Hamilton's Nicholas Robilliard has been awarded the Queen's Scout Award - the highest youth award achievable in the Scouting movement.
A member of the St Peter's Sea Scouts , Nicholas had to complete a comprehensive series of tasks to qualify for the award.
Nicholas completed an expedition that saw him kayak down the Whanganui River with four other venturers. Over the five-day expedition, Nicholas traveled 105km, capsized while paddling down rapids and explored caves near the river bank.
He also completed two projects. "Over six months I lead a team of venturers to restore a damaged sunburst yacht," said Nicholas. "We completely stripped its paint, fibreglassed it, repaired holes and repainted it." The second project saw Nicholas volunteer at a youth camp in Ngaruawahia where he assisted with activities such as archery and kayaking.
"Over several months I also volunteered for the Salvation Army, putting together food parcels at the food bank and helping clean up a new charity shop in Cambridge."
Nicholas said working toward the award took him out of his comfort zone many times.
"I was put in many environments and situations that I was unfamiliar with," but the experience boosted his self-confidence.
"While the award required a lot of time and effort, the biggest challenge for me was to have the motivation to start and continue working towards it, and allocate time to work on it, with other commitments like work and school. Overcoming this challenge has helped me become more goal-oriented and better at managing time."
Nicholas was presented with his award by the Governor General.