Highest award for Easebourne scout

Left to right  Anthony, George and Alex bedecked in their international neckerchiefs
Left to right Anthony, George and Alex bedecked in their international neckerchiefs

AN EASEBOURNE scout is the first in the village group’s 100-year history to be presented with the prestigious Explorer Belt, one of the highest awards in scouting.

George Dobson, aged 16, took part in a three-man 100-mile hike, across rural Poland, joined an international scouting jamboree and completed the challenge by giving a presentation with fellow walkers, to some of scouting’s most senior expedition organisers.

“Starting the presentation was almost as scary as flying out to Poland,” said George. “But a couple of ice breaking jokes went down well and we soon got into our stride.

Before the expedition George attended two training weekends where he first met his travelling companions, Alex Clarkson, 17, from Lancashire and Anthony Baker, 16, from Devon.

Normally the Explorer Belt is undertaken by older scouts, but George, Alex and Anthony rose to the challenge. They are now entitled to wear the belts and the coveted red, white and blue international neckerchief.

Easebourne’s Explorer Scout Leader Dan Smith said: “This is an enormous achievement and we are all very proud of George. The trip was a year in the planning, considerable time for cold feet, but George didn’t panic; he just fitted in the preparation around his GCSEs.”

The idea behind the Explorer Belt is not just to visit another country, but to meet local people and appreciate their culture and way of life.