1st Midlothian – Mini Highland Games

1st Midlothian – Mini Highland Games

The Beaver and Cub Scouts from the 1st Midlothian, took part in a Mini Highland Games on Sunday 12th September at Borthwick Scout Campsite in Midlothian.

Watch a mini highlights video below:


Once everyone was sorted into a Clan the games began.

Haggis hurling was great fun.  Everyone showed their strength by tossing the caber.  We tossed the hammer and wanged wellies too.  We played wide games and had a hilarious tug of war.

I asked the question why every event involved throwing something and was rewarded with the answer “because Scottish people like to show they are very strong”.

Everyone managed to squeeze in a bit of time to enjoy S’mores and sing some camp fire songs.

There ain’t no flies on any of these guys!

We finished with a walk through the woods to Borthwick Castle where the parents were waiting.

Everyone is working towards achieving their Thistle Award along with Outdoor and Adventure Challenge.

Our Group Chair John, Group Treasurer Lesley, Brian the ACSL and out new Beaver Leaders Chris and Sian all worked very hard to make the day possible.   The Beavers, Cubs and adults all had a fantastic fun filled day and hopefully went home as tired as me.

Jo Whiting

Cub Scout Leader
1st Midlothian Gorebridge Scout Group
A lookback at WW2 – 4th Leith Rover’s Newsletter Bulletin

A lookback at WW2 – 4th Leith Rover’s Newsletter Bulletin

80 years ago, on 26th September 1941, the first of a monthly series of newsletters was published by the 4th Leith (now the 104th Edinburgh North East) Rovers. The newsletters continued until December 1946. At that time, Rovers was the oldest scout section, with scouts joining the unit at age 17.

The Rover “Crew” was a tight knit group of friends who were separated due to World War Two. Wherever they were across the globe; in the military (either active or in Prisoner of War camps) or civilian services, the 4th Leith Rover Bulletin kept members in touch with each other.

Over the course of 60 monthly newsletters, these remarkable documents allow us to track each member of the remarkable Crew throughout the war years, showing us where they all were (exact locations were sometimes censored) and what they got up to.

To celebrate, and remember the positive spirit of the Crew, Edinburgh North East have digitised the typewritten originals, and intend to publish each copy of the Bulletin 80 years to the day when it was first published. Readers can either keep an eye on our group website (see below) or subscribe to our the Edinburgh North East Twitter account (@104thENEScouts) which will notify readers when each newsletter is published.

We hope readers will enjoy following the exploits of the Crew and, to help us develop a fuller picture of each individual, we would welcome input from any members of the scouting family who may have known, or know of, any of the individuals involved. The newsletters can be accessed from the Group website:

WW2 4th Leith Rover’s Bulletin – 104th Edinburgh and Leith (104thedinburghne.co.uk)

Longcraig Update October 2021

Longcraig Update October 2021

EmaiLongcraig continues to attract marine visitors! 

We’ve seen dolphins, whales, rare shearwaters – now this one is a bit less plausible! 

We had a sighting of sardines in the Forth in August. 

The photo shows the evidence, but we don’t think it likely to become an invasion! 

 Longcraigs Oct

***Longcraig Road update*** 

Following a recent enquiry to our local councillors, we were advised that the road repairs to the Longcraig road were scheduled to take place ‘in mid September’. Not sure if that’s when the work will start, when it will finish, or if it will all be over in a flash! Anyway, it’s now clear that it certainly wasn’t the finish, evidence shows it wasn’t when the work would be carried out, indeed (at the time of writing) – it’s not even started yet!  

So we do strongly recommend that anyone visiting Longcraig or indeed into Dalmeny Estate on foot or on cycle, by way of Longcraig Road, please take a flashing yellow beacon so you can be located if you fall into one of our significant potholes! Hopefully better news to report next month!! 


Adventurous Activity Permits 

These permits are a requirement for a number of ‘adventurous activities’ but our principal interest of course, is around Scouts and young people taking part in water based adventurous activities. It’s not just the instructors and ASU members at Longcraig who might need to hold an appropriate Permit. Any adult leading or supporting a water based activity needs to have an appropriate Activity Permit to do so – unless you are operating on Class C water where you still require the approval of your District Commissioner (DC) to do so. 

The process for gaining an Activity Permit is similar across all adventurous activities whether these are hill, mountain, snow, or water, and are described here: 

There are four areas assessed to gain a permit: 

  • Technical Competence 

This looks at the specific technical skills required to run the activity. It is usually assessed through a practical assessment although other evidence such as logged experience and other qualifications held can help as well. There is an assessment checklist for each activity listing the skills that will be assessed. 

  • Scout Association Rules 

This checks whether the applicant is aware of the activity Rules and how they affect the activity within Scouting. 

  • Safeguarding 

This is not for applicants who are under 18. 

This will be carried out by the Commissioner or their nominee and ensures that the necessary personal enquiry checks have been carried out and the appropriate safeguarding training (module 1) has taken place. 

  • Personal Suitability 

This is to check the applicant is suitable (in terms of attitude, health for the activity involved etc) to be leading an adventurous activity for young people. 

How does it work? Like this: 

 Longcraigs Oct

You will find all the guidance, application forms, log books, etc on the scouts website under ‘Activities’ or ask your District Activities Adviser of you have one, or head to the Region Activities Advisers by emailing the Region’s Manager of Activity Permits – MAPS@Sesscouts.org.uk

Our team at Longcraig is here to support any aspirations you might have to lead water activities, whether through guidance in the permit scheme, to providing assessments required for the issue of a permit, to simply provisioning enough ‘time on the water’ for people to develop their own skills and experience. Give us a shout if this is something we can help out with! 



Planning ahead for 2022 – part 2 

Last month we suggested a few ideas which groups and sections might wish to think about for activity days next year (assuming we all get back to a near normal). 

This month we focus on another key product which does need some planning ahead, that is Training Courses. Training courses vary from activity to activity, but they can be just one day, often a weekend duration, and sometimes it can require a whole week. But, many of us go to work, school, college etc., so a ‘week’ can be made up of a series of weekends, or single days, or even a list of evenings, so long as it adequately and fully covers the syllabus of what is being trained. 

And training courses can be arranged for just individuals, if you have a scout or a leader who has a particular aptitude to develop a skill; it can be for a small group of eager folks who want to get a step further up the ladder; or it can be for a larger group, especially if you have a specific themed programme of your own which a training course can contribute to. 

Training is not just all about getting in boats and developing physical skills! We can also offer First Aid courses (with a maritime bias to them); VHF marine radio competence courses; and specific courses which can cover one or more aspects of watery kind of things without even getting your feet wet – from navigation, to tides and weather stuff, to how boats go together, even to some simple boat building / maintenance aspects. Just enquire and see what could be available! 

We can help with any or all of these things – but they need forward planning! 

If you are having any inklings of thoughts in this direction, please get in touch with us over the next few weeks as we also start to put our calendars and diaries together. The earlier we can get involved, the better we can plan our support for your event or skills training requirements. 



Paddleboarding continues 

A few of us ventured out onto Loch Ard in the Trossachs one warm but misty day in September for a paddleboard tour of the loch. Despite the gloominess of the weather, it was a good opportunity to explore some gentle inland water among some marvellous scenery. And the sun came out almost as soon as we finished and sat down for a well earned cup of coffee!  

 Longcraigs Oct

Longcraigs Oct

Building refurbishment 

Plans continue to develop towards having our facilities update take place starting in autumn 2022, over the winter months whilst the Centre is closed. 

In the meantime, as we refine our plans, explore further funding options, and consider how best we can provide heating and hot water with a minimal carbon footprint, we are pursuing parallel plans to replace the aging alarm system in the current building, and also to redefine our boundaries with better and more effective fencing to provide more robust outside storage space for our boats and some of the equipment. These will be progressing over this coming winter and we anticipate will be ready for our 2022 season. 

So, summer 2022 will see the same Longcraig as before, but with better outside storage, and an improved internal alarm system. Does this matter? We think it does!! 

At the end of next activity season, we will dismantle and rebuild over the winter of 2022 to have our shiny new facility up and running for Spring 2023. We’ll arrange a ‘Farewell Old Toilets’ party at the end of our 2022 season!! 



Ian Harrower
Longcraigs ASU

East Lothian 35th Birthday Beaver Bash

East Lothian 35th Birthday Beaver Bash

Last Friday night (September 24th 2021), 170 Beavers descended on East Links Family Park, with trepidation and excitement in equal measure, the excitement was palpable from both their parents and Leaders as they gathered and stepped forward into East Lothian Scouts biggest District event for several years.

The overall aim was to have fun by trying out some new activities, making some new friends and enjoy the feeling of coming together – both Beavers and Leaders – to be part of our biggest East Lothian scouting family.


The Beavers went into the park and set off in search of their first activity! They bounced on the jelly belly, climbed through the Fortress, slid down the slides, went in search of llamas, around the crazy golf course, onto the Safari train for a tour around the park, raced on the go karts, grass sledged and played with their friends in the playground – all whilst laughing and chatting together. The general sound of fun was enjoyable for all to hear and watch.

Many Leaders had the opportunity to meet new Leaders, from neighbouring villages and towns, swap contact numbers with other Leaders, enjoy being out with their Beavers encouraging and persuading all to have a go at something new. We were well supported by Martin Elliot our Regional Commissioner and Kirstie Armsworth, Scouting support Officer, who both wholeheartedly joined in with the fun and helped in many ways on the night and spoke with parents and Leaders about their roles and how they can help group and districts across the region.

No birthday party can be a birthday party without cake and no scouting event can be without a campfire and despite the unrelentless East Lothian wind, a campfire and singing concluded our evening. My thanks to everyone who helped us deliver this event from the cake makers, badge designers, risk assessors, Leaders and coordinators of the grand plan and I think you will agree these pictures best tell the story of this successful event. Our volunteer Leaders, and helpers are our superheroes, thank you. If you’d like to join in our East Lothian fun as a volunteer – with the young people or behind the scenes – please reach out to Kirstie Armsworth our Scouting Support Officer.  More information can be found below.

Hilary Cartwright
East Lothian District Commissioner

Want to talk to someone directly about volunteering to help?

You can contact Kirstie Armsworth, Scouting Support Officer 
at 07710 703 372 or kirstie.armsworth@sesscouts.org.uk

Whether you want to work with young people directly or help behind the scenes, there’s something for everyone at Scouts.
She would be very happy to chat with you about what opportunities are available across the whole Region, how much time would be involved and how the leader training could assist you.

Bonaly Update September 2021

Bonaly Update September 2021

September has been a busy month at Bonaly with over 800 visits and 700 camping nights. It was great to welcome Braid for their District Flag in the Druim Field and they even brought the sunshine! 

The Chalet refurbishment is now finished thanks to all the time the hard work put in by the Bonaly ASU maintenance team. We are now taking bookings from the 1st of October for the new look Chalet and dates are filling up fast. To make an inquiry you can email  info@bonaly.org.uk or use our online booking request form.  

Our new self-led Camouflage Tracking activity is a big hit with all the groups that have given it a go. The Cardrona Scouts were so well camouflaged that they couldn’t be seen by a team that were less than one metre away. This was helped by the expert training from Dave the ex-commando. 

We have also been busy in the Druim with the creation of a second campfire circle and work beginning on the two new open field shelters. 

New Druim campfire circle

Braid District Flag 

SEEE – South East Explorer Expeditions September 2021

SEEE – South East Explorer Expeditions September 2021

SEEE was set up to meet the challenge of offering expeditions under Covid restrictions.  Since Oct 2020, we have run 24 Expeditions for over 250 young people.  As a result, there were many Explorers who completed, not just their first expedition at Bronze, but also Silver and Gold – in some cases in the same year, using the DofE ‘Covid flexibilities’.  Between walking and paddling, an amazing 51 candidates completed Gold Qualifying expeditions – and Gold requires four days and three nights in wild country!  Pentland District also ran DofE expeditions, so the total numbers completed in the Region are actually higher. 

As well as the normal process of running expeditions, we had two major challenges: 

  • Covid regulations and the constantly changing rules affecting the expeditions; 
  • Preparing and communicating while face-to-face meetings were not possible. 

The key to overcoming them lay in cooperation between adults from across the Region.  More than 70 adults helped directly, covering training, administration, quartermastering, supervision and assessment, with many more supporting in the background, not least the Commissioners who had to ensure that each expedition complied with whatever rules currently applied.   

Key positives have been: 

  • The addition of paddling and biking options for expeditions; 
  • More Activity and Camping Permits, and DofE Assessors; 
  • A lot of First Aid training, including 2-day certificates for Gold candidates who could potentially assist with delivering future training; 
  • Improved communications, using e-mail, eDofE and, above all, OSM; 
  • The hugely gratifying response to our call for adult volunteers.  

However, the really outstanding benefit has been that 250 Explorers and Network members have been able to complete DofE expeditions, learning valuable skills and growing hugely in the process.  Here are some of their comments and reflections: 

  • Lots of fun.  A nice challenge – not brutal! 
  • We were really good at looking out for each other.
  • Brilliant!  Great!  Phenomenal! 
  • Great to look back and see what you have accomplished. 
  • Seeing new things; growing physically and mentally; persevering. 
  • Best bit was Day 2 when we went through the whole plot of Kung Fu Panda. 
  • Some rocky bits, but we were getting better all the time. 
  • Buzzards, eagle, frogs, a giant dragonfly, spider with spiderlings on back, mushrooms, lily pads… 
  • Great having a mission, so stopping to examine insects etc. 
  • Enjoyed meeting new people, particularly at this time (Covid). 
  • Chatting to everyone.  A break from life.  A break from phones. 
  • The company was great. 

Congratulations to the candidates, and many thanks to all the volunteers.  Special thanks are due to Simon Cocker, who has now stepped down from his role as Deputy Regional Commissioner.  As well as being a key member of the organising team of SEEE, he took part in 14 expeditions, and his wife Diane did 13 – a huge commitment of time and talent, demonstrating real dedication. 

We are planning to build on this success by coordinating across the Districts, encouraging those with the capacity to run their own expeditions to do so, particularly Bronze, and organising shared expeditions where required.  We hope to retain those who volunteered this year, and to add to the team, so if you think you could help, you will be very welcome.  Additional volunteers for biking and paddling would be particularly useful.  If you would like to discuss this, please contact us on enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk 

John Buchanan, for the SEEE team 



Colin Anderson 

Andy Beaumont 

Sonya Beaumont 

Hector Black 

Stuart Brown 

John Buchanan 

Caroline Burden 

Graeme Carrington 

Peter Casebow 

Simon Cocker 

Sam Dickinson 

Duncan Davis 

Alasdair Dunlop 

Fraser Dunmore 

Colin Gibson 

Katie Goudie 

Neil Grant 

William Halliday 

Vicky Hammersley 

Steve Hankin 

Aileen Hesketh 

Dave Howie 

David Ingram 

William Innes 

Elaine Jones 

Crawford Laing 

Martyn Lawrenson 

Stephen Leach 

Viv Leckie 

Donald Leckie 

Calum Lorimer 

Bruce MacDonald 

Nikki MacLean 

Vikki McIntyre 

Steven McIntyre 

Andrew MacLennan 

Nikki McNair 

Alistair Meldrum 

Peter Miller 

Niall Morrison 

David Newton 

Lorna Nicoll 

Stewart Nicoll 

Bob O’Donnell 

Steve Offler 

Janet Paterson 

Stathis Rouvas 

Craig Scott 

Dean Sewell 

David Smith 

James Sievewright 

Cathy Southworth 

Donald Sturgeon 

Denise Sturgeon 

Mike Treanor 

Diane Winnard 

Neil Wotherspoon 

Phil Young 

Stuart Young 

Online training, not in above 

Aiden Foulner 

Mike Watson 

Alan Wallace 

Aileen Thomson 

Hellen Wootton 

Paddle training 

Andi Gooch 

Frida Lindblad 

Lynn Moir 

Eilidh Sturgeon 


Celina Davies 

Mairi Rogers 

Admin, not in above  

Valerie Bichener 

Cheryl Turpie 

In Touch, not in above  

Graeme Robertson 

Allison Gamble