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Two Explorer Scouts from Haslemere and District, Jonathan Russell & Emily Collins-Wingate, were honoured to be invited to St. James' Palace on 23rd February, to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. 



They were among about 300 young people, around 60 of those representing Scouting.  The group were presented with their awards in the Entree Room, the room where William & Kate announced their engagement, and afterwards Prince Phillip walked through and chatted to the participants, and Kate Humble the TV presenter chatted to them all, describing some really significant events in her life.


This award is not for the faint hearted, for it started with their expedition over 4 days and 3 nights, walking with all their kit on the western side of the Lake District in August 2014.  There were two teams and the assessor remarked that they were the best he had come across.


Jonathan volunteered helping with the Camelsdale Cub Pack for 18 months and that included joining the summer camp at Blacklands Farm.  For his physical he built up his swimming skills (lapsed since junior school age), assessed by a swim trainer from Godalming.  His skills section was learning about conservation, working with the Lynchmere Society to learn about the use of tools, biodiversity and how to return land to heathland.  Finally for his residential he joined a tall ships venture, and sailed over 5 days from Ipswich to Bruges in Belgium on a fantastic tall ship called the Stavros S Niarchos. 



Emily for her physical learnt to tap dance at Stage One Youth Theatre for a production of "Anything goes" at Fareham's Ferneham Hall. For her skills she performed as Miss Lynch in a production of "Grease" at Ferneham Hall.  For volunteering she assisted at 1st Harting Cub Pack, and for her residential she spent a week at Nottingham University called Vet-MedLink.  This was a week of lectures mimicking being a vet student.


Jonathan is now at Alton College studying for "A" levels, and Emily is in her first year at Surrey University studying Veterinary Medicine.