This first of this year’s special Longcraig anniversary events for Scouts took place at the beginning of June, based at St Marys Loch Sailing Club in the Borders. This was arranged for Scouts and Explorers from Borders District, and was significant on at least two counts:

The first was that 190 young people were able to take part in a wide range of water activities, courtesy of the generosity of the St Marys Loch Sailing Club whose facilities we were able to use. Despite some less than ideal weather conditions for June (windy, often wet, and unseasonably cool) the vast majority of the participants had a great time on, near or  in the water depending which activity they close! Some activities, such as the single handed sailing dinghies, had to be curtailed due to the strong winds, but we were able to utilise other equipment to make sure that everyone was able to experience first hand what water activities are all about.

The second was the large amount of logistics involved in making the weekend happen! Many trailer-loads of boats, kayaks, safety boats and all the necessary support equipment was transported down to St Marys Loch and back again by the Longcraig team; and also the Scouts attending came from all across the Borders District – from as far afield as Earlston, Eyemouth, as well as more local ones whose journey was a bit less.

But this is the nature of Scouting in a rural area, it is of course offset by the amazing scenery (even when raining), the closeness to nature – birds, animals and plants – and the varied terrain of the Borders District in general. It’s not every day we can see ospreys hunting for fish whilst paddling around in a kayak!

To ensure the Scouts got the very most out of the opportunity to take part, there were many people involved in making the weekend a success:

The Longcraig Team, who provided transportation and supervision on the water;

The Borders Leader Team who organised all the local arrangements, provided tentage, and – importantly – fed all the adult helpers who were involved;

St Marys Loch Sailing Club who willing opened up their facilities to enable us to make the event happen, and put up with over 200 people trampling around and through their clubhouse facilities;

Birthday cakes were lit up with sparkling candles, and Scouts resounding sang ‘Happy Birthday to Longcraig’ with a watery resonance!



The second District activity weekend took place at Longcraig in the middle of June. Edinburgh North East ran a whole district camp at Fordell Firs over the weekend, and bussed a group of Scouts and explorers over the Forth to Longcraig throughout Saturday and Sunday to take part in a range of activities on the water. For many, this was their first visit to longcraig, and for others, it was of course a return visit if they had been before.  Despite all that, everyone got the opportunity to have a try at a number of activities, even if some of them did have to be reined in a little bit. A birthday cake for Longcraig’s 50 years was produced for each group attending, and over 150 Scouts sang a resounding ‘Happy Birthday to Longcraig’

Youngest Scout lighting cake candle

Next event: we jump to just after the middle of August when Craigalmond District have their opportunity.


FINAL NOTICE: Were you involved in any way with Longcraig Scout Centre at any time?

Or anyone you know??

We have been in touch with a good number of the folks who have helped out at Longcraig in previous years, in any capacity. But we know there are many more that we have lost touch with (or may have lost touch with us). If you know of anyone, can you please point them to a new dedicated e-mail address we have set up, to get in touch.

or directly to:

Please pass this snippet of information on to anyone you know who may not have direct access to this newsletter!

We are planning a reunion and celebration event in July specially for these very important people!


One of the more important ‘instructions’ that we issue to all groups using Longcraig for any water activities is a need to come prepared for the activity and prepared for the Scottish weather! This includes – clothing and footwear suitable for wearing during the activity, that may get wet; a change of clothing so you have something dry to go home in; and a towel to rub the water off should you happen to get wet! Not everyone will get wet, and water activities don’t necessarily involve falling in the water – but it can happen! And sometimes it is just rain water that has the effect!

So, please remined all participants to  “Be Prepared” and follow our guidelines closely. We don’t want young people to be put off by being cold, or unnecessarily wet, and we certainly don’t want to have to stop people from taking part – but we will do so if we feel that they are inadequately dressed or protected from the weather or conditions.

We don’t always need all of the elements in the poster but it has some good guidance!  

Midsummer’s Day 2019

The setting of the Sun – 10.04pm