Denman teenager Liam Barnes praised by local scouting community after earning Queen's Scout Award

QUEEN'S Scout Award recipients are quite rare in the Upper Hunter.

So much so, the last person in the district to receive the honour was Susan Thring, a Venturer with the 2nd Muswellbrook unit, in 2010.

It's been a longer period - almost 28 years in fact - at 1st Scone until Liam Barnes broke the drought and added his name to the revered list in August.

On that occasion, the Denman teenager joined more than 30 Venturer Scouts from throughout the state at a special presentation at NSW Government House in Sydney.

Now, three months later, more than 50 people, including family and friends, celebrated Mr Barnes' feat in his hometown at the weekend.

The 1st Scone Venturers and 1st Denman Scout Group jointly hosted the function at the Bell Street facility on Saturday, with proud parents Tim and Sonia watching on.

It capped off a three-year commitment, by the youngster, to complete the project.

"I don't think many [people] realise it, but it's a massive achievement," 1st Scone Scout Group leader Greg Morris said.

"It is the pinnacle of the Venturer section.

"So, [today] it's an opportunity to see what he's done, showcase scouting to the local community and inspire other youth to aim for such awards.

"It is also a chance to say 'well done, congrats'."

Mr Morris praised the 18-year-old for his dedication.

"To earn the Queen's Scout Award, Liam was required to set a series of goals, organise himself and others and maintain the determination to overcome challenges," he said.

"He needed to meet the necessary requirements in all four areas, including Leadership Development, Outdoor Activities, Personal Growth and Community Involvement.

"That, in itself, takes a minimum 270 hours - on top of his schooling.

"The award is conferred by the monarch; as such Liam doesn't so much receive the Queen's Scout, rather he becomes one.

"It's an accomplishment that will stay with him the rest of his life.

"A testament to that is other Scone Queen's Scouts - Trudy Duggan and Geoff Palmer - were on hand to congratulate him on the day.

"Over the years, Liam has had a lot to do with the Camp Courage Scout program near Appin.

"Among the guests on Saturday was Hank Reeves, from Camp Courage, who drove up from Sydney."

Mr Barnes becomes the third generation in his family to earn the Queen's Scout Award.

His grandfather, Colin, collected his accolade (when the King was on the throne) in 1952 from 1st North Strathfield; his uncles, Scott and David, secured theirs respectively in 1981 and 1985 from 1st Kenthurst; and his father, Tim, did likewise in 1989 from the Dooral district.

As for the "man of the moment" himself, he admitted he was humbled by the attention.

"I appreciate everyone turning up, especially those who travelled from Sydney," Mr Barnes said.

"It was a major goal of mine to achieve it [Queen's Scout Award] - and I had to complete it by my 18th birthday.

"Each category boasted a set length of time - Leadership (63 hours), Outdoor Activities (62), Personal Growth (70) and Community Involvement (75).

"So, I worked hard.

"You also had to undertake courses in Sydney; as well as apply skills in a practical sense from [teaching] canoeing to helping the Cubs and Joeys at Denman.

"I'd really like to thank mum and dad for their support."