When a Rover Scout reaches the ripe old age of 26, they come to the stage where they have completed their time as a youth member.
Today our very own Rover Commissioner and fellow Rover Scout, Ruairi Nealon has reached that milestone. It is time to Depart.
We could depict his journey as a youth member through his many successes or by all of his achievements since becoming the lead in Scouting Ireland for the Rover Scout section.
But perhaps it’s better to share some insight into this magnificent Rover Scout by asking those who worked closest with him throughout the years:
“Learning by doing is something he lives by. Why I find it inspiring is that he has the confidence to fail and learn from it but he also always had the confidence in others to let them do the same. It’s something many people cant do at all. He gave everyone who wanted to try a chance and supported them. he took on a section that many didn’t believe in a few years ago and made a difference. I’ll always be grateful for him doing that and believing in all my crazy ideas and plans.”
“I have never met anyone to go down a mountain as slow as they went up”
“As you reach this milestone I can honestly say that YOU so are a beacon for Rover Scouting. But not for the National position – but by being the person you have become. This wonderful concept of Scouting and all it offers in its Aim, that attempts to make society a better place by the experiences and achievements of its young people. Well that just sums up you. A more genuine, thoughtful and conscientious person you could not meet – with a wicked sense of humour but a willingness to help all. I’m not putting you up for sainthood by the way but calling it as it is. You rock And my world is a better place by knowing you. So so proud of you”
“Ruairi will never let us forget that Phoenix in Tollymore, but a lesser known fact is that he was a member of the psycho Patrol who wore only spandex in the Curragh (apparently it made them more aerodynamic).”
“Rover Scouting was something I never really believed in; I being part of a cohort that felt that once you reach 18 you either become a Scouter or you move on.
Ru always challenged this position. He had a vision for a Rover section that is grounded in service, project and adventure-based scouting. I’d never admit it to him personally (he’d be so smug), but he has transformed my understanding of what it is to be a Rover Scout.
His passion and conviction of belief are infectious. The motto ‘Creating a Better World’ is his compass and guiding principle (Don’t you dare get caught with a single-use plastic in his company) and I count myself lucky to call him one of my best friends.”
A person who has not only shared his time with so many scouts throughout the years, but who has also shared his passion for the Rover Scout section throughout the last 3 years.
In which time he expanded on our understanding of the potential of Service Projects, Proudly represented us with meaningful contributions to reviews and policy changes and managed to still involve himself in local scouting and somehow continue with his own real life as well.
His time and devotion to the Rover program has bought about a number of achievements such as;
- RAW Projects
- Ceation of ‘Ceiliuradh’ – Celebrating Rovers across the island for their service
- Meaningful contribution to Reviews and Policy
- 3 Electric Picnics contributing approximately €18,000 to the RAW fund
- Overseeing & Awarding 3 successful Explorer Belt Expeditions to Italy, Poland, The Netherlands with Scandinavia taking plave in July 2019.
- Overseeing a Sleeping Bag Collection at Electric Picnic with over 600 sleeping bags being donated to Dublin & Limerick homeless shelters.
- Meeting El Presidente x2 (Time to be Welcome Reception & Garden Party at Arás an Uachtaráin
- Planning Team for Base Camp South (Provincial Camp in Southern Province)
Whatever way you want to try to sum up this wonderful human, whether it’s his achievement in being a PL in the Phoenix* or how he has dedicated so much time and effort into adding to the Rover Scout section, I think the rest of the Rover Team can all agree that it has been an honour to work with him over the past few years and Rover Scouts is a much more valuable section thanks to his time, dedication and passion.
Wherever the next trail leads you Ru, we know you’ll continue to do amazing things and ultimately make this world a little better as you go.
Rover and Out.
*If Ian Davy could finally reply to Ruairi’s letter that he sent you when he was a PL in the Phoenix so we can all stop hearing about it, that would be great.