STOURBRIDGE scouts had the thrill of a lifetime when they rubbed shoulders with the Duchess of Cambridge and Chief Scout Bear Grylls at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The event was arranged to honour over 400 youngsters from across the country who had achieved the Queen’s Scout Award - the highest honour any scount can obtain.

Those receving their awards included Hannah Rogers, Nick Wood, Max Park-Davies, twins Victoria and Andrew Forrest, Katie McCann, Rob George and Paul Chandler, who are all from Stourbridge, along with Sedgley’s Charlotte Whitehouse and Brierley Hill’s Mattias Newsome.

At present the scouting movement is enjoying something of a renaissance with numbers on the increase, especially among girls.

Steve Garratt, county media development manager for West Mercia, confirmed the upward trend in the amount of scouts, with figures this year showing the highest this century.

He said: “We’re much more of a youth focussed movement these days where the scouts have more of a say.

”I think there’s more girls involved because they’re doing activities that were previously just restricted to the boys.

“Membership in Stourbridge has gone up by 25 per cent, but that’s because we opened a group in Kinver.

“Although the number of scouts is increasing, unfortunately the number of adults has not and we need to attract more adult volunteers.

“As a result, we still have a large number of youngsters who are waiting to join.”

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