Travelling the world as a Scout leader

Scout leader Richard Coghlan in the Swiss Alps
Scout leader Richard Coghlan in the Swiss Alps
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Rebecca Traynor runs Traditional Fish and Chips, in Fareham and meets all sorts of interesting people. Here she praises a fellow businessman and Scout leader.

THIS year Richard Coghlan is celebrating his 40th year working in the family business, M Coghlan funeral directors, in Westbury Road, Fareham, which has been going for 155 years.

But Richard, who is also known as Cogy, spends most of his spare time climbing mountains as a Scout leader.

Being a qualified mountain leader and also a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Assessor, Richard likes to camp in wild mountain places.

Many readers may know Richard because he has helped run international Scout camps for more than 40 years.

He has taken Scouts to New Hampshire, USA, Germany, and the French Alps.

He spends a lot of time with the Explorer Scouts and Network Scouts.

He teaches them self-reliance, teamwork and instils confidence in them.

In July, Richard supervised several groups in Wales and the Lake District.

In August he accompanied Hampshire Scouts on a trip to Switzerland where more than 160 Scouts from Fareham travelled to the Kanderstag International Scout Centre.

While there, the Scouts enjoyed hiking, white water rafting, mountain kite surfing, swimming in glacial lakes, ice climbing and eating chocolate and cheese.

They visited Bern and stayed in a mountain hut.

Richard said International Scout Camps are great fun and provide an opportunity to meet Scouts from different nations and it’s great to share stories around the camp fire in the evenings.

In Switzerland they participated in international events such as pioneering projects with a mix of people from different countries, and played lots of team games.

Richard added: ‘The great thing in Switzerland is that you can catch a cable car up to the top of the mountain, this saves walking up 800m plus – which is the height of a British mountain.

‘Kanderstag campsite is the same height as Ben Nevis, and with the lovely heat and sun it was quite hard during the mid-afternoon to walk up the mountains.

‘In the Alps hikers set out early which was a bit of a shock for the teenagers in the Scouts.’

Richard’s wife Pippa also helped out at the camp site over the two weeks as a first aider.

And he recommends being a Scout leader to anyone because it’s so much fun.

Richard is a member of the Rotary Club of Fareham, Fareham Musical Society – where he plays the organ – and helps with youth groups at Fareham Community Church.