Top Scout Tom follows Scouting tradition

A SWALLOWNEST teenager has achieved the top scouting award – following in a family tradition.

Tom Bacon was recently awarded the Scout Association’s Queen’s Scout Award and took part in a special ceremony involving the Queen and hundreds of Scouts at Windsor Castle.

The 19-year-old is not only the first Rotherham Explorer to receive the award, but is also continuing a family tradition.

His mother Helen was also a Queen’s Scout and paraded in front of the Queen in 1984 and her father Anthony Matthews paraded in front of her in 1952 as one of the last King’s Scouts. Tom’s father Gary, an Explorer Scout leader, is also a Queen’s Scout.

Tom said the award was the culmination of two years of hard work.

“I was relieved (to finish it),” said Tom. “It was more about relief that I had finally managed to achieve it. It was two years worth of work.”

His mother Helen said the whole family was extremely proud of Tom, who is now an assistant leader in Swallownest.

She added: “The day was lovely. It brought back memories for me when I was a Queen’s Scout.”

Helen said Tom joined the Broom Valley Beavers when he was younger, before moving up to Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts.

“We were keen that he had the same experiences that we (his parents) had. We are a very outdoors family and it was just an extention of that,” she added.