Adventurous Rover Scouts commended by Dick Smith

Two Rover Scouts, Charlotte Mason of 2nd Gordon Rover Scouts and Hugh Percival of 2nd Normanhurst Rover Scouts, recently returned from challenging expeditions in Europe that were substantially funded by the Balthasar Award, established by entrepreneur Dick Smith 37 years ago.

Charlotte undertook a canyoning course in the French Pyrenees, a mountaineering course in Austria and then did more canyoning in Switzerland and Italy.

Following a visit to the outstanding Kandersteg International Scout Centre nestled in the Swiss Alps, Hugh completed the Kungsleden (‘King’s Trail’) in Lappland, a 460km trek of 28 days through wild, glacier-carved country near the top of Sweden.

They gave a presentation of their amazing trips to 1st East Roseville Scouts and Venturers at Kalloona Scout Hall in November. The audience included Dick Smith AC, who was a Queen Scout and Rover Scout of the Group in the 1960s, and established the Tony Balthasar Achievement Award in memory of its namesake’s service as his Rover Scout Unit’s Adviser in 1985 – six years’ after Tony’s sudden passing. A total of 27 scholarships for international adventure have been awarded since then: 13 to 1st East Roseville Rover Scouts and – subsequent to its Unit closing in 2002 – a further 14 to Rover Scouts across the Sydney North Region.

The final Balthasar Award will be completed by William Wade of Turramurra Rover Scouts, who plans to do a cave-diving course and then expedition in Mexico next year. Fortunately, 2023 should not see the last Scholarship for scouting expeditions by young adults from Sydney North Region, as its Rover Scouts are already well advanced with planning and funding pledged for a fresh award, to be announced soon.

For more information, see: Tony Balthasar Achievement Award – Sydney North Region Scouts (

Read more about Charlotte and Hugh’s expeditions here: