A CHESTER man who helped change the image of Scouting from “baggy shorts and big hats” to “adventure” is to be awarded an OBE.

David Bull, 70, has clocked up 50 years as an adult volunteer with the Scouts, and even helped the organisation spread into Eastern Europe following the end of the Cold War.

His name is included on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to young people in the UK and Europe through the Scout Movement.

Mr Bull, who lives with wife Janet at their home in Westminster Park, Chester, said his OBE had been totally unexpected.

He told the Leader: “It was a surprise, that’s for sure; it’s something you never expect. It’s personally gratifying of course but is also a recognition of the wider youth movement of Scouting as well.

“It’s difficult to say what exactly I did to earn this; I had a good time mostly!”

Over the years Mr Bull, who has four grandchildren, has represented the Scouts on a local, national and international levels, helping to bring the movement to more than 40 countries worldwide.

He was the organisation’s international commissioner for nine years until 2008 and is now a local trustee and secretary of British Scouting Overseas.

Mr Bull joined the Scouts as an adult volunteer at the age of 18 and saw first-hand the spread of the movement into countries such as Poland after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

Scouting is moving from strength to strength, he said, and has strong support in the Chester area where there are about 1,500 members across 20 groups.

The key to its success was to move with the times and adapt to changing needs and perceptions, according to Mr Bull, who used to work for Cheshire County Council.

He said: “If we had stayed as an organisation of people in baggy shorts and big hats, it would have been a disaster. 

“Now it’s about the adventure we provide. If kids have a good time together, they can learn lots together too. That’s what Scouting has always been about, an informal education, learning by doing.”