TOP AWARD FOR SCOUT LEADER
Willie Ahern, Mitchelstown Scout Group leader has been recognised for his extraordinary service to scouting locally, at county level and nationally, over a period of more than 30 years.
He received the Order of Cu Chulainn award at the recent AGM of Scouting Ireland. The highest accolade that scouting can bestow on its adult members, this is a marvelous honour for Willie Ahern and his family as well as the local group in which he has invested such energy over the years.
As volunteers, scout leaders contribute enormously to the development of communities and the young people that make up the next generation, Willie typifies this through his consistent and humble nature, living the scout law.
In recent years, Willie has overseen major expansions and developments within the group, improving the hall’s facilities and the nature and quality of the programme provided, as well as recruiting many dedicated and talented leaders, and establishing a parents and friends committee through which the group’s long-term future will be ensured.
The citation that accompanied the silver medallion, in the shape of a Celtic hound, reads as follows; ‘Willie joined scouting as a scout in the 29th/30th (Mitchelstown Scouts Group) and quickly took to the outdoor life.
In these early days he developed scouting skills that he later transported to the challenge of leadership. His approach to scouting has always been in providing an active outdoor programme for the young people in his care. Many adventures have been experienced by his scouts often to the envy of other troops in his county.
Willie possesses the unique quality of a true leader- the role of a big brother, as expressed by Baden-Powell, when he stated ‘to be a successful leader, a man has simply to be a boy-man, that is, he must have a boy spirit in him and must be able to place himself on the right plane with his boys as a first step’.
This magical quality has enabled Willie to fuse young and old together, to create a true scouting spirit in Mitchelstown scouting. To give and not to count the cost’, is a core principle of Willie’s life in scouting, often he will undertake with enthusiasm many projects which involve large amounts of personal time.
He is driven to provide to young people scouting of a kind and quality that he believes they deserve. His calm, quiet and scout -like approach to life has drawn many leaders and young people to follow him with pride.
Scouting Ireland would like to recognise the life long service and leadership of Willie at local level by bestowing on him the Order of Cu Chulainn. The 29th/30th Mitchelstown Scout Group, its members, leaders, parents and friends, have expressed their appreciation to Willie for his years of continuous leadership, inspiring the best in everyone and providing wonderful experiences.
Thanks has also been extended to his wife Monica, and family, David and Lisa, who sacrifice so much, due to Willie’s dedication to quality scouting, none of which would be possible without their continued support. Often the hard work and commitment of people in numerous organisations goes un-noticed or unappreciated, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
In this instance the awarding of the Order of Cu Chulainn can display only a small measure of the level of respect in which everyone in scouting circles holds Willie Ahern.
Thursday 17th July 7:37pm