Youth Work Guidance Update – New Level 3 and 4 Restrictions from 26th December 2020

Youth Work Guidance Update – New Level 3 and 4 Restrictions from 26th December 2020

To: all members

Dear friends,

You will be aware that the Scottish Government has announced that tighter Coronavirus restrictions will apply in all parts of Scotland, from 26th December. This will have an impact on how we can deliver youth work.

As always, our absolute priority must be to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our members, their families and the wider community. The difference within the Level 3 and Level 4 restrictions, on this occasion, is that schools are also reverting to on-line learning for most pupils, until 18th January at least.

We have liaised with the Scottish Government and now have no alternative but to move Scouting in all parts of Scotland back to the Red readiness level, from 26th December. This means online delivery only

This is a situation that will be reassessed as soon as the Scottish Government reviews the situation for schools and we will contact you again at that point. We know that programme planning for online delivery is challenging, but there are some new resources available to help you on both the UK website and the Scouts Scotland website.

For those of you who were planning a return to face-to-face Scouting in the New Year, please press ahead with getting risk assessments approved, so you will be ready when restrictions are eased. To help you with this, the safety measures that are contained within the guidance on protecting ourselves and others remains unchanged and all Scout Groups, Districts and Regions should continue to follow the UK Framework for face to face activities and all related guidance. Our previously circulated ‘Quick Guide’, to what is permitted at each Scottish Government Level, will not apply until the situation with schools is reviewed.

Scouting plays a key part in supporting the health and wellbeing of our young people and our programme has never been more needed. Our grateful thanks to you and all your Leaders, for everything you have done and continue to do for our young people. These measures are being introduced to help supress the virus and make sure that we can continue to provide a fun and engaging programme for our young people, supported by all our amazing volunteers.

Despite the restrictions, we all wish you a Merry Christmas and look forward to a much happier 2021.    

Andrew Sharkey

Chief Commissioner of Scotland

Christmas Thanks from South East Scotland Scouts

Christmas Thanks from South East Scotland Scouts

The 85th Braid Scouts enjoyed a night hike at Blackford Hill having not been able to do face to face Scouting for six months

Many thanks for supporting Scouting throughout a

challenging year

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and

Best Wishes for 2021

Simon Cocker and Martin Elliot

Acting Regional Commissioners


John Cannon

Regional Chair

As we come to the end of what has probably been the most challenging year of our lives for the majority of us, we wanted to reflect on how all of us in South East Scotland Region have responded to the challenges presented by COVID-19 but also look forward with some hope for 2021.

We started the year, under the leadership of Margery Naylor, our Regional Commissioner, with the Game of Scouting being driven with energy and enthusiasm by our adult volunteers giving of their time, helping our young people to have fun and adventure

The pandemic presented us with some massive and unprecedented challenges but our adult volunteers and young people responded magnificently, finding new virtual ways to meet and continue with Scouting. It has not been easy but it’s been fantastic to see the Game of Scouting continue to thrive with Virtual Camps, innovative badge work and new ways of engaging each other.

More recently, the response to undertaking risk assessments to allow us to move back to face to face Scouting, initially outdoors and more recently indoors, has been inspiring. It has been great to see the joy of many of our young people, our young leaders, and yes, our leaders at getting back to a little bit of normality. We are also conscious that this has happened at a time when there have been other demands on our volunteers to ensure that we continue to meet Scouting requirements.

As we near the end of 2020, a year few of us will forget, we look forward to a return to more normality during 2021 both in our home and Scouting lives. There are still challenges ahead but we know by working together we will come through this.

We would like to take this opportunity to again thank Margery for the fantastic way that she led the Region for three years and wish her well for the future. We would also like to thank all of you for everything that you do for all our young people and for your communities. 

We wish you, your families and friends, peace, health and happiness at this time and all the very best for 2021.

To everyone who volunteers for Scouting, thank you!

Simon Cocker and Martin Elliot, Acting Regional Commissioners

Register for Regional Workshop on Premises Safety

Register for Regional Workshop on Premises Safety

Register for Workshop on Premises Safety – 7pm on 8th February 2021 

For Hall Managers & Conveners, Trustees/Exec Committees, GSLs

 Following the running of a successful “Premises Safety” workshop held recently in Craigalmond District, we are offering a Region wide workshop to be held at 7pm on the 8th February 2021.    

The workshop will  

  • be useful for Trustees/Executive Committee Members who have their own premises plus their GSLs, Hall Managers & Conveners (Some groups may use a church hall (or school) as a meeting place but have their own equipment store). 
  • be led by Russell Shoulder (Reginal Adviser, Safety) who will be supported by Al Reid (Regional risk Committee) and some domain experts who will support the discussions/answer question including a fire risk assessor, a gas safety engineer, and an electrical contractor. 
  • Include the follow areas: 
    • Safety for Executive Committees 
    • Fire Risk Assessment 
    • Electrical Installation (PAT Testing, emergency lights, smoke detection) 
    • Gas Safety Certification 
    • Legionella Risk Assessment 
    • Asbestos Risk Assessment 
    • Trees Risk Assessment 
    • Health and Safety Risk Assessment (working at height, contractors on site) 
    • Kitchen Hygiene 
    • A sample Compliance Register 
    • A sample Premises Risk Register 
    • Recommended suppliers (produced by participating groups. 

If you are interested in attending, please register for the event by the 15th January 2021 via this link. 

We will confirm the Zoom meeting details by the end of January. 


Russell Shoulder  
Regional Adviser, Safety  

Training Update December 2020

Training Update December 2020

The training team are generally winding down for Christmas, but dates are already in the diary for some modules to be run January – March next year.  Have a look at the calendar on the Region’s website here to find something to suit you.  Remember that a Wood Badge needs to be completed in 3 years, and if already over 3 years you have until 30/09/2021.   Check your Compass record to see what you need to do, and make a plan to work through it gradually.   SHQ has produced a guide to validation while we’re in some form of lockdown, have a look and see if there’s anything you can validate now

If you are still getting the emails from Tim Kidd asking you to complete some mandatory training there’s a problem.  Either it’s overdue, and we really need you to get it done, or, if you know you have completed it there’s a problem with the data in Compass that needs to be resolved.  If you’re not sure what needs to be done please speak to your GSL, Training Adviser or ADC (AT).  This link is to the Getting Started training material – this includes the online Safety and Safeguarding that are to be renewed every 3 years.

If having time to complete the mandatory training (either any part of Getting Started, or the ongoing Safety or Safegaurding) is a problem your Commissioner can support you by arranging a Mutually Agreed Restriction for up to 4 weeks.  What this means is that you won’t attend any meetings, virtual or face to face, and instead can spend that time working through any outstanding modules.  When the training is up to date the restriction can be lifted and you’ll return to business as usual.  If not completed in the 4 weeks further steps may be required. 

We’ll continue to offer training by Zoom, some people find it incredibly helpful to avoid the time and inconvenience of travelling and being away from home, but when we can will add in the option of face to face sessions on Saturdays or Sundays

If you have questions please contact your ADC (Adult Training) in the first instance – they are all full of useful information.

I hope you all enjoy the Christmas break.

Mary Dick
ARC (Adult Training) 

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

Ode to the SES Longest Day SleepOut

Ode to the SES Longest Day SleepOut

With permission, we are sharing a poem written by one of my 1st North Berwick Beaver colony parents, inspired by her experience in supporting her Beaver son (and older Cub son) in doing the SES Longest Day SleepOut in June.  It’s called ‘Sam’s Lockdown Adventure’.

It’s full of humour and emotion and a lovely, sincere account of a family’s lockdown Scouting experience and a great reflection of the amount of hard work parents did (and are still doing) to keep Scouting going

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 


Laura Hill
1st North Berwick Beavers


At 2 o’clock sharp a text pinged on mum’s phone,

“Scout camp in lockdown,” She read with a groan.

“We can’t come together but we can still have some fun,

Put your tent up at home and we’ll Zoom later on.”

“Can we camp out?” asked Sam with a smile on his face,

“Beaver camp’s off, but the garden’s the place!”

“I suppose so,” said Mum with a bit of a sigh,

As she peered at the clouds through a half-opened eye.

“I’ll go up to the attic and get the tent out,

But I’ll need your Dad’s help, can you give him a shout?

It’s 3 o’clock now, we’d best waste no time,

We should really set up while the sun does still shine.”

“I’ve found it,” said Mum, “But no pegs in the bag”

You kids never tidy, that’s why I’m a nag!

Have you any idea where you put them away?”

“I know!” said Sam, “They’re in the driveway.”

When the town clock struck 4, the gear was outside,

They’d decided to set up the tent by the slide.

But before they got started, Sam gave a shout:

“A Scout camp needs hotdogs, get the BBQ out!”

“Of course,” replied Mum as she pulled out the tent,

 “But first we must sort out the day’s main event.”

“These poles are so tricky, I forget where they go,

Is it this hole, or that one, does you Dad know?”

As the time approached 5, the tent was set up,

Though Sam’s big demands just wouldn’t let up:

“We need marshmallows, hotdogs and burgers in buns!”

There’s not much mum wouldn’t do for her sons.

She pulled out the barbeque, and charcoal briquettes,

They would do this for Sam, so he’d have no regrets.

The charcoal got hot and the embers grew white,

The hotdogs were tasty, a real camp delight.

“Just one more thing, Mum, please make s’mores.

There’s no-one that makes them as good as yours!”

“Oh, go on then,” said mum, with an audible sigh,

“But it’s now nearly 6 – time really does fly!”

They had the sweet treats, then thought about beds,

They’d need somewhere cosy to rest weary heads.

Roll mats were gathered, and sleeping bags too,

But where were the torches? Only mum knew!

At the sight of the den, Dan wanted to join them,

“Nip up to the house, grab your stuff and come on then!”

So, by seven o clock another bed was found,

Though mum was never keen to sleep on the ground.

While the boys made it cosy in one of the pods,

Mum had a plan that would defy all the odds.

She would sleep on a mattress, one good and thick,

With a duvet on top, that might do the trick.

At near 8 o’clock the zoom call came through,

“Let’s sing some camp songs, with all the scout crew!”

His leader sang loud but it was in vain,

For the boys were just shouting, they thought it a game.

Stories were read and the boys settled down,

They could hear 9 strikes from the clock in the town.

“Night now, my boys, I hope you sleep well.

I’ll be right next door if you need me just yell.”

But at ten the zip on mum’s pod was unfurled,

And the boys crept in where she lay tightly curled,

“What’s going on here?” They cried in disgust,

“How have you got a bed while we lie in dust?”

So, by eleven the beds were all swapped,

And onto the mattress the 2 boys just flopped.

But down on the roll mat beside them mum groaned,

“Why am I doing this, I should have known!”

At 12 the cat from next door gave a howl,

As all round their tent he started to prowl.

“I don’t like it” muttered Dan, I want to go in,

But Sam started snoring despite all the din.

And then there were two left out to camp,

With one sleeping soundly and one who had cramp.

As the night closed around them, from the window above,

Some music played loudly, but Sam didn’t move.

The clock down town pealed out 1, 2, 3 and 4,

Young Sam didn’t stir, he continued to snore,

But squashed up beside him his mum couldn’t sleep,

Despite breathing deeply and counting out sheep.

As dawn broke at five, the birds chirped their song,

Mum knew that she hadn’t slept for too long.

She wiped bleary eyes and tried to lie still.

Ignoring the drizzly rain and the chill.

Finally, Sam blinked his eyes open and smiled,

“I did it! I slept through the night!” beamed the child.

“I’m so proud,” said his mum, “I love you a ton,

“You know I’d do anything for you my son.”

Explorers in 2020

Explorers in 2020

2020 started with Explorers doing all the things they usually do, like a visit to Lochgoilhead by Wildfire, a Pentland District treasure hunt round the New Town, and a ski trip to France by Greenbank.

Wildfire Explorer Scout Unit

However, thanks to the imagination and effort put in by leaders, there has been a lot of Exploring this year, adapted to fit into the constantly changing constraints imposed by the pandemic.  Activity moved online, with Zoom providing a platform for Unit meetings and training, and this continues to form part of a hybrid model as some face-to-face Scouting becomes possible again.

As positives, we can highlight:

  • Games Where’s Wally? breakout rooms and many more
  • Training for Young Leaders and for expeditions
  • Investitures done online
  • Top Awards modified to fit the circumstances
  • Young Leaders assisting their sections
  • Involvement of young people to provide ideas and run online sessions
  • Expeditions for 59 Explorers in the Pentlands and a group preparing for Silver and Gold canoeing
  • New Units including Longcraig ESU
  • Moving on from Scouts to Explorers, including completion of CSA Gold
  • Network and adult roles encouraged, with input from Explorers

Above all, however, we should highlight the fact that there are still a lot of Explorers actively involved, and this is down to the commitment and effort of many leaders and young people.  Many thanks to all, and let’s hope that the report on 2021 will be much more normal.


John Buchanan
Assistant Regional Commissioner (Explorers)