Bungay scout leaders’ 120 years service inspires TV adventurer Bear Grylls

Graham Pritchard, Peter Jermy and Gary Fenn, leaders of the 1st Bungay Sea Scout Group, who have completed 40 years of service to scouting. Graham Pritchard, Peter Jermy and Gary Fenn, leaders of the 1st Bungay Sea Scout Group, who have completed 40 years of service to scouting.

Amy Smith amy.smith@archant.co.uk
Monday, May 5, 2014
6:30 AM

Three scout leaders who joined their local cubs group at the age of eight, have been honoured for 120 years of service to scouting by daredevil adventurer Bear Grylls.

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Chief scout Bear Grylls during a visit to Firtton Lake for a scouting day last year. Photo: Bill SmithChief scout Bear Grylls during a visit to Firtton Lake for a scouting day last year. Photo: Bill Smith

Peter Jermy, Graham Pritchard and Gary Fenn have each spent 40 years as leaders of the 1st Bungay Sea Scout Group, and were presented with a personal framed letter of thanks by chief scout Mr Grylls, along with a certificate and badge from the Scout Association.

The men became assistant leaders at the age of 21 after spending 13 years as scouts, and since then have devoted their time and energy to teaching local youngsters traditional skills including orienteering, how to tie knots and build a camp fire.

Mr Jermy, head scout leader, said: “We went all through cubs, scouts and then adventure scouts and then we were asked if we would stay and help out for a bit and we have been there ever since.

“We take the scouts away to summer camp, we go climbing, hiking and canoeing. It’s a real experience for them and a chance to learn skills you don’t get to learn in the normal run of life.”

After becoming scout leaders, all three men married and had sons of their own who were able to continue their tradition. Mr Pritchard said: “I have loved every minute of it and the same goes for all three of us. We have never got tired of it. The most precious and valuable thing you can give youngsters is time and it has been great to be able to do that.

“It was lucky because we all had sons of our own who went to cubs and scouts and continued the tradition.”

The men were recognised for their achievement at a St George’s Day Service at St Mary’s Church.

Mr Prichard added: “I was really chuffed with our certificate and the letter from Bear Grylls was quite touching. We weren’t expecting that at all.”

In his letters to the men, Mr Grylls congratulated each of the leaders for their commitment to the young people of this country.

He said: “Your history of exceptional service to scouting is an inspiration to so many and personifies all that is best about scouting. Your contribution and devotion to scouting is such an inspiration to me and many others.”

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