A SCOUT leader was joined by survival instructor Bear Grylls at the annual Scout Association reunion following a one-of-a-kind year in which it has had to use its imagination to get children outdoors.

Lesley Bordoli, from the 1st Ruthin Scout Group, did not have to make the usual trek to the Scout Association’s yearly Gilwell Reunion usually held in Essex due to coronavirus restrictions forcing the event to be held virtually for the first time in 94 years.

It is a sign of the challenges faced by the outdoor organisation since March. The Ruthin branch has held virtual classes including camping at home in the garden, pitching tents on beds and sleeping under desks.

The reunion, opened by chief scout Bear Grylls and ambassadors including Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, featured a range of seminars, workshops and even the traditional campfire via Facebook live stream.

There was also a virtual tour of Gilwell Park, which has 108 acres of climbing, canoeing, camping activities.

Mrs Bordoli said: “It truly was an amazing achievement by all those who organised the event showing that Scouts can ‘Be Prepared’ for anything’.

“It has been a difficult year for Scouts like any organisation. Young people need to doing things rather than sitting in front of a computer all day, so we have tried to keep their imaginations going with activities like camping at home, campfires, bike rides and walks. They can then show the finished product.

“The reunion was the first to be held online but it was attended by many Scout leaders, assistant leaders and helpers from all over the world from Nigeria, Chile, Brazil and Canada, whereas before only those who could travel could make it.

“There were talks on foraging, safety, training and recruitment, which we will use going forward.”

The Scout Association, which includes Beavers, Cubs and Explorers, aims to teach young people skills for life through outdoor adventure.

If you would like to get involved in 1st Ruthin Scout Group, contact Mrs Bordoli by emailing lesleygsl@btinternet.com