Kate Middleton sat around a camp fire toasting marshmallows with some young scouts as she kicked off her Tuesday with a fun morning outing.
Kate, 38, headed to an economically challenged area of northwest London to join the scouts as they showed her how they have been able to go back to their groups since the coronavirus pandemic and take part in socially distanced activities.
As well as enjoying the tasty treat around the fire, Kate — who was a volunteer at a local group on Anglesey in north Wales, where she and Prince William lived as newlyweds — also helped make sweet greetings cards to send to residents of a local care home.
And she received a special honor too — being made Joint President of the Scouts Association and was presented with the scouts' Silver Wolf Award.
The Duchess of Cambridge was showing how rewarding volunteering can be as the scouts widen their appeal for more people to come forward and help out at local groups.
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The mom of three met some Beaver scouts, ages 6 to 8, from the 12thNortholt Scout Group and made paper helicopters known as "whirlybirds" with them before launching the little models into the air.
She also chatted to some youngsters who have been taking part in the Scouts-based initiative Care for Care Homes to reach out to people living in care homes. The cub scouts, aged 8 to 10, have been writing to their local homes. "Scouts form a bond with people in the care homes, which helps connect those people to the wider community," a Scouts spokesman explains.
Especially important during the pandemic, the program helped to bridge a gap of isolation and loneliness among some care home residents. This year, Scout groups across the U.K. have contributed over 10,000 acts of kindness by sending cards and greetings to care home residents.
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Kate spoke with volunteers to hear how they have been helping out during the pandemic for the last six months and talked to some parents about how their children had benefitted from scouting through the crisis.
As she was confirmed as Joint President, Kate said in a statement, “For many children and young people, the Scout Association plays a key role as they build relationships and develop the skills they need to succeed in later life. When I volunteered with the Scouts on Anglesey eight years ago, I was struck by the huge impact the organisation has on inspiring young people to support their communities and achieve their goals. I am delighted to be joining the Duke of Kent as Joint President of the Association and look forward to working with Scouts across the country as they strive to make a positive difference to our society.”
Scouting is an organization Princess Kate has been supporting since the first days of her royal life. And the movement hopes that her example can help more people come forward to volunteer at local groups.
“She is a great inspiration to our leaders due to the support she offers,” adds the spokesman. “Much like Bear Grylls, the duchess demonstrates how brilliant it is to be a volunteer and work that those volunteers in support of young people. People in areas of deprivation are being disproportionately affected by coronavirus and our movement plans to put as many resources as possible into those areas."
Kate joins Queen Elizabeth's cousin the Duke of Kent, in being Joint President of the Scouts — and it is her first presidency. The Duke of Kent also holds the Silver Wolf Award from the scouts, which is the largest co-educational youth movement in the U.K.
Princess Kate visited the Scouts Headquarters at Gilwell Park in March last year to learn more about the Scouts’ Early Years pilot program — something that coincided with her own work in that area for young children — and to celebrate the site’s 100th anniversary year.
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Then, she joined in on a number of sessions with the kids, including activities to improve communication and teamwork, such as boat building and balloon rocket assembling.
“She is a complete natural in this situation it felt so natural and it was very much her comfort zone,” said Frankii Newbury, the early year’s pilot project leader.
Kate became a patron of the organization early in her royal life in 2012, helping to raise volunteer numbers.
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