The Chief Scout's Award is the highest award a Scout can achieve, and this month two members of the Midhirst Scout troop received it.
Daniel Drummond (15) and Kevin Van Loo (15) have been members of the Midhirst cubs and scouts for almost as long as they have been friends, and say they are pleased to have earned their Chief Scout Award at the same time.
They say while working towards their Chief Scout Award has been hard work, it has also been lots of fun.
Only about three per cent of scouts across New Zealand earn the award each year. The award tests scouts' skills in leadership, initiative and commitment.
They have to complete 20 weeks voluntary service, take a group on a expedition of two nights travelling by boat, on foot, biking or horse riding and complete and run a weekend camp as well as earn a first aid certificate.
"I joined cubs in year four, because lots of my friends were joining, and it seemed to be fun." Kevin says. When he and Daniel joined their local cub group, many of their school friends were members too.
He and Daniel say they have made many more friends all over the place, thanks to their years as cubs and scouts.
"You meet people with common interests, and going camping or to jamboree means you get to know people well," Daniel says. He and Kevin don't just go on camps now.
"As part of the Chief Scout Award, we had to organise and run a camp ourselves, and serve as cub leaders, organising games and activities for them."
Kevin, a student at Francis Douglas Memorial College, says he has never regretted signing up as a cub all those years ago.
"It's been lots of fun, and I have learned a lot through the years."
Daniel, a student at Stratford High School, agrees.
"You have lots of fun while you are learning skills that will be good in the future as well."
Among the many highlights, Daniel says attending Jamboree was one, as has been learning bushcraft.
Kevin says going on a cultural exchange to Rarotonga was a highlight as well.
"We both went there when we were in year nine, and plan to go again next year. It was good going overseas and meeting other scouts."
Both boys will now go on to join the Venture Scout unit, continuing their scouting journey for plenty more years to come, they say.