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
Bonaly Open Sessions

Bonaly Open Sessions

Do you know what’s new and improved at Bonaly?

Come along to our Open Sessions!

Over the last two years things have been steadily improving with the site and activities.  Okay, yes we had some extreme setbacks like the toilets were burned down, but come and see the new ones for 2018!!  Whether you have never been to Bonaly or haven’t been for some time we urge you to come along to see the Centre and site now and also hear how we are further improving.  Try out the activities yourself, understand what badges you can do with your group while on-site and explore the wonderful 26 acres the Region owns.

Our Activity Instructors will be on hand to talk through the adventurous activities we offer and to give you a taster if you wish. See the improvements to the buildings and find any last-minute dates that are available.  Or come and find out how we can help you plan your camp and make it cost effective for your group.  And of course Bonaly isn’t just about camps – you can come along for evening visits for campfires, or for an afternoon of outdoor activities.

The Open Sessions are Monday 23 April from 6-8.30pm and Sunday 29 April 2.30-5pm.  If you would like to come along please complete your details here and we will send you some more information.   If you are a parent and you need to bring your family to enable you to come along to either session, please do.

Gillian Fraser, Regional Operations Manager

Bonaly job vacancies

Bonaly job vacancies

Warden opportunities

We are looking for enthusiastic people to join our existing Warden team at Bonaly Outdoor Centre. The role of Warden is vital in ensuring that the people who use our facilities have an excellent experience with us.  This includes welcoming our visitors and providing them with all the information and assistance they may need to have an enjoyable stay.

Please see the job description for details and complete the application form.

Gillian Fraser, Regional Operations Manager

Activity Instructors

We are also looking for Instructors in outdoor activities who enjoy working with young people to join our existing Instructor team.

Please see the job description for details and complete the application form.

Gillian Fraser, Regional Operations Manager

Blair Atholl training

Blair Atholl training

The first Regional Blair Atholl training took place during the weekend of 23 – 25 March at Bonaly. Seven out of the eleven patrols were able to attend and this gave everyone the chance to get to know each other.

Blair Atholl group meet each other

Blair Atholl group meet up

The camp started off with activities that allowed the patrols to mix and start learning about the different districts in our Region. Late morning saw us pitching the patrol tents and by early afternoon we were confident that everyone would have a roof over their head.

Patrol tents of the BA training group

BA training group

Axe and Saw, Firelighting, and Camp Kitchen Hygiene then occupied us up to late afternoon, followed by preparation and eventual cooking of our evening meal …

Ready to light the altar fire

Fire lighting practice

Some interesting initial versions of mince and tatties but glad to say, when cooked, all tasted good. Saturday evening saw ‘A first taste of Blair – what to expect’ and some pointers about how the camp operates. We then brainstormed ideas for the Country Fair and SE Region has some great options for all to try!  Pizza and some ceilidh dancing then followed, which was good fun, then it was time to turn in after a busy day.

Sunday arrived too quickly – well, we did lose an hour – and breakfast was first up.  You can’t beat the smell of sausages sizzling on an altar fire!

Two Zorb Balls moving about

Zorb Balls in action

Knots and lashings were followed by a fun activity – zorb balls.  Thank you, Meadows Explorers, for allowing us to use them. A quick lunch, then it was time to strike camp and, before we knew it, Sunday afternoon had been and gone and our first time together was over.

Game with Zorb balls in the field

Zorb game

The patrols now have some time to improve their wood preparation, firelighting and cooking skills ready for the next camp in June.

Explorer chopping wood safely

Safe chopping

A big thank you to the Core Team: Amy, Craig, Fee, Neil, Jackie and Barry as well as the Blair Coordinators / leaders Annette, Donald, Katie and David Growden.  Thanks also to members of the Region Team and DCs for joining us and lending your support.

Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner

Bonaly Holiday Club Easter 2018

Bonaly Holiday Club Easter 2018

Did you know that Bonaly offers a Holiday Programme for kids through the school holidays?

The Holiday Club/Adventure School at Bonaly Outdoor Centre is like no other – where else can they get to be like Bear Grylls and take part in a range of exciting activities, learning new physical skills such as archery or our high ropes course and soft skills such as interacting with others and decision making while also making new friends?!

This is open to any child aged 6-12 years.

  • Dates: Tuesday 3 April to Friday 13 April 2018.
  • Times: 8.30am to 5.30pm. Drop off 8.30-9am and collect 5-5.30pm.
  • Price: £31 per day or £135 per week/5 consecutive days (same as last year!)

For all information including How To Book, Terms and Conditions, and further details on the activities, please see the Information Pack.

Gillian Fraser, Regional Operations Manager

Update from John Cannon, our new Chairman of the Region

Update from John Cannon, our new Chairman of the Region

I would like to say I’m looking forward to performing the role as Chairman and I’m keen to work with everyone to support Margery Naylor, the Regional Commissioner, and her team in delivering great Scouting across the Region.

I am at the start of a steep learning curve and am now in the process of understanding what’s currently happening and what the priorities are. Please bear with me as I settle in and find my feet! Continue Reading Update from John Cannon, our new Chairman of the Region