Akela thanks cubs for ‘wonderful’ send-off

Akela Caroline Taylor seated with all her cubs.'''Photo by Louise Adams  C121693-2 Chi Cubs Retirement
Akela Caroline Taylor seated with all her cubs.'''Photo by Louise Adams C121693-2 Chi Cubs Retirement
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A DEDICATED cub scout leader has thanked parents and cubs for a ‘wonderful send-off’ after a 57-year scouting career.

Caroline Taylor, akela for Funtington and West Stoke Scout group was presented with leaving gifts in front of a packed audience at Funtington village hall.

The cubs working towards their entertainment badges also performed at the event.

“I have so enjoyed my 57 years as akela,” said Caroline.

“I reckon that I have seen more than 1,000 cubs come through the various packs that I have run.

“I have seen many changes in the cub programme and badges, but the boys are much the same.

“Full of enthusiasm and excitement – and enjoying the traditional activities of fire-lighting, camping, making dens, playing outside, working towards badges and just giving new activities a try.

“I know that I shall really miss them, but I think it is time to hand over the reins.”

Caroline started scouting in 1956 as an assistant cub scout leader. She was awarded a Silver Acorn in 1989 in recognition of ‘especially distinguished service’ to scouting, and in 2000 was awarded her 40-year long-service award.

Kate Crockford, deputy district commissioner, presented Caroline with a leaving present from the district executive.

Chris Harvell, group scout leader, said: “I wonder if Caroline realised when she made her scout’s promise, all those years ago, that she would go on to fulfil it with such commitment.

“We all offer our best wishes to Caroline for her retirement and remind her that whenever she feels the need to sing a campfire song she is welcome to join us.”

Lucy Manchester will take on the role of akela.