Life One Big Adventure for Ben!

Ben Hart aged 16 was presented with the Medal for Meritorious Conduct a top Scouting Award by the County Commissioner. He also received a certificate and a personal letter from Bear Grylls the Chief Scout.

The award was “in recognition of his strength and determination for Scouting despite suffering from a debilitating health condition, his enthusiasm is a true inspiration to others”

Ben said on receiving the Award, ” It is a true honour to receive this award. Without my friends in Scouting supporting me, I would not have been able to keep going, achieve what I have”

Ben was diagnosed with Perthes disease at the age of 5, but decided from the start to fully join in all Scouting activities. He start his scouting life as a Beaver Scout aged 6 in Bicester, moving up through Cub Scouts and Scouts even though his mobility was at times heavily restricted, having to use crutches and a wheelchair.

In September 2009 he joined St. Peters troop where he continued to be involved in everything possible and became a Senior Patrol Leader. When he moved to the Explorer Scout Unit, Ben volunteered to stay on with Pedmore Scout Unit as a Young Leader, which he continues to do and thoroughly enjoys.

He started his Bronze D of E in October 2009 completing the practice hikes and Expedition in September 2010, maintaining his sunny outlook and enthusiasm, even though being in extreme pain most of the time.

Ben started work on the Silver Award in January 2011, again completing all the practice walks and the pre-expedition hike and was planning to do his Expedition in September of this year. This year the extent of his condition became more apparent,when in June he was diagnosed with Osteochondritis Dissecans, therefore doing his original Silver Expedition was out of the question. Fortunately a place on an Open Special Needs Expedition based at the Wilderness Centre in the Forest of Dean, was gained so that he could continue his award.

Explorer Scout Leader Mike Randale said, ” Ben takes on challenges like he does everything, with grit, determination and a cheeky smile, which he uses to hide the pain he is experiencing. We have no doubt that Ben will complete his Silver Award and is already talking about how he will carry out his Gold and Queen Scout Award.”

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls said, “Courage is often about how we react to overwhelming odds and it is impossible to be courageous if at first you aren’t also afraid. Courage involves facing our fears, and walking through them – and despite them. The latin origin of the word courage is actually “heart”, and that is what it really means to me. Showing heart when it really matters.”