Scouts at the Lying-in-State of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Scout Association

In September 2022, 165 young Scout volunteers took part in Operation Feather, the plan to support the queue at the Lying–in-State of their Patron, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Their role was to look after the welfare of the public and keep up spirits. In the event, the team went far beyond that. They worked day and night, often in freezing temperatures, handing out blankets, hot drinks, managing bag drops and flower donations. Perhaps most impressively, they masterminded a plan to redistribute unwanted food from the queue to homeless shelters and food banks in London.

Their outstanding service proved a timely reminder to the public of Scouts’ vital role in helping other people in our communities. Supporting the 165 Scouts was a wider team of Scouts’ volunteers and staff at national HQ, coordinating rotas, arranging transport, washing uniforms, sewing on badges and preparing meals. For over a week, and until the queue closed at 6.30am on 19 September, the Scouts team did not stop showing their kindness, care and resilience. Their work was seen in the media by nearly two billion people and contributed to 4.6% growth in the numbers of young people and volunteers joining Scouts.