On Sunday 8th October, while presenting top awards to young people from across the New Forest, Robin Mair – one of our Team DC – was surprised with an award of his own.
Presented by District Chair, Donna Kerrigan, Robin was being surprised with the Silver Wolf, the highest award for good service from the Scouts in the UK. It was both a surprise to Robin but also to those who nominated him, as the award was upgraded by the staff at headquarters based on the quality of service Robin had offered to Scouting.
Surrounded by family, Scouting friends and many from the district, it was a richly deserved award for Robin. We’ve included some of the citation that accompanied the award below.
Robin’s main role is as District Commissioner. When he agreed to the role in New Forest North there were only six Groups in the District and there was a Team of 3 DCs. However, this quickly became 12 Groups due to two Districts merging in September 2019 and the New Forest District was created. Robin continues to form a team of 3 DCs, sharing the role and supporting the 12 Groups. He approached the merger calmly and strategically and has had a definite influence on its success.
Robin puts in a significant amount of time to this role on a daily basis. Robin most enjoys visiting the sections and presenting Awards and Wood badges, as he believes that thanking our volunteers is of the greatest importance. In addition to supporting a number of groups directly, Robin is the DC responsible for attending the Board of Trustee Meetings where he makes a valuable contribution. It is amazing that Robin also has time to be a Scout Leader and has an active troop.
As a County Nights Away Adviser, Robin shows his commitment to ensuring as many young people as possible have nights away experiences. He is an effective assessor and is known for putting the potential permit holders at their ease. Robin continues this commitment within the New Forest District as he approves District Nights Away Notification applications.
In 2019, Robin was a leader for Project 19; this was a USA road trip running parallel to the World Scout Jamboree and involved: organising and running several training weekends, building the teams, preparing them for the trip and supporting them through the whole life changing experience. In addition, more recently, Robin is did it all again on Project 23. ‘Hampshire Scouts’ Marvellous European Road Trip 2023’ and Robin was on the Core Team for this one. Almost 200 participants travelled through Europe by coach, stopping at three Scout campsites in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany to undertake scouting type activities, meeting Scouts from other countries, sightseeing and other adventurous activities. Another life-changing adventure and definitely instilling #SkillForLife.
Many may not know that Robin also finds the time to be a trustee of Pondhead Conservation Trust, which is a conservation charity set up to restore 76 hectares of woodland which form part of the Crown lands of the New Forest, known as Pondhead Enclosure near Lyndhurst, Hampshire. They operate under a 10-year license from Forestry England and their aim is to improve the area’s biodiversity and public enjoyment by management of the woodland with a team of conservation volunteers.
These are the highlights of Robin’s contributions and achievements and it is no surprise that the Chief Scout has awarded him the highest Scouting Honour for services to Scouting of the most exceptional nature: the Silver Wolf.