A Courtenay teen was presented with a prestigious award from Scouts Canada in front of thousands of onlookers at the Pacific Jamboree, a week-long youth camp held every four years. This year’s event was held in Sooke in July.
Cole Warren, a 14-year-old student at Vanier Secondary and a member of 3rd Courtenay Scouts, received the Jack Cornwell Award, named after the young English scout who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross after being mortally wounded during the First World War. The award is given to youth who display ‘high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance.’
Born three months premature, Cole has cerebral palsy. He has undergone three ankle surgeries in the last three years. In March, he had double ankle surgery, but only missed two meetings. Fellow scouters pushed him in his wheelchair and kept him part of the team as they prepared for the jamboree.
Heather Robertson, who has known Cole the past nine years as his school-based physiotherapist, recalls he completed a targeted exercise program three times a week, during his elementary years, to strengthen specific muscles that were weak.
“He is the most disciplined student that I have ever worked with,” Robertson states in a letter of support. “Without fail, he is the first student to contact me by email each September and politely ask when he can start his routine. He shows such initiative!”