82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Scouts Easter Camp 2023

82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Scouts Easter Camp 2023

Kirstie Armsworth

Quick links

Lapwing Lodge

We set off for camp at Lapwing Lodge on a beautiful Good Friday with 24 Scouts and 8 Leaders. Lapwing Lodge is a Scout facility, located in “rural Paisley”. After an easy drive, we arrived and quickly got all the kit into the centre, allocated the Scouts to their rooms, and introduced the camp theme – Scottish Inventors with 4 Patrols – Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, Alexander Fleming, and James Watt. After a tour of the site to define the boundaries and facilities, the Scouts took advantage of the good weather playing volleyball, rugby, and boules.  

Their first task after dinner was to build a structure/item related to their patrol inventor. The Scouts quickly embraced the theme, with some brilliant creativity and the outputs were fabulous including a Juice Machine which dispensed medicinal juice!! We also set the Camp Challenge, which asked Scouts to undertake 20 physical and mental challenges or tasks during the camp, to earn points for their patrol – most of the Scouts immediately took up the challenge so we knew then we were going to have a great camp. We rounded off the first day with a campfire where the Scouts led the singing for an hour or so before flag down.  

Saturday morning brought more sunshine and after a massive breakfast and the first camp inspection including cleaning the kitchen, toilets, hall, and dorms (the Scouts earn their keep!!) we headed off to Glennifer Park to do an Incident Hike. The Scouts had to undertake various challenges at a number of bases including doing an Easter quiz, knots, getting through a minefield, eating dark chocolate (not as easy as you might think), manoeuvring marbles, and shooting a promotional video for Scouts. In the afternoon, the Scouts (and a brave Leader) did a seesaw challenge on the high ropes facility and also planted 100 new trees in the grounds of the centre. In the evening the Scouts did a fantastic widegame where again they had to undertake various mental and physical challenges to gain some answers to enable them to solve the overall challenge by using Morse Code. The Scouts slept very well on the second night.  

On Easter Sunday we did a “Scouts Own” session based on theme of “protecting the environment” which resulted in an excellent discussion on what the Scouts would “refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle”. We then did our traditional Easter Egg Hunt on the site – some of the eggs were found much quicker than others. In the afternoon the Scouts entered the Escape Room, and I am glad to say the three age groups were all able to solve the clues and escape within the allocated hour. We also did a Mountain Bike ride in the grounds of the centre and then challenged the Scouts to invent, build and fly their own aeroplane the furthest – some great outcomes. After dinner we had a games-night including giant Jenga, giant Connect 4, and a “tights with a ball” obstacle challenge. Then we did one of the highlights of the camp – Sumo wrestling which the leaders thoroughly enjoyed watching – what a laugh!!  

Monday was “skills day” where the Scouts went round 4 bases – first aid (where they learned to put someone in the recovery position, how to undertake CPR and how to help someone who is choking); cooking (where they made lentil soup, brownies and chocolate chip cookies); navigation (where they learned how to read a compass and take bearings) and pioneering (where they made an A-frame with rope lashings/whippings). We also supplemented these skills with a “knot of the day” and it was great to see many of our Scouts developing this important scout skill during the course of the camp. We also had the opportunity to talk about “prusik knots” with a professional arborist who was doing some work on the trees in the centre. In the afternoon, we took advantage of the good weather and had a game of rounders, where we found some of the leaders are not quite as agile and they would like! After dinner, we settled down in our improvised cinema with popcorn to watch a film linked to the theme “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs”. Then we had a final campfire where it was great to see Scouts leading the singing rounded off with Flower of Scotland.  

We finished the camp on Tuesday with a big breakfast and a big clean up before flag down and presentation of the camp prizes.  

So, a superb camp, helped by the good weather and the fact the Scouts were so well behaved, got involved so enthusiastically in the activities and got on so well with each other – hopefully lots of good memories were made and skills developed. When asked for their highlights, it was great to hear the Scouts talk about different elements of the camp showing how diverse it was in terms of the activities that were provided.  

A massive thanks to the leader team for giving up their time, preparing the activities and for being such good colleagues and friends and to our host Ross, who supported us so well.  

The Leader Team – Duncan, Eilidh, Gillian, Hannah, James, Karen, Mike, Paul  

Mike Treanor Scout Leader, 82nd Craigalmond Scouts 

Greenbank Jumble Sale Breaks Records

Greenbank Jumble Sale Breaks Records

The 4th Braid Scout Group and the Greenbank Explorer Scout Unit run an annual Jumble Sale – a rare event now in Edinburgh. This year’s Sale, on Saturday 15 April, broke all records, raising over £12,000 for the Unit and Group funds. 

They’re based at Greenbank Parish Church and work very closely together throughout the year, sharing equipment and a flexible leadership team. At Jumble Sale time, they take over the entire premises, except the church itself. So the Sale has four halls, crammed with jumble ranging from toys and games in the Upper Hall, through bric-a-brac, jewellery, electricals and pictures In the Main Hall and books, CDs/DVDs and home baking in the Lower Hall, to clothes and soft furnishings in the Centenary Hall. The stalls spill out into the church garden and forecourt, which accommodate bikes, gardening equipment and plants and luggage. It’s an amazing sight! 

The Jumble Sale is a lot of work, involving over 80 adult helpers and about the same number of young people. But it’s great fun, bringing the different sections and different generations together. It attracts a lot of customers too – over 800 paying adults, plus children who come free. The proceeds are used to keep equipment in good condition and to reduce the cost to families of membership and of activities such as the many camps organised by the Unit and Group the year. 

SEEE expeditions

SEEE expeditions

South East Explorer Expeditions (SEEE) - expeditions coming up, and adults can join in the fun

Training has continued, particularly with the 25 Braid Bronzes who were at Greenbank on Friday 21 April. 

  • > The Braid Bronze training and expedition takes place in the middle of May. 
  • > Silver and Gold Hillwalking expeditions are lined up for after the exams: Practices in June, Qualifiers in August and September.
  • > The Biking Silver expeditions are being actively planned, and leaders recruited.
  • > Some Bronzes from other Districts will do their training and expedition with their own Unit, but there will be another SEEE expedition for those not covered by that. 
  • > The paddlers completed their Practice expeditions in April, and final preparations are being made towards the Qualifying Expeditions in June and August on Loch Tay and The Great Glen respectively.

Can you help? We would still welcome more helpers for Biking, Hillwalking and Paddling.  If you have received a message asking whether you could help on particular dates, please reply.  If you did not, then contact us using https://form.jotform.com/sesscouts/find-out-about-seee

David, John and Steve for SEEE

Bonaly News and Opportunities

Bonaly News and Opportunities

The 2023 Bonaly Outdoor Cooking Competition

Congratulations to all the Scouts that took part in the 2023 Bonaly Outdoor Cooking Competition, the food this year was exceptional! 

Our judges were treated to flat breads with foraged wild leek and garlic, fresh salmon with asparagus, vegetable chilli, creps, chocolate orange cake, Thai green curry, pizza, garlic and rosemary bread, salsa and guacamole, chocolate brownies, chicken fajitas and loads more.  

Thanks for coming guys, we really were amazed with the way you all worked together to produce such great food. Hopefully we will see you again next year. 

1st place – 1st Aberlady Scouts 

2nd place – 26th Craigalmond Scouts 

3rd place – 1st North Berwick Scouts 

1st Aberlady Scouts - Winners

FREE Leaders Day – “Traditional Scouting Skills” Development Opportunity. Sunday 14th of May 10:30 – 15:00

We often hear from some leaders that they would like an opportunity to develop or refresh their personal skills in some of the activities traditionally associated with Scouting – this is your chance to come to and “be a Scout” for a day!  

You will be pitching a patrol tent, building fires and tying knots. This will be a fun day where Leaders get the chance to share ideas and pick up a few tips from the Bonaly team.  

For more information and to book a place, please contact events@bonaly.org.uk 

Please note that places are limited. 

Longcraig – Facilities upgrade is almost complete!

Longcraig – Facilities upgrade is almost complete!

New Building – Facilities Upgrade

Primer coating on floors
Wet wall cladding fitted

Unfortunately, a few supply delays and a contractor turning up with the wrong material contributed to a short delay which has taken our completion date just into the beginning of May. 

In the grand scheme of things, some delays were anticipated and are not uncommon with building projects, as details emerge of things that were perhaps not known about or were not quite as expected. However, no serious issues have arisen, and as you can see from the photos, there is clear signs of the upgrades to be seen. The final steps included new waterproof  and easy-clean flooring, as well as testing and proving all the new plumbing fittings like the showers, toilet flushing, and wash basins.  

Unfortunately, this short delay has had an impact on a very small number of our early May bookings, and we apologise again to those groups affected by this. We’ve worked hard to help them reschedule to alternative dates, or to arrange different activities – for once we can say that some unhelpful tides have helped a little bit as there were a number of days in May especially where the low tides at the wrong time meant that we weren’t able to offer activities on some of the dates anyway! Normally, that’s a Bad Thing, this year it’s fair to say it’s more of a Good Thing! 

We will be delighted to welcome groups back very shortly and equally delighted to show people around our new facilities. 

What’s left to do? 

Before we can fully re-open the Centre, we still have a number of key tasks to complete which are of course now going to be compressed into a shorter timescale. But, we’re well on the way with some of these as we have been able to get some boat preparation work done outside at the weekends, so that’s a help. 

If any small groups of adults or explorers or older scouts would like to contribute a few hours towards all of this, please get in touch! As May progresses, we will have more and more opportunity to get set about these separate tasks and we would be delighted to accept any offers of help from willing volunteers. We can trade that help in the usual way by offering some boating time later in the year, perhaps over the summer, as a thank you for any work done in this way! 

New water heater in kitchen
New pipes and pumps for showers

Training Course News

The following course has been planned for later in the year: RYA Dinghy Sailing Level 2/3: Weekend 29/30 July – 2 day course. 

Open to people who have done a little bit of sailing but wish to become more competent, gain a qualification, or perhaps to lead towards an activity permit. This course will also cover a number of proficiency badges and awards in the scouting programme! 

For more details of this and other training opportunities that are possible, please get in touch and discuss your needs, whether for adults or for young people. We can then advise on the best solution to help you meet those requirements. 

Please contact us at bookings@longcraig.info 

Volunteering Opportunities and Events

Longcraig is run entirely by a team of volunteers, both for our activities on the water and for things onshore and around and throughout the Centre. To help us ensure we can meet the growing demands from young people and our growing scouting movement, we need to keep increasing our band of volunteers to enable us to keep pace. 

We have opportunities for volunteers to help out on the water – either qualified or unqualified (in which case we will help you reach a qualification so you can gain some skills and take a more responsible volunteering role). 

We have opportunities for land-based volunteers who help operate the Centre. Sometimes these require admin skills, but sometimes we need folks who can run a range of land-based activities which supplement our programme.  

And sometimes it’s just people, who work behind the scenes, perhaps covering promotion activities, recruitment, fund raising, or assisting with the book keeping, bookings, or even keeping the equipment in good order. Or it could be helping run the kitchen to provide catering or just simply cups of tea to the other volunteers! 

But, best of all – volunteering to help at Longcraig doesn’t involve a regular weekly commitment as you would expect to need to run a section of scouts (squirrels, beavers, cubs, scouts, etc) – we can accommodate volunteering at a time and pace that suits you! 

We are holding open sessions in the next few weeks to meet potential volunteers and explain what we do. We’d be delighted if you could pop along to one of these sessions, All we ask is that you pre-register with us so we know how many are likely to come along (and we can arrange the necessary facilities/resources)        

The next dates set up for this are as follows: 

Tuesday 16 May  – Longcraig 7pm 

 Friday 16 June  – Longcraig 7pm 

These meetings will be held at the time shown above, starting off with tea and cake, followed by some brief presentations and an opportunity to discuss what we do and how we do it. And, more importantly, how you might fit in to that too! And we will have people on hand to answer any questions that you may have too! And, a tour of the new upgraded facilities!! 

Please simply contact us at getinvolved@longcraig.info with your preferred meeting date and your contact details. 

We’ll take care of the rest! 

Help support our Finances with Money for Nothing!

Remember you can help us raise funds for Longcraig to support training and equipment upgrades every time you go shopping (online). It costs you nothing, but every time you shop from one of the 7000+ retailers we will get a donation from the retailer. 

To get started, you need to sign up to Easyfundraising on behalf of Longcraig Scout Centre at this link. 

Watch the short video there which explains how it all works! 

Opportunity for Explorers!

Opportunity for Explorers!

Explorer Scouts - apply now to volunteer at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2023

Unique Volunteer Opportunity - Apply Now!!!!

We are looking for enthusiastic and confident Explorer Scouts to be part of the sales team to sell programmes on the stands at the Castle esplanade to the Tattoo’s home and international audience as they go to their seats.

You will need to be available for about five or six nights between 3rd and 26th August 2022.

You will be on duty from 8pm until approx 9.45pm on weeknights and from 4.45pm until 9.45pm on a Saturday.

Explorers can possibly use the event to complete sections of their badge work or towards a section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Unique Volunteer Opportunity – Apply Now!!!!

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million. But there’s no substitute for being there, as part of the 217,000-strong audience over its three-week season at Edinburgh Castle. As a member of Scouting you can become part of it. The Scouts in Edinburgh has been part of this fantastic experience since the first Tattoo in 1950 and you could be part of its magic!
If you are interested, then please complete the attached form and return it by email to sue.timmins@sesscouts.org.uk by 19th June 2022. For further information please contact Sue Liddle 07954 386571.