District Commissioner for Midlothian

District Commissioner for Midlothian

Wanted – District Commissioner for Midlothian

We now need a brilliant volunteer manager to take Scouting forward in Midlothian. As District Commissioner you will offer support to Scout Groups, while helping open new ones. You will manage adults, setting objectives and holding regular one-to-ones. Most importantly, you will ensure that Scouting offers an enjoyable and attractive programme for young people in Midlothian, helping prepare them for a bright future.

Although no Scouting experience is necessary, you will know how to motivate people and produce a local development plan and you will have the charisma to inspire your team. And you will be well supported by the Regional Leadership Team.  Above all, you will believe passionately in Scouting for All: helping Scouting grow, become more inclusive, more youth-shaped and make a positive impact in local communities.

It’s a challenging role, but the rewards are huge, improving the outcomes for thousands of young people.

Scouting offers fun, friendship and life-changing adventure to over 7,200 young people in South East Scotland Region. But this is only made possible by our talented teams of volunteers – and we hope you will become one of them!

Click here for full information.

Hillwalking training update

Hillwalking training update

There has been an excellent response to last month’s announcement of two complementary initiatives to provide training for Hillwalking permits (see original article).

David Newton

David, the DESC for Craigalmond, is going ahead with organising a Regional residential training weekend this Autumn, similar to the successful one he organised for his District last year, to be followed by an assessment weekend with Lochgoilhead staff next Spring. There has been sufficient interest to make this viable and further applications will be welcomed with a deadline of 20 May. He gives details and asks for replies using a survey (please note, this will be live until 20 May).

Davy Virdee

Davy’s project, offering single day and evening modular training courses, is under way.  He gives details of this and invites further applications in a separate article.

DofE and other Expeditions and Terrain Permits

Davy’s article also explains some of the matters to be considered when organising expeditions in the hills – which is most of Scotland!  Bear in mind that you can also contact the Regional Adviser (DofE), John Buchanan, for advice on DofE.

Storage required for Edinburgh Gang Show

Storage required for Edinburgh Gang Show

Due to the sale of the former South East Scotland Scouts HQ at 15 Valleyfield Street last year and with recent notice being served by the new owners that the Edinburgh Gang Show must vacate the premises by July 2018 there is an immediate challenge ahead for Gang Show management.

New premises are urgently required to accommodate the vast costume, scenery, archive store and other assets acquired by Edinburgh Gang Show over the past 58 years. The storage space required to accommodate costumes alone is approximately 60 square metres.

A negotiable annual budget is available to rent a suitable facility. It is hoped that new premises can be found to ensure the long-term continuation of the Edinburgh Gang Show in its current format.Gang Show storage

For further information about this situtation or to offer support please contact Alan Hunter, Regional Adviser (Gang Show) on 0780 893 9589.

MSP Kezia flies high at Bonaly

MSP Kezia flies high at Bonaly

The South East Scotland Scouts Leadership team were very pleased to welcome Kezia Dugdale MSP to Bonaly Outdoor Centre at the end of April. Kezia was keen to learn more about the opportunities that Scouting provides to young people in the Lothians, which she represents in the Scottish Parliament.

After a welcome from Regional Commissioner Margery Naylor and Regional Chair John Cannon, Kezia was given a tour of Bonaly by Euan McFadzean, our Regional Youth Commissioner, and Adam Bennett, Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement). During the tour, as well as showing her some of the activities that young people can do at Bonaly, they also told her about the wider opportunities that Scouting provides for young people to develop and some of the ways that the Scouting Programme allows them to do this, including through Challenges and Awards at all levels. Kezia was impressed by the wide range of activities on offer and very interested to learn about the positive impact that Scouting has on the lives of its members.

After a brief escape from the rain and an opportunity to chat to some of the Regional Leadership team over tea and coffee, Kezia then joined two local Scout groups for a shot on the High Challenge Course. Guided by Neil Kirk, Activities Manager for South East Scotland Scouts, Kezia successfully navigated the balance beam and Postman’s Walk before a brief visit to see a group at work in the Bushcraft village.

Having enjoyed her experience of Scouting at Bonaly, Kezia left with a commitment to take what she had learned (and her new Bonaly neckerchief) back to the Scottish Parliament with her and to work towards her Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award, for MSPs who are committed to raising issues related to young people in the Scottish Parliament.

Special thanks to:

  • Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner, who organised and ran the event
  • Neil Kirk for running the activities
  • Fiona Elliot, Division Commissioner with GirlGuiding Edinburgh, demonstrating the strong relationship between Scouting and Guiding in South East Scotland by volunteering to be photographer for the event
Youth Approved Award for Region

Youth Approved Award for Region

This month the Region achieved its Foundation Youth Approved award from Scouts Scotland. We are over the moon with this award and shall be displaying it on most of our future comms and putting the certificate in the reception of Bonaly.

For those of you not too familiar with the Youth Approved Award, the Region had to:

  1. Have a Regional Youth Advisory Group – and the fact that makes us even prouder about these extraordinary 13 young people is that they represent all 7 Districts giving a true spread of experience and opinions.
  2. Appoint a Youth Commissioner – Euan McFadzean was appointed at the first meeting and has been working his socks off supporting the group and working with the Districts and Scottish to involve more young people.
  3. Have a method of communicating with Young People – Social Media is our gateway to getting young people involved and getting information to them, and with this is mind we will be improving how we use social media to this end.

Above all, we must mention all the incredible Groups and Sections within our Region who have achieved Foundation and Bronze – we are so proud.

Adam Bennett      Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement)

Hillwalking and climbing information

Hillwalking and climbing information

The Region ran a taster training session on 30 April. Eight leaders from across the Region spent an evening with Mountaineering Instructors Davy Virdee and Martin Holland looking at the skills needed to move towards gaining a hillwalking permit.

There’s lots of demand for hillwalking training, and Davy Virdee – the Regional assessor – will now start to schedule more training events. Feel free to contact him for more information. (Photos Nikki Maclean)

Night navigation in the hills

Duke of Edinburgh and Remote Supervision

Duke of Edinburgh expeditions are common amongst many Explorer Units.

For remotely supervised expeditions in Terrain 1 and Terrain 2 a supervisory permit is required in addition to your leadership permit. To get a supervisory permit, you should have a good leadership experience in your chosen terrain and be able to draw up comprehensive supervision plans for the groups you are intending to remotely supervise. Most, if not all Silver and Gold expeditions will fall into Terrain 1 and Terrain 2.

Bronze expeditions, typically take place in Terrain Zero, and so no leadership nor supervisory hillwalking permits are needed. However, District Commissioner Authorisation is required. As part of this notification should be to produce a comprehensive supervision plan for your expedition. If in doubt, you can pass along expedition plans to Davy Virdee for advice.

Hillwalking in the Pentland and Lammermuir Hills – Terrain Zero

The Pentland and Lammermuir Hills are on doorstep of the Region – and with good planning, much of it falls into Terrain Zero (https://members.scouts.org.uk/por9.28) and as such you do not need a permit to explore them.

However, you must follow the rules which can be found here:


These include asking for authorisation and providing route plans and risk assessments.

The Regional assessor is happy to consider restricted permits to leaders wanting to take groups to the tops of hills like Lammer Law and Carnethy Hill. Please contact Davy for more details.


Davy Virdee is also Regional assessor for all climbing and other mountaineering based activities.

More Information and Contact