Kate dressed warmly for today’s volunteer training with the UK Scouts, a wise decision when one looks at the snowy weather.
Kate joined 24 other volunteers at the Great Tower Scout Camp, one of nine Scout Activity Centres in the UK. It is located in Britain’s largest National Park, situated in the gorgeous Lake District on Cumbria.
Readers may recall that Kate has long been involved with Scouting. This is not one of Kate’s Patronages, she is a volunteer. The Queen is actually Royal Patron, and HM’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, serves as President of the UK Scouting Association. Some readers may have seen news this week that the Duke suffered a stroke and has been hospitalized since Monday. It is said to be a ‘mild stroke’ and the Duke’s prognosis very good.
But Kate doesn’t need to be Patron to volunteer, far from it, she has been helping out privately for months. More via this Daily Mail story:
“Simon Carter, assistant director of The Scout Association, said: ‘The Duchess works with eight to 10-year-olds, she’s learned how to do stuff when she goes to cubs on Wednesday evenings.
“…last year when the Duchess committed to her charity work she didn’t want to be just a figurehead, she wanted to do something meaningful. She’s passionate about volunteering.”
Richard Palmer in the Express shares more about Kate’s volunteer efforts:
Kate, who is naturally sporty, enjoys the outdoor life and has enthused about her role supervising Cubs aged 8 to 10 in Anglesey.
Last July she hosted a barbecue for her local pack near her farmhouse in Anglesey, flipping burgers and teaching the children how to gut fish.
Here we see Kate and other adult volunteers relaxing for a moment before getting to work.
Everyone was bundled up warmly, below we see Kate working with Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts on fire lighting techniques.
After the fire training, it was time to make “dampers” or “twists,” essentially unleavened bread cooked over an open fire on a stick. More from Richard Palmer:
Kate discarded her fingerless gloves and mixed in sticky flour while still wearing her priceless engagement ring before making twists in the snow.
“Oh, that’s brilliant,” said a fellow volunteer, as the Duchess giggled while wrestling with the bread and laughing at others’ attempts. “Would you like to try it?” She asked one instructor. “You are more than welcome to try mine,” she told another.
When they didn’t take her up on the offer, she tried the bread herself. “Oh, it’s actually not bad, if you were really desperately hungry. It’s quite sugary,” she said, laughing.
Speaking from experience I can assure you that part of the challenge in making this delicacy is keeping the dough on the stick and out of the fire. (At least it always was for yours truly.)
The young Scouts seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. More on that angle of the story from the Westmorland Gazette’s live blog:
Rhiannon Clifford-Powell, aged 10, was one of the Scouts lucky enough to meet the Duchess.
She said: “I was really excited when I found out Kate was coming and I was bursting to tell everyone but I had to keep it a secret.
“I did not know what to expect but she was really nice and friendly.”
After a lunch break it was time to move to other activities. Helping young Scouts learn to climb some of the many (and very tall) coniferous trees at the Camp was a challenge in the snowy, windy weather. The Duchess stayed firmly on the ground for this exercise.
Kate’s high-profile association with the Scouts has proved beneficial in boosting the ranks of adult volunteers but more help is needed. The Mirror’s Victoria Murphy, offers this information in her story, quoting Assistant Scouting Director Simon Carter:
We currently have 35,000 young people across the UK who can’t join up because we don’t have enough adult volunteer leaders. The reason we value the Duchess’s support is that even though she is very busy she helps out when she can.
We want to say to people you don’t have to come every week, come when you can and we will make a job round you.”
Mid-afternoon the Scouts and Volunteers gathered for one big photo.
Kate wore many familiar pieces today, as well as some we haven’t previously seen. Readers will recognize her Le Chameau Vierzonord wellies.
Kate’s jacket is another piece from Barbour, the Ladies Linhope style we’ve seen her wearing as far back as 2009. Below we show the men’s style.
There are varying reports about Kate’s jeans, I do not know what brand they are. It’s possible they are new maternity style jeans like the J. Brand Maternity Skinny Jeans, the Paige Denim Maternity Skinny Jeans or others. It’s also possible the Duchess is wearing an existing pair with an extender.
Two items we hadn’t seen previously, Kate’s hat and fingerless gloves.
The gloves remain unidentified, while Really Wild Clothing Company has verified the hat is their Lindsey style. We show it in the company’s ‘Ivy Dogtooth Tweed’ fabric, and it will be restocked at some point. Kate’s was ‘Tweed Moss Fleck’ and it will not be restocked.
Many refer to this as a Baker Boy style, similar to a newsboy style cap but with more volume above the crown. It is rather difficult to see the cap under the snow and ice, the gloves do show up a little better in this photo.
Kate also wore her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings.
And she was sporting a UK Scouting neckerchief, or Scarf.
It is for adult volunteers, selling at £8.50, roughly $13 at today’s exchange rates. The Scouts remind us all proceeds from sales of items like this scarf go right back into Scouting programs, obviously a good cause.
It is always a delight to see people relishing the task at hand regardless of their surroundings or inclement conditions; this seemed the case with Kate, the Scouts and volunteers. Our thanks to Simon Carter with UK Scouting and others for sharing information and photos today.
- Visit the UK Scouting website here, join them on Facebook, follow their Twitter feed here, visit the organization’s online gift shop here, and learn about volunteering here
- To read about Tower Camp click here, or visit the Camp’s Facebook page
- If interested in US Scouting opportunities, Boy Scouts of America are here, Girls Scouts are here
- ITV’s video from today can be found here and The Telegraph’s video story may be viewed here
- The Daily Mail’s story is here, the Mirror‘s story is here and Richard Palmer’s piece in the Express is here