Cornwell Badge: Carl Gagnon

It is with great pleasure to announce that BSO Scout, Carl Gagnon of 1st Bougival Scouts in Paris, France (BSO) was recently selected by Bear Grylls Chief Scout, for the Scout Association Unsung Hero Award for showing courage in the face of adversity.  Additionally Carl has been awarded with the Cornwell Scout Badge.  This coveted award is rarely given and presented only to individuals who show exceptional gallantry and meritorious conduct.

A keen and active Scout, in the summer of 2019 aged 12, Carl was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia which required immediate intensive treatment along with physical isolation from friends, school, Scouts and sports.  Undeterred, he continued to work hard with his school studies and in turn this helped the British School in Paris to develop reliable online learning methods which, unbeknown to Carl or his school, they would eventually “Be Prepared” for the Coronavirus pandemic allowing his school community to continue learning online in an already tested format as soon as lockdown in France was announced in March 2020.

Carl also continued to work hard towards gaining his Chief Scouts Gold Award with great support from his Scout leaders who stepped up to the challenge of “Scout for All” in modifying the programme to ensure all their Scouts were able to continue enjoying their Scouting activities.  Carl was able to join video meetings and socially distanced face to face meetings when treatment allowed; he focussed his service to others on his own experience, raising over 6000 euros for the UK based Starlight Childrens Foundation and the D’Institute de Curie, France.  He finally and deservedly achieved his Chief Scouts Gold Award in June 2020.

An enhanced online award celebration was held with those in attendance being the Queen’s Ambassador to France, Lord Llewellyn; Headmaster Nicholas Hammond and representatives from the British School of Paris; Carl’s oncologist Dr Benoit Dumont, BSO scouting friends and colleagues, and Carl’s family.   Travel restrictions permitting, Carl will be finally presented with the Cornwell Scout Badge in person at Windsor Castle in April 2021.

“It’s very hard to find the words.  It means the world to me and I’m beyond humbled and would like to thank everyone who has supported me in so many different ways.  It feels surreal – it’s like something you hear on the news but then it’s like, that’s me” – Carl Gagnon