Cobram teenager Cooper Fitzpatrick has completed Scouts Victoria’s highest youth award — the Queen’s Scout award.
The Year 12 St Mary of the Angels student has juggled a rigorous academic curriculum with his favourite after-school pursuit.
The award reflects initiative in tackling challenges, sustained effort across many months and years, plus self-discipline, teamwork and leadership.
Only a small percentage of Scouts reach this level and Scouts Victoria chief commissioner Brendan J Watson said many factors, external and internal, help a Scout reach their true potential.
‘‘Our youth members are well supported by their volunteer leaders, their families and often their teachers, but ultimately the decision to strive to be among the few who reach this level in Scouting is a personal choice and often an indicator of future success.’’
Cooper was excited and honoured by the recognition.
‘‘When I started Scouts at the end of 2011 I never really thought that I would continue on with it,’’ he said.
‘‘But now I am here, seven years later in Year 12, finishing school and I’ve finished my Queen’s Scout.’’
It was an arduous journey, taking more than 300 hours to complete.
But the hard work did not mean Cooper did not have plenty of fun along the way.
‘‘The award scheme works around you and you choose what you want to do, so naturally I chose fun things to do, i.e. playing Euchre and playing sports,’’ he said.
‘‘I got to meet new people and I also got to see myself grow.
‘‘Overall, doing this award was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and I’m extremely honoured with the achievement.’’