The Duchess of Cambridge puts her sailing knowledge to use while working with youngsters

By Simon Perry
Updated April 27, 2012 01:15 PM
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Away from the posh frocks and official royal appearances, the Duchess of Cambridge has quietly found some rewardingly work volunteering with kids – helping scouts near her home on Anglesey in North Wales.

Keeping the promise she made in January as she announced her official charities, Kate, 30, has been spending time with youngsters and even putting her knowledge of sailing to use in the process.

“She’s used her experience as a sailor to help them with knotting,” a local scouting source tells PEOPLE. “She’s been involved in managing games and joining in art and crafts activities. … We also pitched tents indoors in one of the sessions, and she remembered pitching tents.”

Kate, who was a Brownie alongside her sister Pippa, has mostly worked with cubs aged 8 to 10, but also with some teenage explorer scouts.

“She’s clearly getting a lot out of it,” the source adds. “Everybody’s taken to her well. I don’t know anybody who would not take to her well. She’s a very nice personality. She’s showing that even very busy people can find some time in their diaries to help out in a volunteering capacity.”

As Kate’s first wedding anniversary marked on Sunday, this is another step in a year that’s been widely hailed as a success. In that year, Kate has joined her husband William on a royal tour of Canada and Los Angeles, carried out solo duties, made her first speech and stepped out with Queen Elizabeth.

“She has taken to it like a duck to water,” says Penny Junor, author of the upcoming Prince William: Born to be King. “She fits really into that family.”