughout,” she said.
Last Spring they completed a ten kilometre hike in the Slieve Blooms and an outdoor camping challenge, linking up with Roscrea Scout Troup. They were helped by leaders Debbie and Ruth Cronin, Chief Scout Johnny Campion and Roscrea’s Chief Scout Kevin Geraghty.
The boys then completed projects on international themes and did a presentation on them. Next up was planting their own allotments, sowing seeds, growing crops, harvesting them then setting up a stall on the green in Durrow, advertising it and selling their wares. Profits were donated to Laois Hospice.
The trio will now progress to the Cub Scout level, and Debbie hopes more beavers will go for the Chief Scout award.
“The award can be achieved at every level, it is really respected on CVs, it takes discipline and organisation, and the boys have grown in confidence too,” she said.