Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
November 2020
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Silver Emu

I’m a Scout leader for many reasons, mainly associated with the fact that I get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction out of helping kids grow up, learn new things, gain confidence, experience the outdoors, build independence, and hopefully start to think about what values they regard as important … plus, also, I get to run around like an overgrown kid myself and escape from the rat-race from time to time.

As I have confessed elsewhere, I have now been doing this for over 29 years. The Chief Commissioner of Scouts Australia found this a little hard to believe this morning, despite the fact that he should know that Scouting keeps you young (not mentioning the additional assistance provided by the application of certain chemicals from Clairol!).

Anyway, a particularly nice thing happened today. The Scout Association itself acknowledges the service of its leaders with annual good service awards, based on the nominations of people who know the leaders concerned. I was very humbled to find out that I had been nominated for the Silver Emu for “sustained and exceptional service to the Association”. This is the second highest leader service award, and there aren’t many given out … perhaps partly because not everyone is crazy enough to hang around for 29 years!! Seriously, though, it was a little overwhelming, because although I have always tried to do my best as a leader, there are many ways in which I wish I could do more and better, and I know there are many other leaders who similarly give great service but who may not always have someone who makes the effort to nominate them.

One of the cool things about the day, though, was that my Assistant Scout Leader, Matthew, received a Certificate of Merit for his good service. A decade ago Matthew was one of my Scouts, and here he is, now, a leader himself. My award is nice, and I appreciate it, but this kind of outcome β€” when you’re contributing to such development β€” is pretty special. (And, I think there’s another of my ex-Scouts in the wings, about to embark on a similar progression.)

4 comments to Silver Emu

  • Cathy Cengia

    Helen, you are truly deserving of this award. Your dedication and commitment to 17th Essendon has been unrelenting despite your time constraints and hectic life. You are an inspiration to Matthew as I’m sure you are to other scouts and probably your students as well. I believe that these were factors in Matthew pursuing scouting leadership as well as the fact that you both get along so well. He has big shoes to fill and I hope he’ll do you justice. I know he’ll try exceptionally hard to do as good a job as you have.

    Thanks a lot.

  • looking from over the pond

    Your achievements astound me, congratulations on another award for your service, to man [kiddies] kind……Don’t be so modest, the people who know you, know your special and very community minded, though it is a surprise to you, but not to [me] us! …..Enjoy the lime light and revel in it……:)

  • Murray

    Well done, and well deserved!

  • Well deserved, indeed–29 years is a lot of hikes, camps, outdoor toilets, and burnt food to put up with! And you’re still sane, which is a plus, after all that. Well,for a certain value of sane. πŸ˜‰
    BSA salute to you!

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