Daniel’s badges of honour make him one of
 a kind

Young cub Daniel Kelly (9) from Dearham Grove at Cramlington has over 30 activity badges.
Young cub Daniel Kelly (9) from Dearham Grove at Cramlington has over 30 activity badges.

CUB scout Daniel Kelly is wearing more than his heart on his sleeve after becoming the first of his kind.

The nine-year-old is the only cub in the north east to earn more than 30 activity badges – a feat the youngster says was inspired by his hero Bear Grylls, the chief scout.

Daniel, of Dearham Grove in Cramlington, has won every single honour the 7th Cramlington Scouts are able to offer since joining up at the age of eight.

The 33 badges he has collected are for skills ranging from scuba-diving to karate and astronomy to map-reading.

Daniel has also been awarded the chief scout’s silver award, the highest available honour for cubs.

His dad David and mum Alison could not be prouder.

“It’s incredible really,” Alison said. “We are just so proud of him.

“He stuck at it and methodically worked his way through the badges every week and took up things that are way out of his comfort zone.

“It has been all on his own initiative.

“It’s amazing considering he is only nine.”

Daniel, a pupil at Cramlington’s Northburn Primary School, joined the scouts as a beaver when he was six, following in the footsteps of his brother Thomas, 11, now in the scouts.

His sister Aimee, six, is also getting in on the act, having joined the rainbows.

Since moving up to cubs, Daniel has completed a scuba-diving course, attended karate lessons and learned how to ride horses and skate.

He has also been taught how to read maps and cook a meal.

The youngster says his proudest badges, however, are those for global conservation and naturalist activities.

His scout group leader Michael Mitchell said: “It was a labour of love for him.

“The badges are so wide and vast, you have got to take up things you do not want to do.

“They are varied, so they appeal to everybody.

“There are some bizarre badges that we would not get youngsters doing.

“I have been in scouting for 36 years, and Daniel is the first child we have had that has went in for every single badge.

“It’s a show of dedication and a credit to Daniel himself.”

When he grows up, Daniel would like to work as a conservationist protecting endangered animals or exploring the world to discover new species.

In the meantime, though, he is looking forward to graduating to the scouts when he turns ten-and-a-half and beginning his next badge collection.

Alison added: “He is a real outdoor kid. He is Bear Grylls’ number one fan.

“He is the kid with the bugs in his pocket and is happiest when he is covered in mud.”