Sunday 26th March saw the first post-COVID Regional gathering when we came together at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre to celebrate South East Scotland Scout’s 15th Birthday.
It was great to see volunteers from all 7 Districts join us for the event which looked back on some of the successes of the last 15 years as well as to look forward to the exciting future Scouting has within the Region. It also gave me an opportunity to thank some of those who attended in person for the hard work that has gone into keeping Scouting going through the pandemic and the ongoing challenges that we face.
We showcased the vibrant and diverse community that we have within South East Scotland Scouts which made me proud to be a part of it. Guests including the Depute Provost of Edinburgh and the Lord Provost of East Lothian who were very impressed to see the wide variety of activities going on across the Region and have offered their support as we work towards our Regional Strategy and our ultimate aim of providing Skills for Life to more young people in South East Scotland. The Edinburgh Depute Provost is also keen to have Scouting involved in the upcoming celebration of Edinburgh’s 900th anniversary so look out for more details in the coming months.
The event also highlighted the importance that the Region has as part of the wider Scouting community in the UK with messages congratulating the Region on its milestone anniversary from UK Chief Commissioner Carl Hankinson, UK Chief Executive Matt Hyde and Scouting Ambassador Ed Stafford as well as from Scottish Chief Commissioner Andrew Sharkey who joined us for the event.
Being part of the Scouting community within our Region and further afield is one of the key reasons that I have been in Scouting for over 30 years and making our volunteers feel part of that community is a key component of our strategic aim to increase our volunteer numbers to allow us to make Scouting available to more young people. We know that the upcoming improvements to the Volunteer Experience that UK Scouting is introducing will help us but we also recognise the importance of opportunities like last weekend to come together as a community. I will continue to work with the Regional Leadership Team and Regional Executive Committee to look at ways to do this but if you have ideas we would love to hear them so please do get in touch.
Another opportunity to enjoy community came at the recent official opening of Ken’s Den – the new self-contained village of hobbit huts at Bonaly. Again this provided a brilliant opportunity to meet with friends, old and new, and to remember and celebrate the involvement of Ken Thomson in Scouting and the part he played in the development of so many of us within the South East Scotland Scouts community – myself included!
I was also pleased to be back at Bonaly for the’ High Rope taster event’. As well as an opportunity for existing volunteers to develop new skills, we also welcomed new volunteers to the movement who will help us to develop our offering at Bonaly. Combined with the ongoing developments at Longcraig, there is a lot to be excited about within Scouting!
As we head into Easter, I hope that you all will be able to take the opportunity for a break and to reflect on another successful Scouting term as well as be excited about the future of our Scouting community.
Yours in Scouting
NOTE: This video was played at an event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre marking the 15th Anniversary of the Region so please excuse any information which is now past/dated. This is for current and past South East Scotland Scouts members who have contributed to the success of the Region and beyond. We thank you all. #SESScouts