Happy (Scout) Mother’s Day

The celebrations of youth members’ achievements are great events to attend. I am fortunate to be invited to many. The Australian Scout Medallion presentation earlier this month was a fantastic event recognising the achievements of 119 Scouts who committed themselves to their best. It was great to see one of our Venturers take to the microphone to congratulate each of the Scouts, recognise that there were already a number in Venturer uniform and to ecourage the remaining Scouts to link and become invested Venturers. "You have achieved the Australian Scout Medallion, now it's time to try the Queen’s Scout Award, Scouting’s most recognisable award."

It took me back. I recalled all of the Queen’s Scout presentations I have attended over the years, each one unique but with two things in common. The first is that they are another wonderful celebration of achievement by youth members in Scouting and those who help along the way. The second is the proud Mums looking on who have each done so much to ensure that their son or daughter is standing before us being awarded the Queen’s Scout Award.

At a recent Queen’s Scout presentation, I met an amazing lady, a mother to not one or two but six Queen’s Scouts. Six!

There they were, proudly worn on her blouse, the six Queen’s Scout Mother’s pins. I was both humbled and in awe. All I could do was thank her for her wonderful support and contributions to Scouting knowing full well what so many Mums do for Scouts, knowing full well what my Mum did for me right through Scouting and continues to do by way of support and encouragement. Then the Queen’s Scout interrupted, asking if I would be in a photo. I excused myself and joined the Venturer with her Unit. While waiting for the photos we chatted.

"Well it's over, how do you feel?" I asked.

"It was better than I thought," she said. "Emotional too."

"What do you mean?" I enquired.

"Having Mum come up. I didn't really think about it at all until I had to write out what I was going to say when presenting the pin to her ... I couldn't have done it without her."

"She knows you know," I responded.

"I know but it doesn't seem enough."

The moments of boys and girls running in from Joey Scouts or Cub Scouts, excitedly recounting all they did that night or trudging in from camp with wet muddy clothes from Scout camp to be dropped on the floor for Mum. These are the moments that are remembered. It takes a while but they are remembered and more importantly, appreciated.

It seems like months pass rather than years and that little boy or little girl grow up. All of a sudden, in walks a Venturer. Just back from Hoadley Hide, muddy boots, sweaty and tossing a pack full of clean clothes they never wore onto the kitchen floor before opening the fridge. The years that lead up to the moment a Venturer presents their Mum with that Queen’s Scout pin fly by.

Arguments, disappointments, moments of pride and amazement as Mum lives the ups and downs of childhood through adolescence with enormous amounts of love and patience. Somehow they make it through and now Mum is being called up at their little baby’s Queen’s Scout Award, prouder than ever.

It's a nervous time for Venturers. Fumbling with that pin in front of everyone, pinning it on their Mum, desperately trying not to stick the one they dearly love. And then, without a thought, that moment when, boy or girl, they throw their arms around their Mum and kiss them saying ‘thanks Mum’.  Right in front of all their mates, right in front of a crowded hall of people. It is like no one else is there. Its one of those most special moments that we all get to see at a Queen’s Scout presentation.

I see it time and time again, and time and time again it moves me. Why? Because I know it reminds me of my Mum. So thank you Mum, thank you to all our Scouting Mums. On behalf of every Scout, from Joey Scout to Leader, we really do appreciate all the hard work, kind words, care, smiles, hugs and  especially that you always knew exactly what we needed.

Thank you Mum, I love you.

So from all the Scouting sons and daughters out there: thanks Mum and Happy Mother’s Day! You deserve it.