A PICKERING Scout leader has been presented with an award for exceptional service.

Anthony Oates, known as Tony, is one of only two recipients to have ever received the honour in Ryedale.

The Silver Wolf is awarded by the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, for service of the most exceptional nature.

Tony started Scouting in 1962 as an assistant Scout leader in Sheffield and since then has had just under 60 years continuous service to the movement, moving to Ryedale in 2012.

He has covered many positions within Scouting from section, group and district to county levels.

Tony travels all around the country, and in the past the world, delivering his campfires and there will be many children who will know ‘Cecil the spider’ who is one of Tony’s characters in his campfire songs.

“It is all about the kids,” said Tony who has seen a lot of changes through Scouting, not least the introductions of girls in 1991.

Tony has no thoughts of retirement and is still Scouting, currently the Cub Scout leader, Akela, at 1st Vale of Pickering Scout group.

One Cub said: “I love singing Akela’s campfire songs, he makes me laugh a lot and he showed me how to light a fire and build a shelter.”

Helen McAnulty-Rickard, Cub Scout Leader, Raksha, said the award for great news for Tony and for Ryedale.

“We are so lucky to have Tony as one of our leaders in Pickering, his experience is second to none.” she added.

Marjorie Coughlan Co-Ryedale District Commissioner, added: “I have witnessed the inspiration in young people just a glimpse of his Scout blanket and waistcoat evoke; they are a testimony to his many travels and his embodiment of the Scout movement as a world organisation. Tony seeks out and inspires Scouts wherever he goes.”

Tony was presented his award at the 1st Vale of Pickering Scout Group’s AGM by Mark Edwards, County Commissioner. He will be invited to a national event by Bear Grylls OBE later.