Martin Luther King said that “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge.”
As Regional Commissioner I am very proud of how South East Scotland Region have responded to the ongoing challenges as we have seen volunteers finding new and innovative ways to keep on Scouting during the current suspension of face to face activities.
Keeping on Scouting
Following the success of the #SESSleepOut challenge, we have continued to see members of Scouting from across the Region joining in virtual events and coming up with different ways to take part in the Game of Scouting while unable to meet together.
Hike to the Moon saw youth members from all sections along with adult volunteers hiking a mile at home or as part of their daily exercise to raise money for the Big Night In Appeal. Well done to all our members who took part and helped Scouts to smash their target of £240,000 (£1 for every mile to the moon). We also saw many members taking part in Jamboree on the Trail earlier this month. JOTT usually involves hiking as a group, but whilst we could not do this this year many Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Network and adult volunteers joined in the lockdown JOTT by donning their necker and going for a walk on their own or with their family. It was brilliant to see all of the photographs shared on Social Media as Scouting continued to join us together even whilst we cannot meet in person.
Rhys, 114th Braid, takes part in Hike to the Moon
Hilary, East Lothian District Commissioner, joins in JOTT
It has also been great to see groups and districts running events. I know that Craigalmond District were disappointed to have to cancel their district wide Really Big Camp due to the lockdown but was very impressed to see the Virtual Really Big Camp run instead with more than 500 members of the district joining camping in their gardens or in dens and taking part in the challenges including a necker walking trail and a special video challenge set by District Commissioner Mark Hesketh. I followed the event on social media over the weekend and loved seeing what our adults and young people produced as did Sharkey, our Scottish Chief Commissioner, who sent a special message to those who took part in the event.
Last weekend, Midlothian District ran their #MidJam event with young people from all sections camping over the weekend and taking part in a huge variety of challenges set by the organising team, including throwing a teabag into a mug from the furthest distance and making a sandwich with one hand. A particular highlight was the virtual campfire with contributions from young people and leaders from across the district.
These are just a small selection of the events and activities that have been going on to allow members to keep on Scouting during lockdown and I want to thank all of you for the opportunities you continue to provide to young people, even in these difficult circumstances. Mike Treanor, our Scouting Support Officer continues to identify ideas to allow us to Keep on Scouting and the newly updated Programmes page is available on the Regional website.
Keep an eye out for an exciting Regional event coming up with a Solstice Sleep Out being planned for 20th June. More details will be coming out soon!
Continuing to Support Adult Volunteers
As well as continuing to support the young people in our sections across the Region, the COVID-19 lockdown hasn’t stopped us continuing to support our adult volunteers with many activities which would have been provided face to face moving to a virtual version. A few of the many examples of this are:
- The first running of virtual wood badge training. Many thanks to Mary Dick (ARC Adult Training) and her team of Regional Trainers who ran the first module virtually and now have a programme of modules being provided in the coming weeks. Please see the Regional training calendar for upcoming sessions.
- Virtual Appointment Advisory Committees. This month’s Regional Newsletter included an excellent article on how Districts are starting to move their AACs online.
- Executive Committees. Many district and group executive committees as well as the Regional executive committee are now meeting virtually and continuing to fulfil their duties as trustees.
- Longcraig. I have been very impressed with how Malcolm Leckie, Ian Harrower and the Longcraig Active Support Unit continue to work on supporting each other and our Regional Centre even whilst they cannot meet together including weekly update e-mails, fortnightly virtual ASU meetings, promotion of virtual watersports material and planning recruitment and fundraising activities.
Last month, I highlighted the importance of taking care of our mental wellbeing and the Scouts #Threefor3 campaign. Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week and we saw this highlighted across the Region’s Social Media channels. As part of this we saw some members sharing their #Threefor3 actions to look after their mental health during the lockdown and then nominate 3 others to do likewise. I was nominated by Graeme Robertson, Vice Chair of the Regional Executive, so thought I would share my #Threefor3 with you here:
- Contact family members every day
- Go for a walk every day
- Think of one thing to be grateful for every day.
I hope that you and your families stay safe and as ever I want to thank you all for everything that you have done and continue to do for Scouting in South East Scotland.
Margery Naylor on behalf of all the members of the Regional Leadership Team
Scottish Charity Registration: SC010563