Forth Valley Scouts encounter a great Bear!

Outdoors action man Bear Grylls used a helicopter to drop in on Scouts at Barrwood.

The adventurer, who was appointed Chief Scout in 2009, made the trip the popular camp site near Denny as part of a whistle-stop tour of Scotland.

Bear Gryllis

Bear Gryllis

While there he helped over 2000 youngsters from across Forth Region celebrate the ‘Bearwood Bonanza’.

During his visit last Sunday, the former special forces officer – whose survivalist programmes on television are a massive hit – watched spacehopper racing and haggis hurling.

He also presented a specially designed badge with a bear claw print to attendants to mark the occasion.

The day was planned around an Olympic theme and allowed Grylls to meet Scouts of all ages and be shown traditional Scouting practices outdoors.

During his weekend tour of the country he also took part in a spring clean on the shores of Loch Ness, helping the Cairngorm Explorer Scout unit from Inverness and other volunteers fill black bags with rubbish during a three-hour community litter pick.

Travelling by helicopter, the 37-year-old, the youngest-ever Chief Scout of the UK and Overseas Territories, dropped in on 11 camps and activities weekends starting at Rozelle Park in Ayr.

Barrwood was his only stop in Forth Valley, but he also visited Fordell Firs National Scout Activity Centre in Fife, tried water sports with Argyll District Cub Scouts, met Scouts taking part in a camping challenge near Glasgow and teambuilding weekend at Turriff, Aberdeenshire and took a ride on a powerboat at a sailing regatta near South Queensferry.

The Chief Scout, real name Edward Michael Grylls, admitted he had enjoyed a wonderful time.

He said: “My visits around the UK are such a blast. I am just so impressed, excited, humbled and moved. You know there is something powerful afoot when you witness first-hand the amazing energy, commitment and dedication of so many.

“The great stories are too numerous to tell, but what shines through every group and Scout I met is the deep rooted conviction that together we are all part of something special.”

The Barrwood was first used as a Scout training site at the suggestion of Captain Ian Bolton in the spring of 1922. On June 9, 1946, Sir Ian Bolton donated the Barrwood to the Trustees to be managed by them on behalf of the Scouts in Falkirk District.