The new ‘milkhouse’ at Bonaly

The new ‘milkhouse’ at Bonaly

Bonaly

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A sustainable project by Bonaly featuring the 25th Braid Squirrels and 198th Rainbows

If you’ve got loads of plastic bottles you could try making something like this – a plastic bottle greenhouse! Or we’ve called it a ‘Milkhouse’ as its made out of old milk cartons!

You’ll need hundreds of bottles for this – so start collecting now, and press friends and neighbours into saving theirs for you too. To make your greenhouse, thread bottomless bottles onto garden stakes or canes, then secure each run of bottles to a wooden frame to make each of your wall and roof panels. The panels can then be secured to each other with corner brackets. It’ll take time, but what an original, eco-friendly way to build a greenhouse!

Five fun facts about our ‘Milkhouse’-

  • 1. Constructed by the Bonaly ASU
  • 2.  Milk cartons supplied by ‘Angelina Coffee Snug’
  • 3. 355 milk cartons used
  • 4. 1420 litres of milk consumed
  • 5. Plants donated by the Bonaly ASU

The 25th Braid Squirrel Scouts and  198th Rainbows enjoyed planting sunflowers as part of an action-packed Jubilee activity day at Bonaly on Sunday 5th June

They took part in a led-session creating sunflower artwork to decorate a sunflower which they potted to take home. As part of the Squirrels Let IT Grow badge, they will look after their sunflower and report back on how it has grown. We wonder who’s will grow the tallest sunflower? Watch this space! 

Bonaly is booming … including Halloween 2022

Bonaly is booming … including Halloween 2022

May has been a very busy month for us here at Bonaly, it’s been great to see the site being used by so many groups from across the South East Scotland region. 

The 122nd Craigalmond Scouts successfully camped in hammocks along the avenue behind site five. We would like to say a big thank you to them for their hard work chopping back branches and pruning bushes. We now plan to develop this area into The Bonaly Hammock Village with room for 12 people. 

The new shelters in the Druim field are proving to be a big success, especially with the numerous Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Groups that have stayed with us recently. 

Volunteer training - Nightline
Busy Bonaly!

Epic Days return – this summer

Following the successful “Epic Days”, the partnership project we ran with City of Edinburgh Council’s outdoor learning department, we are continuing to work together to offer the school children of Edinburgh Epic Adventures. This year schools can come to Bonaly for day visits and residential stays Monday to Friday during term time. 

The Volunteer Instructor team

The Volunteer Instructor team have been training on the Low Ropes activities and trialling some new problem-solving team challenges, that will be available soon. If you are interested in joining this team, or would just like a bit more information about what’s involved, please email activities@bonaly.org.uk 

Explorers Halloween Survival Weekend 29th – 30th October 

Explorers will be challenged to survive the spooky Halloween weekend! 

They will be sleeping out without tents, cooking backwoods style and trying not to be too scared! There will be survival skills workshops running throughout the weekend and these will include natural cordage, advanced fire lighting and backwoods cooking techniques. 

And there’s more! There will also be the opportunity to share your survival skills with other Explores, and of course – ghost stories around the campfire.  Places are limited, for more information and to register an interest – please email events@bonaly.org.uk  

Have you seen the new ‘Milkhouse’ at Bonaly.

Find out more.

A few fun facts about our ‘Milkhouse’-

  • * Constructed by the Bonaly ASU
  • * Milk cartons supplied by ‘Angelina Coffee Snug’
  • * 355 milk cartons used
  • * 1420 litres of milk consumed
  • * Plants donated by the Bonaly ASU
 
 
Bonaly Backwoods Master Chef winner is…

Bonaly Backwoods Master Chef winner is…

Congratulations to the 26th Craigalmond Scouts who were the winners of the inaugural Bonaly Scouts Centre Backwoods Master Chef Cooking Competition.

The Scouts cooked a fantastic three course meal on an open fire, using nothing but tinfoil!
Menu:
Starter – Spud Eggs
Main – Homemade burgers with salad
Desert – Fresh pineapple baked with white chocolate
 
The Scouts impressed everyone with their food – especially Muriel and Barbara from the Bonaly ASU catering team and special guest Sue Lawrence (MasterChef winner and author). 
 
Thanks to the help of Sue and the team it was a fun day with an emphasis on learning as well as an opportunity to show off culinary skills cooking on an open fire.
 
George Devine, Bonaly ASU Manager, said: “You don’t necessarily always need to use pots and pans to cook something delicious. It was great to make the most of our surroundings here at Bonaly and enjoy a tasty meal in the great outdoors”.

This will now be an annual event at Bonaly and the 26th Craigalmond are already making plans for next year. Thanks also to the 114th Braid Cubs who came along for the Sausage Sizzle and then enjoyed the Mini Zipline and Camouflage Tracking activities in the afternoon.

And more events are to come…

Following feedback from leaders, we have changed the dates of the upcoming Pioneering and Survival camp weekends to avoid the school holidays.

Pioneering weekend 18th & 19th June 

An opportunity for Scouts and Explorers to develop their pioneering skills and then put them into practice. On the Saturday, we will start with pioneering skills workshops and then the groups will build structures. On the Sunday, Cubs are invited for an Adventure Day where they will come and play on the structures and learn pioneering skills from the Scouts and Explorers. Risk assessments will be produced for the activities and be available on request.

Explorers Halloween Survival Weekend

Explorers will be challenged to survive the spooky Halloween weekend! They will be sleeping out without tents, cooking backwoods style and trying not to be too scared! There will be survival skills workshops running throughout the weekend and these will include natural cordage, advanced fire lighting and backwoods cooking techniques. There will also be the opportunity to share your survival skills with other Explores, and of course – ghost stories around the campfire. To register an interest in either event – please email events@bonaly.org.uk

Volunteer Instructors

Despite a few setbacks due to covid cases – the Bonaly Volunteer Instructor team had been busy training and it won’t be too long before some Instructor-led activities are back at Bonaly. If you are interested in joining, or would just like a bit more information about what’s involved, please email activities@bonaly.org.uk

Exciting times … so much is happening at Bonaly!

Exciting times … so much is happening at Bonaly!

Bonaly Scout Centre Update - April

First of all, Bonaly would like to say a very big thank you to all the volunteers who came along to the Site Service Day on March 5th. 

The day was a great success, with an amazing amount of work done! The Roman Bath got a good spring clean thanks to the Tower Explorers, much needed after all the rain. A new dead hedge was started along the old brick wall by the Forth Lodge. This will be a great wildlife habitat for insects, invertebrates and the birds that feed on them. The old decking platforms that the tepees and bell tents stood on was removed in preparation for our new Hobbit huts. Another big thanks to our ASU catering team who kept the hungry workers well fed.

The Pink Panthers Explorer created a new Bug Hunt Activity area and finished off the dead hedge as part of their service project. Having a purpose-built Bug Hunt area will encourage more “wee beasties” for you to find during this self-led activity.

Monster Hunt – we need your help!

Bonaly is soon to introduce a new self-led Monster Hunt activity. Lots of friendly monsters are needed and you can help by designing your very own, who will become part of the activity. For more info, please email activities@bonaly.org.uk

PLACES STILL AVAILABLE: Backwoods Master Chef on Saturday 23rd April

Register your interest in taking part in this competition now. It will be a fun day with an emphasis on learning as well as an opportunity to show off your culinary skills. Once registered you will receive full details of the day. This is an opportunity to test your skills at cooking on an open fire with an element of competition included. The cost is £20 per team of either Scouts or Explorers, bring your own cooking utensils. Wood, and alter fires will be available on site. Register at: events@bonaly.org.uk

Cubs, come along and have a sausage sizzle, bring your own sausages. Beavers and squirrels, bring some marshmallows along and toast them. Cubs, Beavers and squirrels should be accompanied by a leader. £3pp. There is no charge for leaders.

Activities support

We are looking for someone to take on the role of Activities Team Leader. You will work with a team of volunteers who will help deliver activities on site at Bonaly. The role will mainly involve coordination of the team to ensure, when required, one of the team is available to deliver some of the supervised activities we have available. Please let us know if you are interested. Thank you. Contact: George Devine, Active Support Manager, Bonaly Scout Centre: george.devine@sesscouts.org.uk

And more to come…

JULY: Later in the year we will be offering on the 2/3rd July a Pioneering weekend. This will take the form of a competition on the Saturday. The main focus will be on fun and training. On the Sunday each team will be asked to invite younger members of their group and will then have the opportunity to train those younger members on the skills required to build a ballista, be prepared, you might get wet!!

OCTOBER: In October we will be running a survival/self assessment weekend. The is be targeted at Explorers. The Event will run over 24 Hours and will challenge all of your organisation skills and your tenacity. Good chance you will get cold, wet and possibly hungry but you should achieve a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

More details on these weekends and booking activities for 2022 will be updated as the year progresses, in the meantime check the above link and welcome back to Bonaly. Its going to be fun!!

Activity of the Month

A troop from 87th Craigalmond enjoying the skills of Molkky

As we continue to re-develop the range of activities available at Bonaly, each month we will highlight an activity available, whether it be self-led, or instructor led.

Nordic Skittles – Molkky

The Mölkky game is suitable for the whole Scouting family. Played in teams from 2 – 15 or more it can be played and enjoyed together by groups of mixed ages.

Using the throwing pin to knock down the numbered bowling pins, the first player or team to score 50 points exactly wins the game. Sounds simple? – but there is a twist which makes it exciting!

Scoring of the game is recorded on the scorecard (supplied) and the game can be played on the field, on paths or in the barn (if wet).

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

As the idea of groups planting a tree for the Platinum Jubilee is not practical for the site, Bonaly are creating their own style of “Platinum Tree” in recognition of the Queens Platinum Jubilee year.

When each group of visitors arrive at Reception to book in for their visit they will be asked to write their group name on a wooden disk. These completed discs will then added to the “tree”.

By the end of the year, we should have a full record of all groups, whether it be scouting/guides/ schools/outside organisations who have visited Bonaly during the Queens Platinum Jubilee year.

Situated at the end of the Tuck Shop shed, all visitors will be able to view this record for years to come.

Exciting Opportunities at Bonaly

Exciting Opportunities at Bonaly

Druim Field

During 2021 the Bonaly team have been busy making improvements in the Druim camping field.

  • Over 200 trees planted by the 28th Braid Scout Group
  • Created a campfire circle to seat up to 50 people
  • Ditches dug to improve drainage on the camping areas
  • Moved the flagpole to a central position
  • Signage to indicate site locations
  • Archery range improvements
  • Two field shelters
  • Small individual sites ideal for patrols.

The main addition is the construction of two new field shelters funded by the money raised by scouting volunteers at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Each shelter is 6m x 3m offering seating, lockable patrol boxes for storing food/equipment, and solar lighting. The shelters can be used for a variety of purposes – sheltering from inclement weather, a base for co-ordinating events or storing equipment.

To make a booking contact us by email : info@bonaly.org.uk

 

Backwoods Master Chef 23rd April

Register your interest in taking part in this competition now. It will be a fun day with an emphasis on learning as well as an opportunity to show off your culinary skills. Once registered you will receive full details of the day. This is an opportunity to test your skills at cooking on an open fire with an element of competition included. Notes of interest should be received no later than the 28th March. The cost is £20 per team of either Scouts or Explorers, bring your own cooking utensils. Wood, and alter fires will be available on site. Register at: events@bonaly.org.uk

 

Cubs, come along and have a sausage sizzle, bring your own sausages. Beavers and squirrels, bring some marshmallows along and toast them. Cubs, Beavers and squirrels should be accompanied by a leader. £3pp. There is no charge for leaders.

 

Activities Volunteer Team

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has joined our new Activity Volunteer Team and to all those who were able to attend the first training day last month.  The training covered how to deliver activity sessions, health and safety, and the low ropes activities Nightline and Mohawk Walk. We had a great day and even the torrential rain didn’t manage to dampen everyone’s enthusiasm. It did mean that we had to postpone the Burn Scramble which had turned in to a white water rapid!

 

Bonaly is often asked if we can support groups with traditional Scouting skills, so we are looking to build a team of volunteers who can help groups with pioneering, fire building, backwoods cooking etc. If you have traditional Scouting skills and some spare time to use your knowledge to help others, please get in touch by email activities@sesscouts.org.uk. There will be an opportunity to meet up at Bonaly in April to share ideas and so we can pick your brains on how best to support groups in our Region. There will be biscuits!

Activities support

We are looking for someone to take on the role of Activities Team Leader. You will work with a team of volunteers who will help deliver activities on site at Bonaly. The role will mainly involve coordination of the team to ensure, when required, one of the team is available to deliver some of the supervised activities we have available. Please let us know if you are interested.

George Devine
Active Support Manager, Bonaly Scout Centre
george.devine@sesscouts.org.uk

 

Bonaly Activities for 2022

Bonaly Activities for 2022

2022: The Year Ahead

We are all looking forward to an exciting year ahead at Bonaly and have been developing our activities over the winter. Self-led activities at Bonaly are available to book now and our new camouflage tracking is proving a big success. Have a look out our website for more details. We are very excited to announce that the new Outdoor Escape Challenge will be available late in the year. Test your problem solving and teamwork skills to complete the challenge and Escape! More details to follow.

Self-led Activities

· New Camouflage Tracking.

· New Mini-Beast hunt  

· Pioneering

· Grass sledges

· Burn Dipping

· Highland Games

· Teddy hide & seek

· Circus Skills

· Parachute Games

· Problem Solving Team Challenges

· Giant Games

· Mini-zipline

Free Leader Resources

There are also free activities such as

· Natural Sculpture – Inspired by the Art of Andy Goldsworthy, natural materials are used to create land art sculptures. (Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs & Scouts)

· Monster Hunt (coming soon) – try and find all 20 monster pictures that are hiding around Bonaly, (Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs & Scouts)

· Egg Drop Challenge (coming soon) – build a capsule from natural and recycled materials to protect an egg that is dropped from a height. (Cubs, Scouts & Explorers)

We have had a lot of interest in our new roles for Volunteer Activity Instructors and our first training day is the 13th of February. This is great and means that we will be able to offer Instructor-led activities such as Nightline, Burn Scramble and Bushcraft from Easter, look out for more details in next month’s newsletter.

We’re also looking for the volunteers to develop a range ‘Badge in a box’ activities to support leaders with badge work.

We hope to appoint a new volunteer Activities Co-ordinator by the end of February to help us manage the Instructor led activities and after that we’ll be in a position to confirm bookings, but in the meantime, if you want to register interest please email info@bonaly.org.uk.

If you’re interested in helping as a volunteer or want to find out more information on all the activities visit Bonaly.org.uk or contact us on info@bonaly.org.uk.