He’s just met Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and, now, the “face” of British Scouts movement has inspired a new Scouting initiative.
Adventurer Bear Grylls’ hour-long documentary about his visit to war-torn Ukraine where he met the President as well as ordinary Ukrainian men and women living under the daily threat of Russian bombardment was aired last week.
Now Grylls has inspired a new scheme called “Never Give Up”, for scouts.
Grylls, who is chief ambassador of World Scouting and Honorary Colonel to the Royal Marines Commandos, gave one of the badges to a young Ukrainian boy during the visit.
Encountering the boy, who was a member of the Ukrainian equivalent of the scouts, Grylls told him: “It’s always an honour for me to meet a fellow scout.”
The youngster, watched by his mother at their home, was clearly delighted to receive the badge which can be awarded to any young person or adult volunteer in the Scouts who’s “shown resilience, tenacity and courage” – in other words, that ‘never give up’ spirit.
The Never Give Up cloth badge, pin and neckerchief can be awarded at the discretion of a local volunteer as an encouragement or ‘well done’ to any Scout or volunteer who’s struggling with something, persevering, or making a particularly strong effort.
A spokesman for the Scout Association told this site, “It’s a non-uniform badge, there are no specific requirements, and these are separate from Scouts’ existing awards, which remain as important as ever.”
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Grylls has suggested that the badges should be given at a special moment – perhaps at the end of the Scout term, the last night of a camp or after a challenge has been completed.
He said, “I’m proud to launch our Never Give Up badge. This stands for resilience, keeping going, determination, grit. Never give up.”
Grylls himself was the UK’s youngest ever Chief Scout when he was appointed in 2009, aged 34. In 2018, he took on the additional role as the first ever Chief Ambassador of World Scouting responsible for promoting the value of being a Scout to a global audience. The World Scout Organization represents a global family of some 50 million Scouts.
Today, Grylls remains the public face of the Scouts in the UK. Inspiring the movement through a period of unprecedented growth, he’s helped thousands of young people to gain new skills, try new things, and look to the future with optimism – just like Gylls hopes the young Ukrainian boy he filmed might do.
Grylls said “When I became Chief Scout in 2009, it was one of the proudest moments of my life. With every passing day since, I’ve become even more inspired by the dedication of our leaders and volunteers, who tirelessly prepare young people with skills for life.
“Together, we have grown our movement, given young people the voice they deserve and welcomed so many new communities to the Scouts.
“It’s all about delivering chances to young people where they are needed most. My goal remains the same: to encourage and stand up for young people in all they do.”