Cleveland Scout Amelia Day battles COVID-19 challenges, arson at Scout den to score top section award

PROUD: Amelia Day (second from right) with her parents Brendan and Laura Day and brother David.
PROUD: Amelia Day (second from right) with her parents Brendan and Laura Day and brother David.

A CLEVELAND teen has overcome COVID-19 and an arson attack to achieve one of the Scouts' top awards, flying through years of work in just 15 months.

Amelia Day, 15, got her Australian Scout Medallion this month, the highest award for the Scout section.

Cleveland Scout Leader Tamara "Akuna" Hill said Amelia's passion and drive had helped her succeed in gaining the award, which usually took three to four years to accomplish.

"During Millie's first 2.5 years in the Scout section she experienced multiple changes in the leadership team and then the disruption caused by the den arson attack and the following rebuild," she said.

"These things combined had impacted the recording of Millie's badge work progression and acknowledgment of skills learned."

At 13 years and six months, this left Amelia with only 18 months to achieve the medal.

"Millie only had a couple of badges on her uniform and a very long road ahead to meet the requirements of the ASM," Ms Hill said.

"So off Millie went, earning badges, leading activities and passing those skills onto other Scouts. Even with so much work for her own personal journey, Millie also took on the challenge of applying for and being accepted into the Queensland Branch Youth Council."

Amelia helped to plan and run a troop hike in February 2020 in preparation for the 15km and 30km hikes she had to accomplish to achieve the medal.

COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works, postponing her first hike planned for April 2020 on North Stradbroke Island.

But Amelia did not let the global pandemic slow her down.

"(She) helped Yogi, Dolphin and I lead Scouting at home and continued to work her way through the other badges that she needed to finish her ASM," Ms Hill said.

The 15km hike eventually took place in August, quickly followed by Amelia's 30km adventurer level journey.

The teen faced wet and stormy weather on the Sunshine Coast during the three-day, two-night journey.

Ms Hill said Amelia had faced challenges at home, school and Scouts in 2020 and used her experiences to educate other young people and leaders about mental health challenges.

"(She) has actively worked towards reducing any stigmas and creating a safe and supportive environment for all young people here at Cleveland Scouts and beyond," Ms Hill said.

Her achievements led to Amelia being named a 2020 Queensland Scout of the Year.

Ms Hill said Amelia's resilience, passion and drive had helped her achieve the well-earned Australian Scout Medallion.

"Every time life ... put an obstacle in your path, you smashed it out of the way and found another way to get things done," she said.