Scouting Shaped by Young People in SE Scotland – RC’s Update

Scouting Shaped by Young People in SE Scotland – RC’s Update

Martin Elliot

Quick links

Last month I spoke about the activities being organised across South East Scotland to support the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. One of the great things about these events has been the number of them which have been instigated or based on the ideas of young people within sections.   

As Regional Commissioner, one of the priorities that I have set is to ensure that all major decisions within the Region include engagement with young people to help ensure that the support that we offer can best meet the needs of young people across our sections, groups and districts. 

We have already ensured that interview panels for paid roles always include youth representation and I have now extended this to all Regional search committees for volunteer commissioner roles.  

I have also tried to ensure that young people have the opportunity to feed into Regional decision making. The picture above shows a recent meeting that Mike Treanor, Deputy RC, and I had with Niamh and Ewan, Scout’s Scotland’s Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament, who have been elected by young people involved in Scouting across Scotland to represent them. We had a brilliant discussion where Niamh and Ewan provided feedback on the proposed future strategy for South East Scotland Region, how we can improve our youth involvement and also provided important input which will directly affect how Regional funds are spent in the coming year. 

You can find out more about Niamh and Ewan’s work as MSYPs here.

Recognising the importance of this area, I am pleased to announce a new appointment to the Regional Leadership Team. Roux Hanna has been appointed as a Regional Adviser and their main focus will be on Youth Involvement, not just at Regional level but also supporting groups and districts and will also provide support to  Melissa Meldrum in her role as Regional Adviser for Inclusion. Roux recently moved to Edinburgh as a student at Queen Margaret University but did most of their Scouting in and around Dundee and we are both really looking forward to working together with young people and volunteers across the Region to continue to ensure that Scouting in South East Scotland is shaped by young people.    

Look out for more details on Roux’s exciting new role coming soon and we hope many of you will have the opportunity to meet them in person as they start to get around groups and sections. 

South East Scotland Scouts is #YouthShaped

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You have heard a lot in recent updates about the work that has been going on across the Region on our updated strategy and I am pleased to let you know that the final draft is awaiting approval by the Regional Executive Committee. I am really excited about the plans that we have and look forward to being able to share more details on this in the coming month

Yours in Scouting

Martin Elliot
Regional Commissioner

rc@sesscouts.org.uk 

Thank You Margery – RC’s Update

Thank You Margery – RC’s Update

A Tribute to Margery

February was a very sad month for South East Scotland Scouts as we came to terms with the death of Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner from 2017 to 2020. Like many across the Region I was incredibly saddened to hear of Margery’s death. Having served as her deputy during most of her term as RC I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work closely with her and see first hand the dedication and enthusiasm that she brought to the role. 

As we reflect on the challenging times that we have just come through with COVID, the fact that the Region has come through it so strongly reflects the strong foundations that Margery put in place for the Region, not least creating the Scouting Support Officer role which has provided crucial support to many Groups and Districts across South East Scotland.  The impact that she had was also clear from the many messages which appeared across our social media channels and by the many members, both young people and adult volunteers who joined the Guard of Honour at her memorial service. 

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Margery’s husband John and her family and friends at this difficult time and we will be looking at how we can pay tribute to Margery’s Scouting legacy in the month’s ahead. 

2022 Census

The strong foundation Margery laid was clear in the 2022 Census which took place at the start of the year and from which we have some initial data. This shows that we have number of young people is starting to recover after COVID with all districts registering an increase in young people compared to the 2021 Census and whilst are not yet back at the record number of young people we registered in 2020, this shows that we are well on the path to recovery. My thanks to all those who worked hard to complete the census, allowing us to submit the Region’s return on time again this year. The Regional leadership team will be reviewing the detailed data when available to identify key trends that will feed into our planning for 2022 and beyond. 

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History month and 8th March is International Women’s Day. We have had a number of strong female role models in Scouting within the Region – I am actually the first male Regional Commissioner the Region has had – but as we mark the passing of one strong female leader within Scouting we also want to make sure the next generation of women and girls have the opportunity to follow in Margery’s footsteps. The recent census showed that the gender balance amongst our young people has improved slightly, but as Eilidh, one of our adult volunteers highlights girls remain in the minority. As part of our inclusion strategy we will be looking at whether there are any barriers which prevent young women getting involved in Scouting and, if so, how we can remove them but we want your ideas too. If you have an idea you would like to try for improving inclusion, including gender inclusion, look out for more details next month on how you can access funding to make your idea a reality!

As we mourn Margery, the best way that we can honour her is to continue the great work that she did to strengthen and grow Scouting in South East Scotland. Whether as a leader, trustee, manager, supporter or young person, however we contribute to Scouting in the Region we all play a part in helping our members to develop Skills for Life!

Yours in Scouting

Martin Elliot
Regional Commissioner

rc@sesscouts.org.uk 

Longcraig Update – We’re Open!

Longcraig Update – We’re Open!

The Longcraig online booking system is open as of midnight on 28th February – so ready for 1st March as promised!

  • We’ve completed our assessment of the tide times for the year, and worked out which dates we have to exclude from activities at Longcraig. This year, there may be a few more than normal that are excluded, as we continue to minimise any risks encountered from launching and recovering boats, especially at low tide.
  • We’ve completed assessments of our instructor availability for this year – including a few who are no longer able to support our activities, but supplemented by a good number of new faces who will come onto the water team as the year progresses.
  • We’ve completed our checks on who holds which activity permits which are needed to lead activities on the water (and there’s a few other things our team need to have behind them too)
  • And, finally, for our Plan A at least, we’ve carried out our Risk Assessments so we can re-open in a controlled a d a safe way taking account of the ongoing COVID pandemic which is still with us.

As a result, we’ve had to make a few changes to how we go about taking bookings, and operating our activities – these were detailed in last month’s newsletter and are available to review on Longcraig’s website at www.longcraig.info.

Does this mean less opportunity for water activities?

Yes – just a little bit!

We’ve a number of previously arranged bookings which were held over from 2020 when COVID struck which the groups wished to keep open and carry over. So, we’ve removed these dates from our bookings diary as they are already spoken for.

We’ve removed a small number more than usual due to low tides when there’s no water!

We’ve had to spread out our activity sessions to reduce the number that are on consecutive days, and also to avoid activities with more than one group present (COVID limitations)

But on the positive side:

  • We anticipate the majority of booking requests will be just as you will recognise them from before.
  • We’re keeping our fees and charges the same as they were in 2019, 2018 and 2017.
  • We’ve simplified our payment process for this year – no deposits needed, you just need to make sure your booking is paid (as previously) two weeks before the booked date.
  • We have introduced a special date in the calendar each month, to enable individuals, or small numbers from a group or section, to take part in activities without the need to have a full group which meets the minimum numbers

We look forward to seeing folks at Longcraig this year,  to welcome back our old friends and also to meet new guests for the first time!

Facility Updates

During February, we took the first steps to installing our new security fencing – by removing the old fencing which has been in place for well over 20 years!

Fencing, wire netting and some tree trimming was carried out during one of the few bright sunny days in the month, so we are now ready for the next stage which is to get the new fencing prepared and erected.

The old fencing and tree trimmings made a great bonfire on the beach!!

Wanted

Does anyone have, or know of the whereabouts of, a small number of scaffolding poles of various sizes?

We are revamping our outside boat storage as we complete the newly laid out storage area, and will need to replace some of the older scaffolding that forms the frames the smaller boats are stored on. Please get in touch if you can help!!

Volunteering Opportunities

Whilst Longcraig is always on the looking for additional volunteers with water activity skills (or willing to learn!), this year we are also looking to supplement our volunteer team with additional people. This is to make sure we can comply with all our own and government requirements for keeping COVID at bay. So, it will involve helping to keep people moving, ensure our kit and equipment is always ready, clean and safe to use, and supervising the cleaning after each session of the boats, equipment, clothing and safety equipment. Nothing that we didn’t do before, but we will be doing more of it and possibly slightly more intensely, this year – and into the future.

So, If there’s anyone out there who thinks they can become part of a Longcraig support team covering the times we are open for activities (weekends, evenings mid-week, and occasional other times) please do get in touch so we can discuss what would be involved.

You can reach us at getinvolved@longcraig.info at any time! 

 

Training update – March

Training update – March

New Venue

As we’re reintroducing more face-to-face training sessions there’s been a bit of discussion about training venues, and what works best for course attendees and trainers.   Essentially we need a hall that’s reasonable comfortable with: space large enough for the course, possibly including space for practical activities and / or break out groups; access to tea / coffee facilities; transport options – on a bus route and some parking available; and from the trainers’ perspective storage for the equipment.   The Hall owned by 31st Pentland (45 Lanark Road West, Currie, EH14 5JX) meets these criteria, and as a bonus there’s a wee Sainsbury’s almost next door if someone forgets their lunch!   The Region has reached agreement with the Group to use the hall for regular training sessions going forwards.

 

So does this venue suit everyone?  Of course not.  South East Region covers a significant area, and members from the Borders or East Lothian in particular are unlikely to find a venue in Edinburgh particularly convenient. If Districts have enough demand to make a local course viable and can arrange a suitable venue, I have no problem with asking trainers to take the training to the District. Please speak to your ADC (Adult Training) if you’d like to arrange this.    We’re also still running most modules for the Wood Badge on Zoom, so where someone is geographically makes no difference   One participant last week was on holiday in Spain – now there’s dedication!

We’re hoping to include some training events that aren’t specifically part of the Wood Badge, but are topics we hope will be of interest to some leaders.  To start if off, Martin Elliot and Melissa Meldrum (our new Regional Adviser (Inclusion)) will be running module 36, Adjustments to Scouts on 30th April, 10am – 1pm. This module has a particular focus on exploring additional support needs. It will help you gain a better understanding of how to facilitate and make reasonable adjustments in Scouts, in a way that’s constructive and effective.  Put it in your diary now – the Eventbrite link will be circulated as soon as possible. We’ve also had requests around Mental Health First Aid, Working with Young Leaders, and use of OSM.  These are on the list to be planned – again please speak to your ADC (AT) if you have other suggestions.

If you have had an email saying that your mandatory First Aid, Safety or Safeguarding are or soon will be out of date, please don’t ignore it. GDPR is also needed, but that one’s not repeated every 3 years – once is enough.  If you think the email was sent in error, please speak to your ADC(AT) – there are ‘features’ of Compass that could mean someone just need to copy information to a new role, but you need to tell them there’s a data problem.  Please
remember the purpose of these is to keep our young people safe – the word ‘mandatory’ is a clue.

If you’d like to be advised automatically of all courses in South East Scotland, create an account in Eventbrite, and follow South East Scotland Scouts Training Team on https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/south-east-scotland-scouts-training-team-33113629115

Mary Dick
ARC (Adult Training) 
training@sesscouts.org.uk 

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Volunteers needed for SEEE

Volunteers needed for SEEE

  • We are looking for adult Volunteers to help with Expedition Training (outdoors) and on Expeditions.  The leaders-in-charge are in place, so what we are looking for is offers of help, whether for one day or for a whole expedition.  If you have not received a request, contact us on enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk.
  • Explorers should have heard about Silver and Gold expeditions and be replying to our messages.  The first training session, on Zoom, is on 6 March, followed by a face-to-face day on either 12 or 13 March, then another to be arranged with groups.  If in doubt, contact enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk.
  • Most Bronze expeditions are being run locally by Units or Districts.  Those who have not heard yet should get a message very soon.  If your local leader cannot help, get in touch with enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk.

The SEEE Team

Edinburgh Gang Show Is Back

Edinburgh Gang Show Is Back

In November 2019 the curtain came down on the hugely successful 60th Edinburgh Gang Show and although planning had started for the 61st show the pandemic meant that the 2020 and 2021 shows had to be cancelled.

But in 2022 the Edinburgh Gang Show returns with a new energy and vigour and we want as many of our amazing young people to get involved in the biggest Gang Show in the UK! This year’s show will be performed at the Festival Theatre, because the King’s Theatre is closing for a major redevelopment, so this is a fantastic opportunity for even more young people to get the chance to shine on one of the biggest stages in Europe.

Gang Show is one of the greatest examples of Scouting and Girlguiding working together and we want to rekindle that close relationship.

Encourage your young people to be part of history and be part of the Gang in 2022! Information below for download and distribution. 

 

Main Gang

Junior Gang

 

Gang Show is an activity for young people aged between 8 and 25 years old by 31st October 2022.  For example, if a young person is a Cub Scout or Brownie at the date of the Main Gang audition (3rd April) they can audition if they will be in Scouts or Guides by show week (31st October). Likewise if they are in Beaver Scouts or Rainbows at the time of the Junior Gang audition (26th June) they can audition if they will be 8 years old by 31st October 2022. This year we actively encourage Explorer Scouts, Rangers, Young Leaders and Network to give Gang Show a go!

 

Don’t be put off by the word ‘audition’. This is a relaxed and engaging session where young people are taught a song and some basic movement which allows the production team the opportunity to spot potential Gang members.

 

Main Gang Auditions –  Sunday 3rd April, St Anne’s Parish Church, Kaimes Road.

  • All Boys 1.45pm – 2.45pm
  • Girls 14+ 2.30pm – 3.45pm
  • Girls 12 & 13 3.30pm – 4.45pm
  • Girls 10 & 11 4.30pm – 5.45pm

Junior Gang Auditions – Sunday 26th June (note change in date previously advised), Blackhall St Columba’s, Columba Road.

 

  • Brownies Cast 1 – Abercorn, Blackford, Braid, Harlaw & Pentland – 2.00pm – 3.00pm
  • Brownies Cast 2 – Forth, Inveralmond, New Leith, Raeburn & Turnhouse – 2.45pm – 3.45pm
  • Cub Scouts – 3.30pm – 4.30pm

Edinburgh Gang Show 2022
Tue 1st to Sat 5th November
Festival Theatre
Tickets on-sale July 2022

 

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn

 

Further information: 
Alan Hunter
Regional Adviser – Staged Performances
edingangshow@hotmail.co.uk