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Jane Ball, News editor
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Ultimate adventurer Bear Grylls blew people away when he helicoptered into Brentwood at the weekend to pay a surprise visit to more than 1,000 Scouts from east London, including Romford and Hornchurch.
The UK Chief Scout spent the day with excited youngsters at the Thriftwood Scout Activity Centre. It was the final leg of Bear’s tour of the country.
He said: “I was super-excited to visit the Scouts. I met a lot of inspiring young people who play a positive part in the adventure Scouting provides.
“One of my main objectives for the weekend was to encourage more adults to volunteer to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to join in the adventure that Scouting offers to all its participants.
“I’m so proud to be Chief Scout and it’s always humbling to see at first hand the adventures that our members are taking part in and their enthusiasm in making a difference.”
During the day, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts took part in more than 60 activities, from rafting and canoeing to climbing and abseiling, as well as water slides.
Millie Burke, from Romford, said: “It was great to meet Bear in person instead of just watching him on TV. He’s such a huge inspiration for me.
“Scouting’s all about adventure, so there’s nothing better than having someone like Bear join in. I love being a Scout – it’s built up my confidence, helped me make loads of friends and allowed me to try so many brilliant things.”
Bear was accompanied by Steve Backshall, the Bafta-winning British naturalist, writer and television presenter, best known for BBC TV’s Deadly 60.
Event organiser, Explorer Scout Commissioner Andrew Mann, said: “It was an amazing weekend of fun for so many young Scouts.
“They took part in dozens of activities and braved the rain and mud. The weather held out as Bear landed on Sunday morning.
“He then took an hour to tour the site, joining in with the activities on offer.”