Scouts welcome Bear Grylls to Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 17:14 10 May 2011 | UPDATED: 17:27 10 May 2011

Bear Grylls visits Sidmouth Scouts. Photos by Steve Hagger

Bear Grylls visits Sidmouth Scouts. Photos by Steve Hagger

Archant

Adventurer even ‘signed dog’ in kids’ excited autograph frenzy

SCORES of excited Scouts were thrilled to get a flying visit from adventurer Bear Grylls in Sidmouth on Saturday.

More than 600 children and teenagers from across East Devon watched the television personality make a spectacular entrance by helicopter as they enjoyed a weekend of activities.

Despite the rain, Chief Scout Bear was swamped by delighted youngsters in search of an autograph. He was happy to sign scarves, t-shirts, a climbing wall and even a dog.

Fourteen-year-olds Sarah Hill and Alice Tilley, both Explorer Scouts from Sidmouth, greeted Bear and gave him a tour of the camp.

“I gave him my scout scarf and he gave me a hug,” said Sarah, “I can’t wait to update my Facebook status!”

“It was amazing,” said Alice.

“He was really nice and showed lots of interest, although it was a bit manic at times.”

Bear joined Scouts in a range of activities including archery, rock-climbing and ‘extreme’ trampolining before taking to the skies. Sidmouth was one of 15 places he visited on a tour of the South West aimed at celebrating the importance of the Scouting movement in Devon and encouraging more adult volunteers.

Before leaving the Sidmouth camp Bear told youngsters: “I’ve really enjoyed my visit and being part of your amazing weekend of activities.”

He praised organisers of the fun event.

Paul Gadd, a volunteer Sidmouth scout leader of 20 years, said: “I haven’t seen scouts so excited for a long time! Bear was just a fun guy. He joined in and really engaged with them.

“Volunteering as a Scout leader is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”

Young people enjoyed a live rock band, hog roast and firework display in the evening to round off a memorable day.

The Scouting Movement says it is “desperate” for more adult volunteers. Waiting lists to join Scouts in Devon total 800 hopefuls.


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