BAMAWM teenager Kaija Pedler has been awarded one of the highest Scouting honours.
The local Venturer received a Queen’s Scout Award from the Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau, at Government House last month.
Only a select few Venturers who are Scouting members aged between 14 and 17 achieve the honour each year.
Kaija, who attends school at St Joseph’s College in Echuca, is the only Venturer from the Rivergums District (Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester and Elmore) to achieve the award in the past three years.
The now 18-year-old said the journey to achieve the award had been challenging, but incredibly rewarding.
‘‘While the workload and commitment of combining school and Venturers was testing at times, I now feel like I can achieve anything I set out to do in the future,’’ she said.
The Queen’s Scout Award represents hundreds of hours of dedicated development in areas including service to the community, leadership, personal growth and outdoor adventure.
For Kaija, her highlights included a 50km hike in the Warby ranges, attending the World Jamboree in Japan in 2015 and co-organising Knit for Nepal, where more than 220kg of blankets were sent to remote areas of Nepal for people recovering from the 2015 earthquakes.
The Venturers plan their own Queen’s Scout program, organise friends and family to take part in activities and community service and exercise exemplary self-discipline to see it through.
Scouts Victoria chief commissioner Brendan Watson said the Queen’s Scout Award was a marker of future success in life.
‘‘It is an extraordinary effort for these already occupied secondary students in their final years at school to achieve their Queen’s Scout at the same time,’’ he said.