More than Just a Hobby

Scout leader Troy Willis, Paige Willis with her Australian Scout Medallion and Branch Commissioner of Scouts, Chris Foreman

At only 15 years of age, Paige Willis has achieved the outstanding feat of earning an Australian Scout Medallion! 

As a resident of Upper Kedron and a member of Grovely-Mitchelton Scouts since 2013, Paige dedicates one night a week to showing her Scouts family what she’s made of—and she has no intention of quitting anytime soon. 

According to Paige, the best part about Scouts is making new friends and learning new skills. Not only is Scouts an ongoing educational experience for Paige, it is also somewhat of a family affair—her dad is her Scout leader (Quokka) and her brother attends the weekly meetings by their side. ‘My favourite camp of all time,’ reveals Paige, ‘was the Triple SSS camp in 2018 because everyone—over 1000 people—sang happy birthday to my little brother. His face went as red as a lobster!’

However, for Paige, the best—not to mention, the most rewarding—aspect of Scouts is earning badges from developing new skills and abilities. Earning the Individual Sportsman Badge was Paige’s most enjoyed effort, as she had the opportunity to show everyone the sport she once played. Her most challenging effort, on the other hand, was earning the Adventurer Badge, or ‘Green Biscuit’. This involved teaching knots, fire safety, hygiene, and survival skills, as well as embarking on a ‘2-night activity’ mid-COVID-19. During this, Paige slept in a tent in her backyard and did three 10km hikes over three days. If that’s not determination, I don’t know what is! 

Another badge Paige has gained is the Pioneer Badge, which requires refined skills in knots, fire safety, navigation, promise and law knowledge, along with knowledge about breaking the cycle of bullying. As you can see, such awards don’t come easy for Scouts, with Paige working to strengthen her skillset and secure badges for 4 long years before earning the Australian Scout Medallion. But Paige was not alone in the process; she had support from her dad, of course, along with an especially encouraging boy named Daniel, and her best friend Tamsyn, who Paige met at Scouts six years ago. Tamsyn is also climbing up the ranks at Scouts in order to earn the Medallion! 

At Grovely-Mitchelton Scouts, not only club members, but also the local community reap the rewards. A big part of being a successful Scout is putting in the hard yards to help out local businesses and residents—so, community service! Recently, Paige completed a whopping 10 hours of community service; four hours of which were spent at an orientation day on a weekend for her old school, with the remainder being used up during clean-up time at the Scout Den. Each minute brought her that one step closer to earning the Australian Scout Medallion. 

Congratulations to Paige for an extraordinary achievement!

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