YOUNG Wiganers got to meet a TV adventurer during an action-packed weekend at one of the borough’s biggest Scouting events.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls made a flying visit to the Camporee event held at the Bispham Hall Scout estate in Billinge to meet some of the hundreds of young people enjoying a weekend of outdoor pursuits.
Bear, who shot to national prominence on television programmes such as Born Survivor, arrived in the borough as part of a helicopter tour of 13 Scout events during the weekend.
The Chief Scout challenged young people from Wigan, Salford and Trafford staying at the camp to a variety of competitions, including welly throwing and axe flinging, where he proved his skills by wedging the axe into the end of the log with his very first throw.
He also demonstrated his prowess on the archery range before speaking to some of the youngsters attending the camp, including signing t-shirts and hoodies.
Upon arrival, which saw campers spray paint a temporary helipad on the estate’s grass, Bear was greeted by county commissioner Heather Baker, from Wigan, and was presented with a necker.
Bear was also accompanied during his trip by an American film crew who are making a programme about him, with his producer winning the archery contest.
Bear said: “I’m humbled by the incredible spirit that so many of these people show, from Beavers, to Cubs, to Scouts, all out there whatever the weather making a difference.
“It’s just a ridiculously long list of fun things which they have done. I’m moved, humbled, impressed and inspired, and yet again Scouting is at the heart of it all. I am very proud.
“The Scouts are really lucky to have such a beautiful place to camp in Wigan.”
Rachel Picton, an explorer scout from Wigan, said: “Bear Grylls was really friendly and so enthusiastic at getting involved with the activities with the young people.
“He’s great fun and it’s good he’s representing Scouting.”
The Camporee is one of the biggest events in the borough’s Scouting calendar, with around 900 young people enjoyed activities ranging from backwoods cooking to mountain biking.