Westhill’s Group Scout Leader Chris Pinnell has been awarded the ‘Silver Acorn’, one of UK Scouting’s highest achievements, as part of their Good Service Awards for 2021.
Scouts Good Service Awards are presented to members who have consistently given service over and above that which is expected within their role, and recognises their achievements and valued contribution to scouting.
The Silver Acorn is awarded for specially distinguished service over a minimum of 20 years and is normally presented at the St George’s Day Awards at Windsor Castle in London, and attended by a member of the Royal Family.
Chris started his adult scouting journey as a Venture Scout Leader and Commissioner in Falkirk and Hillfoots forty years ago.
Following a move to Aberdeenshire he initially took on the role of Assistant Area Commissioner for Banff and Buchan and later Gordon District.
He became the Scout Leader with Westhill’s Beechwood Troop when he and his family moved to Westhill and became Group Scout Leader for Westhill in 2015.
Westhill is one of the North East’s biggest Scout Groups and in the last five years Chris has overseen a growth in both youth membership and adult leaders / supporters.
Chris has also been active in Adult Leader Training since 2005. He is currently a member of Scout Scotland HQ ‘Operations Committee’ and has served a three year term on the Board of Trustees for Scouts Scotland.
In 2012, as part of the Olympic flame journey around the UK, Chris was nominated to carry an Olympic Torch for his work with Scouting and Leader training. He carried the torch along Great Western Road, Aberdeen – passing the flame on to top golfer Colin Montgomery.
Over his forty years, Chris has supported and led many International Scouting events, including World Scout Jamborees in Canada, UK, Sweden and Japan, International Jamborettes at Blair Atholl and has led Explorer Scout expeditions to Iceland and America.
Chris’s Silver Acorn award was announced as part of the 2021 St George’s Day Awards and was virtually presented by Regional Commissioner Dougie Simmers in January. And recently Dougie surprised the Westhill-Lyne of Skene Cubs, when he came to present Chris with his award. A formal presentation is planned for a later date at Windsor Castle, when restrictions allow.
Scouting’s Chief Commissioner Tim Kid said: “This is for your exceptional service over many years and is a well-deserved award. You have truly made a difference to young people’s lives, helping them gain skills for life.”
Adding his congratulations, Andrew Sharkey, Chief Commissioner of Scotland said: “I was absolutely delighted to learn that Chris has been awarded the Silver Acorn in the St George’s Day awards, and I send my personal congratulations on this honour. It is richly deserved recognition of the work he has done for Scouting over many years.”
Speaking about his award Chris Pinnell said: “I am greatly honoured to receive this award and am looking forward to the Windsor parade. My Scouting experience has been greatly assisted by the many dedicated Scout Leaders who have helped prepare excellent experiences for so many young people, providing many Beavers Cubs and Scouts with #Skills for Life. I continue to get great enjoyment out of Scouting.”