A 10-year-old Girl Scout has become one of the first in the United Kingdom to get every single Beaver and Cub Scout activity badge.
Willow Woolhouse completed every activity badge possible while she was in the Beavers, and last week, she received her final Cub achievement—but, getting all 57 badges was far from easy.
She had to learn to horse ride, become proficient in Morse code, teach herself to cook the perfect omelette, and master the martial art of Tang Soo Do.
School prefect Willow also had to impress her scout leader with her stargazing skills and make her own bird box to get her DIY badge.
The only girl in her cub pack, Willow picked up her final badge last week—a photography patch—awarded for her series of snaps of her proud mum 42-year-old Beth Shaw.
Willow is one of very few girls in history to get every Beaver and Cub activity badge—Rebecca Hooper, at 10-years-old, accomplished the same feat in 2009, but it was at a time when there were fewer cub badges available.
Cub “sixer” Willow, who is set to move up to the Scouts this season, already has her sights set firmly on achieving all 62 badges there as well.
“I feel really happy about getting them all. When I look back on my life I can’t picture myself not being a cub or a beaver,” said Willow, from Stockport, Greater Manchester. “It’s just that friendship with everyone there that’s really got me.”
Willow joined the 3rd Bramhall Beavers when she was 5 years old because she lives opposite the scout hut with mum Beth, and scientist teacher dad Robert, 39.
It took her three years to get all 20 Beavers activity badges she could achieve—plus the Chief Scout Bronze award.
She gained her first—and favorite—badge for cooking after mastering a series of culinary skills, which included being able to make an omelette for her mom.
“It was the first time I’d used a frying pan. Since then though, eggs are my speciality and I’ve even invented some original recipes,” says Willow.
She then got 19 more, including ones for cycling, disability awareness, and collecting. Some were completed at her weekly session, and others were finished at school or home, although all of them were documented with photographs to submit to her leaders.
Willow graduated to Cubs at age 8, and began to work through all 37 available badges.
Her favorite was fire safety, which involved an exciting visit to the local station. However, she only recently realized she’d got all available badges.
“Because it was so long ago that I started beavers and I was so young,” says Willow. “My mum probably told me I had all my beaver badges, but I’m not the type of person who remembers that kind of thing.
“Of course, I will be involved with scouts when I am an adult, even though I have ambitions to be a cosmologist,” she added.
She got into star gazing thanks to a scout badge, which prompted her to get a telescope for her birthday—but despite all the badges, it’s the friendship that keeps Willow going back to her weekly club.
She wrote a novel called “Survival Girls” about her pals’ camp adventures, which she hopes will be published one day.
“I’m really pleased and proud of her, because these badges are quite difficult to get,” said her proud mum Beth, an operations manager who volunteers with the pack. “And she never doesn’t want to do them. She’s so enthusiastic about putting the work in to get them.
“Sometimes you can submit school work in order to achieve them—sometimes you have to put a lot of new effort into it,” she added. “One of the harder ones she had to learn how to horse ride—but she did it. For her communications badge, she needed to learn morse code. They all have to put in a lot of effort.
“At school, they say she’s very interesting to talk to. She’s got a lot of different aspects to her. She doesn’t play on computer games, and she’s not into TV. She knows about the outdoors and nature and DIY though!
“Her leaders have given her so much support and guidance,” she added. “They are fantastic role models.”
A spokesman for The Scout Association said: “Well done Willow—it’s a real achievement to develop all the skills required to achieve all the Beaver Scout Badges and the Cub Scout Badges. To achieve this feat, Willow must have shown grit, determination, and resilience.
“She joins an exclusive and very small group of other Cub Scouts who have gained all their badges and in doing so have develop the skills they will need to make their way in life,” they added. “We are very proud of Willow and of the volunteer Leaders from 3rd Bramhall Cubs that have supported her on her journey. Well done.”
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