The 18-year-old from Byron Bay has spent 2009 studying for her Higher School Certificate, serving as captain at Xavier Catholic College at Skennars Head, working part-time and completing all the physical and written tasks in order to obtain her Queen’s Scout award.
“We didn’t see Tess much all year,” mum Karen joked.
“She was never home on the weekends and was studying or working late into the night.”
Tess’s task of securing her Queen’s Scout award was made even more difficult as she gave herself just nine months to achieve the highest youth award possible in the Scouting movement – most Venturer Scouts take several years to achieve the award.
Tess joined the 1st Byron Bay Venturer Scouts only last year after it reopened on June 28.
Just six months after the opening, Tess decided to work towards the prestigious award.
To achieve the award, Venturers are required to complete more than 250 hours of character-building hard work encompassing four different areas of skill – adventurous activities, community involvement, leadership development and personal growth.
“It took a lot of motivation and self-discipline to achieve the award, but I loved every minute of it, especially the adventure activities,” Tess said.
“It’s a real achievement and yes I am proud, but it was the small achievements along the way that I cherish the most.”
To gain her Queen’s award, Tess undertook a range of activities which included obtaining her scuba diving licence; working with others to overcome the challenges of a night hike through farmland at minus nine degrees; leading a group of youth on a two-day hike; completing research on businesses and organisations; long hours of pulling out lantana; achieving the St John Senior First Aid and Level Two Flat Water certificates; completing management and leadership courses; learning guitar;
improving her physical fitness; researching the ‘pop art’ form and creating a picture made entirely from rope and knots.
Venturer unit leader Darryl Lamb said Tess was an inspiration to many of the younger members of the Cubs, Scouts and Venturers.
“By sheer determination, endurance and discipline, Tess has worked through all the requirements for the award. We are very proud of her,” he said.
Tess thanked her family, friends, teachers, employer, Darryl and the Venturer unit examiner Debbie Gooley for their support. She will receive her Queen’s Scout award and badge at a special ceremony in Byron Bay on Saturday night.
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