A local Scouter has been honoured by the organization for his dedication to scouting. Darrell Nunn was awarded the Bar to the Silver Acorn, one of the highest Outstanding Service Awards in scouting, given to recognise “continued, especially distinguished service to Scouting”. Darrell has been involved with the Scouts since he became one as a boy in 1950. Growing up in Toronto, he credits the Scouts for his love of camping, canoeing, and the great outdoors.
As a drama teacher, Darrell has lived all over Ontario and abroad, yet he has always kept some sort of a connection with the Scouts. He moved to North Grenville two years ago, after living in Ottawa, and became involved with the 1st Kemptville Scouts. He has also kept up with his group in Ottawa, which he had a hard time leaving behind. “When you have been involved with a group, it’s hard to walk away,” he says, with clear passion in his eyes.
Not only has Darrell been a Scouter (leader) for 35 years, he has also brought many exciting events and programs to the groups in Ottawa and Kemptville. In 2012, he initiated the Amazing Race Transit Day in Ottawa, where the kids go on a scavenger hunt around the city, while learning how to use public transit. Last year, the Kemptville group got involved and Darrell says they loved it. “The adults sometimes get nervous about it,” he says chuckling a bit to himself. “But all the kids have cell phones and we haven’t lost anyone yet.”
In 2016, Darrell took a group of Scouts to an international scouting event in Scotland, where they spent ten days doing various scouting activities based out of a Scottish castle, and five days in a homestay, where they were able to see what everyday life is like in Scotland. He is taking a second group to the same event in July of this year, including his son and grandson, who are also heavily involved in the Scouts. “It will be a multi-generational trip,” he says, smiling.
Last year, Darrell also helped organize an exchange program with the Scouting group in Newfoundland. Thirty scouts and scouters went each way to stay with their exchange partners for eight days. When the Newfoundland group was visiting, all 60 of them went on a canoe trip, with a total of 25 canoes floating down the Rideau Canal. “We filled the locks,” he remembers.
It is because of Darrell’s length of service, and clear dedication to the organization, that he was recognized with the “Bar to the Silver Acorn” at the end of last year. He received the “Silver Acorn” for his service in 1995. Darrell is also one of the few people in the scouting community who has both Canada’s centenary (1967) and sesquicentenary (2017) badges on his uniform.
It is clear from Darrell’s enthusiasm that he truly loves what he does. Not only does he have a passion for the great outdoors, he also finds helping kids to learn valuable skills and build their confidence very rewarding. He sees great benefit in treating young people like adults and giving them the opportunity to figure things out for themselves. “It’s also about learning to work with people and building friendships,” he says. “I love when you overhear a youth saying that they really enjoy it.”