THE new Woking District Scout Commissioner has been involved in the youth movement her whole life and has family roots in Scouting that go back more than 90 years.

Kath Brown took over the role last month from Rik Stevens and Kevin Spenser, who held the post jointly for three years.

Kath told the News & Mail: “I am pleased and proud to have been chosen as Woking Scout District's lead volunteer.

“One of my key responsibilities is ensuring that each group in Woking has sufficient resources to run a safe, reliable, diverse and fun programme for their members. Woking Scouts really needs volunteers to help run the Explorer Section of 14 to 17-year-olds.”

Woking District is one of the largest in Surrey, with nearly 2,000 members across 14 groups and six Explorer Units.  

Kath has been a Cub and Scout leader since she was 17, attending camps since she was a baby, taken by her mother who ran a group in their native Manchester. Her mother’s aunt became a Guide in the late 1920s to do her King’s Guide Award service section.

While studying at Leeds University, Kath achieved a Queen’s Scout Award and Explorer Belt.

She moved to Woking with her husband more than 20 years ago and has had leadership roles at Sheerwater Scouts since 1998, becoming group leader in 2017.

Kath’s three children all went from Beavers to Scouts at the 7th Woking (St Mary of Bethany) Scout Group, based next to the leisure centre, with the older two joining Explorer Scouts and now in leadership roles.

In a message to Scouts and their leaders in Woking, Kath said: “I’m a bit nervous about taking on this role, but many of you have already given me encouragement, which I’m grateful for.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Rik and Kevin for leading Woking District through some pretty turbulent times. Their fine work will make my job a lot easier.”

Away from Scouts, Kath is a chief immigration officer with Border Force at Heathrow. She recently began a workplace apprenticeship and has become a member of the Student Scout and Guide Organisation, which she first joined when she was a university student.

She will be helping to run the 25th World Scout Jamboree in South Korea in August next year, which will be attended by seven Woking Scouts.

“Scouting is as relevant today as it was 115 years ago when Robert Baden-Powell ran his experimental camp in Dorset,” she said. 

“It is the world's largest youth organisation, with well over 55 million youth members across 218 countries and territories. The core values are integrity, respect, care, belief and co-operation.

“Week after week, young people learn these values and grow in resilience and independence, developing essential skills for life.”

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