As a relatively new Group Scout Leader at 31st Pentland I am delighted to report that we have managed to ‘buck the trend’ of declining numbers and let you know that we have not only managed to start up a second Beaver Colony, but also boost our numbers of leaders.

We have managed to recruit the following adult volunteers to our team: –

  • Paul Bluefield (Section Assistant, Tuesday Cubs)
  • Donald John Morrison (Assistant Beaver Scout Leader, Wednesday Beavers)
  • Hazel McCormack (Assistant Beaver Scout Leader, Wednesday Beavers)
  • Millie Addison (Assistant Beaver Scout Leader, Wednesday Beavers – former YL)
  • Kenny Milton (Beaver Scout Leader, Thursday Beavers)
  • Chris Laing (Assistant Beaver Scout Leader, Thursday Beavers)

So please join me in welcoming all these new adults who have stepped up to help us continue to run our existing sections and set up our new Beaver colony.

Our set up at 31st was 1 Beaver Colony, 2 Cub Packs and 1 Scout section.  We were aware that we had a bit of a hefty waiting list, but we did not have visibility of it until Mary Dick (Cub Scout Leader, Monday) created a joining list on OSM.  Once that was set up and we had visibility, I was a bit concerned at just how many youngsters we had waiting for Beavers and often, they would remain there until a space became available at Cubs and by then, they had often lost interest in Scouting.

I reached out to our Exec Chair to see if we had capacity to set up an additional Beaver Colony and emailed out to all parents on the waiting list to see if there were any possible leaders willing to take it on.

Fortunately, two parents stepped up (Kenny and Chris), a new Young Leader came forward (Katie Dew). and we had some availability in the hall on a Thursday evening.   In addition, Elaine Mason and Millie Addison agreed we could ‘crib’ the Wednesday Beaver programme, and they volunteered to lead our new section between them to get us started.  So, on a very rainy 20th May, we welcomed 8 new Beavers to go Pond Dipping led by Millie with myself, Kenny, Chris, and Katie supporting.  The following week, we were up to 11, and by the 3rd of June we were up to 13!

We have run a variety of programmes, with Elaine, Millie or me taking the lead.  Feedback from Beavers and parents has been incredibly supportive and positive, and I constantly have a wee smile on my face at how everyone in 31st has pulled together to get this new section up and running.  After the summer holidays, we may have an additional two Assistant Beaver Scout Leaders joining our Thursday team to allow me to step back from being so actively involved, and we have offered out 4 additional spaces all of which have been accepted.  We plan a joint Wednesday and Thursday summer planning session taking into account feedback from the Log Chews held with our Beavers prior to end of term.

It just remains for me to say a huge thank to the whole leadership team at 31st for their welcome and support since I started back in September 2020.  I have been so impressed with the whole team have ensuring that our young people have experienced no gaps in their Scouting throughout the pandemic.


In addition, Mark Gordon (ADC Beavers), Keith Bryce (Pentland DC) and Martin Elliot (SES Regional Commissioner) all braved an incredibly rainy Thursday evening on 24th June to help provide the Thursday Beavers and their families a fun activities evening, a sausage sizzle, and an absolutely epic water fight.  It seems that the Beavers, parents, and Young Leader assumed the adult leadership team were the fairest game of all – soaked doesn’t begin to describe how wet we ended up!  Huge thanks to Mark, Keith, and Martin for being brilliant volunteers and tremendous sports.

Aileen Deas
GSL 31st Pentland