A Pembroke Cub Scout will see her design for a Dydd Gŵyl Dewi/St David’s Day blanket badge on sale at the national Scout Store, after winning a competition organised by ScoutsCymru, the Welsh Scouting organisation.

Levi Byrne, a Cub at of 2nd Pembroke Scout Group, was presented with the very first badge featuring her design, as well as a certificate, by her local Member of the Senedd Samuel Kurtz.

Mr Kurtz, Senedd Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire and the Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs and the Welsh Language, attended the Cubs’ weekly session to present eight-year-old Levi with the framed badge and certificate.

He also spent time talking to the youngsters, who are all aged between 8 and 10 and a half, about his role at the Senedd, as well as answering their questions about democracy in Wales.

Close to 200 Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers from across Wales entered the competition to create the new Dydd Gŵyl Dewi/St David’s Day badge which promotes and celebrates Welsh culture.

The judges chose Levi’s entry because of its simple and effective design, the focus on the daffodil as the national flower of Wales, and the distinctive red background.

Levi’s winning design will be on sale at The Scout Store online shop from February 15, in plenty of time for St David’s Day on March 1, and closely follows the launch of the bilingual Diolch/Thank you badge which launched on February 1.

Levi's badge design
Levi's badge design (Pic supplied)

Blanket badges do not require Scouting members to complete any challenges or activities and are not worn on a uniform; they are fun and meaningful badges to add to a collection, and often sewn on a camp blanket or poncho.

Levi was delighted with her win, saying: “I chose a daffodil because it’s the national emblem for Wales and people wear them on St David’s Day. They are one of my favourite flowers and I like how bright they are.”

She added: “When my mum and dad told me I had won, I was super happy and excited to see what my badge would turn out like. I hope everyone likes my badge when they see it and I hope it makes them smile too.”

Levi’s parents Charlene and Andrew Byrne added: “Levi wanted the design to have three daffodils – one for her, one for her brother Oakley and one for her sister Miley.

“After spending some time looking at how to draw daffodils, she got to work. Originally she left the background white and had only coloured it red the day before entering it into the competition.”

Levi Byrne St David's Dsay Badge presentation
(Pic supplied)

Charlene said that the whole family were thrilled by her achievement.

“This is the first time she has ever won anything and we are so proud of her. We picked her up from school that afternoon and read the email out to her. I don’t think she had quite absorbed what we were saying to her,” she said.

“She thought the badge was solely for her and nobody else. When we explained to her that it was for all Scouts across Wales and beyond, this massive grin from ear to ear appeared. It was priceless.”

Charlene added that joining Cubs had been a hugely positive experience for Levi.

She said: “Going to Cubs helps Levi work on her strengths and weaknesses while keeping things fun, and it gives her the opportunity to develop her skills and knowledge.

“The mental and physical wellbeing benefits of her going to Cubs is of huge importance to us, and this opportunity would not have been possible if there were no volunteers like Alex and the rest of the team at 2nd Pembroke Scouts.

“Levi’s sister Miley joined Scouts the same time that Levi and her brother Oakley joined Cubs. They all love it. There’s always something different to do and learn and they love the little adventures and the sense of achievement when they earn their badges.

“They inspire each other and it’s a good way for us as a family to talk about different things.”

Alex Pett, Cub leader at 2nd Pembroke Scout Group, said: “We always encourage the Cubs to take part in badge design competitions that come up as it's a great way to see their individual interpretation of the requirements and their creativity.

“I was super excited for Levi when I found out her badge design had won. The smile on her face when we told the other Cubs was contagious; everyone was very happy for her. When I told them that we will be having a special guest to present her with her design as the actual badge at Cubs she giggled with excitement.”

Samuel Kurtz, Senedd Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs and the Welsh Language, added: “It was a pleasure to join 2nd Pembroke Scout Group to present Levi with a framed copy of her fantastic St David’s Day badge.

“It goes without saying how important St David’s Day is in Wales and I am delighted that a member of a local Scout group has designed a badge that will be worn by Scout members across the UK. A huge thanks and well done to all the Cubs from across Wales who entered.

“It was a joy to see how enthusiastic the Cubs were, and I hope they enjoyed me sharing with them a little about my role as a Senedd Member as much as I enjoyed joining them for the presentation.”

Levi Byrne St David's Dsay Badge presentation with Sam Kurtz MS
(Pic supplied)

Kerrie Gemmill, Director of ScoutsCymru, said: “When I speak with friends and family about Scouts, regardless of age, they usually recall the excitement and pride of earning, collecting and displaying their badges.

“Very few though, had the opportunity and honour of designing a badge as important as the Dydd Gŵyl Dewi badge. This is such a significant badge for us in Wales and, as a youth-led movement, it was important that young people were involved in its creation, with nearly 200 wonderful entries received from young people across Wales.

“The story behind Levi’s design is just wonderful and contains all the elements of our Scouting values. We send a great big ScoutsCymru llongyfarchiadau to Levi and we can’t wait to see her badge appearing on camp blankets across Wales and beyond.”

The ScoutsCymru St David’s Day Dydd Gŵyl Dewi badge will be on sale at The Scouts Store from Thursday, February 15, with the Diolch/Thank you badge already available to buy, priced at £1.80 each.

You can buy them online here: https://shop.scouts.org.uk/