We can’t all be like UK Scout Ambassador Tim Peake, but there are people in our Region who could do a great job of raising Scouting’s profile in South East Scotland.
Could you win a prize for suggesting the name of someone who would be happy to become our Regional Ambassador? You don’t need to approach them – we will do that. Just send us the name of someone whom you think could promote Scouting in our Region.
And if they agree to be a Regional Ambassador, then you will receive £25. We have two prizes of £25, given to us by an anonymous donor, on offer for one young person and one adult volunteer. So why not start thinking now and then please email me at email@example.com
Scout Ambassadors are committed to raising awareness of Scouting’s invaluable work, helping young people develop skills for life. They help raise our profile, extend our reach and gain influence.
Best known for spending 186 days on the International Space Station (ISS), ESA Astronaut Major Tim Peake is also a former Cub Scout and an advocate of the power of Scouting to help young people develop skills for life.
“Scouting set me on the right path at a young age because I loved the outdoors and I loved adventure. It gave me the opportunity to discover new interests, explore new boundaries and build the confidence to achieve new goals.”
Closing date for suggestions is 1st December 2018.
Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner
October saw members from across the Region as well as invited guests come to hear the good news about what had been happening in South East Scotland in 2017-18. Our Annual Report highlights a number of the Region’s achievements.
A varied and full programme for the evening included the Regional Chair’s report, which highlighted what a year of change it has been with
- new members in the Executive committee,
- a new subcommittee being established to look at improving and sustaining our infrastructure, (such as lots of positive progress with Longcraig) and
- plans to review our staffing structure
just some of the highlights.
There were lots of thanks and recognition too for all the work and commitment given by those in the Regional Executive Committee as they support the Region. The election of Trustees to the Regional Executive Committee took place and if you want to know who our Trustees are they can be found on the newly updated Regional Executive Committee page of the website. The financial report was presented by Malcolm Cutt, our new Regional Treasurer and we were pleased to hear that our finances are relatively healthy!
We were very sorry that John Cannon, our Regional Chair, could not be present because of the serious injuries he sustained in a recent cycling accident. We are pleased to report that John is on the mend and was back in the chair’s seat at the latest Regional Executive meeting at the end of October! Graeme Robertson, Regional Vice Chair, conducted the Annual General Meeting with aplomb and great time-keeping, ably aided by John Bruce, Regional Secretary. He also read out the Chair’s report which is available to view here.
Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner, stressed the way that the Region was going from strength to strength and how many great achievements had been made over the past year – including recruiting a Regional Leadership Team with District Commissioners for every District. Margery focused on the role of the DCs, because they are the engine room of Scouting in our Region. She thanked them and all the leaders for their commitment and hard work. Read her report here.
We were very fortunate to have Katie Docherty, Chief Executive of Scouts Scotland, and Stuart Imrie, Deputy Chief Commissioner for Scotland, with us. Stuart presented awards to some of those who have worked so hard for our Region, including Alison Thomson, our Regional Appointments Secretary; Martin Browne, District Commissioner for Midlothian; and Alan Duff, Group Scout Leader at 103rd Braid Scout Group (above). Well done to you all! Stuart spoke very positively about all the developments in our Region, and all of us were grateful that he and Katie were able to come to support us.
The Annual Review, chaired by Marin Elliot, DRC, focused on the range of activities undertaken by young people over the past 12 months. Diane Marshall, DRC, gave a very upbeat presentation about the 2018 Blair Atholl camp; Alan Hunter, Manager of the Gang Show, spoke passionately about the Gang Show (and urged us all to buy tickets); Malcolm Leckie, Manager of the Longcraig Active Support Unit (ASU), spoke equally passionately about the fantastic opportunities for water activities offered by Longcraig; and Ronnie MacDonald spoke – most entertainingly – about the work of the Bonaly ASU.
We then enjoyed an opportunity to socialise with new and old friends in the restaurant at Queen Margaret University. It was an excellent venue, and we are grateful to Malcolm Cutt for giving us the opportunity to go there. We also want to thank everyone who worked so hard to organise the evening, especially Diane Marshall, Brian Morrison, Graeme Robertson and Martin Browne.
And thank you to everyone who came and supported the Region – it was a most enjoyable evening!
Following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in the UK through the Data Protection Act 2018 earlier this year, the Regional Executive tasked its Risk and Audit Committee to establish an updated Data Protection Policy to ensure that the Region was compliant with the updated regulation and to set good practice for how the Region should handle the personal data that it holds. This policy had a number of aims including:
- To document what personal data the Region holds
- To document the processes in place to ensure that the Region handles the personal data it holds in a safe and secure manner
- To document the procedures to be followed in the event that individuals make use of their expanded rights under GDPR such as their Right to Be Forgotten or their Right to Access through a Subject Access Request
At its September meeting the Regional Executive agreed to adopt the Data Protection Policy and also agreed that this should be made available through the Regional Website.
The Regional Executive would encourage all members to review the policy at https://sesscouts.org.uk/privacy/. In addition, for those districts and groups which don’t currently have their own policy, the Regional Executive would encourage the relevant executive committees to use this as a template to adapt for your own policy documents.
If you have any questions about the policy or GDPR you can speak to Martin Elliot, Deputy Regional Commissioner, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Young people face many periods of transition. Scouting offers the perfect opportunity to support them and give them the benefit of your knowledge and experience.
Here’s some advice on tackling a selection of issues that might come up in each section.
Beavers: experiencing change at home, such as divorce or moving house
At this age, you can focus on the emotional impact of change and how to cope. Give young people the chance to talk about their wishes, worries and fears, and let them work through them. For some Scouts experiencing change, attending Beavers will give them a chance to take their minds off what is happening, so they might not want to talk. For others, being able to speak to their friends about how they’re feeling is really valuable. All you need to do is create a safe space.
This is also a great time to start introducing messages about change often being positive. Emphasise this when new members and volunteers start, and if you have to move locations or change the time of your group.
Cubs: moving into secondary school
According to one in10 school leaders, over 50% of young people don’t achieve the right levels of ‘school readiness’ when they start secondary school. According to leaders, the most common ways young people are under-prepared include lack of resilience (53%), lack of social skills (46%) and low self-esteem/confidence (47%).
By becoming Scouts, young people will already get a boost in these areas. However, almost everyone gets nervous about moving into secondary school. Hold a session where older Cubs can discuss the move, and bust some myths together! If they’ve been told that having to attend so many different lessons is overwhelming, you can reassure them by drawing a connection between their new timetables and the range of badges they work towards – for example, young people who were excited about their Backwoods Cooking Badge can look forward to food technology, and those who got stuck into their Science Badge will be able to explore physics, chemistry and biology in more depth.
It’s also good to remind older members how expectations of them at secondary school will be different to primary school. They will have more responsibility over their time management, learning, clothing and equipment. Having them prepare for trips and activities will teach them these skills anyway but you can remind them that at their new school, they’ll need to pack their own bags and learn to prepare properly every single evening. You can also talk about how they can plan their own journeys to school, emphasising the importance of safety. Linking this to their Personal Safety Badge is a great way to do this.
Scouts: coping with exams
90% of success is preparation. You can show your young people how to prepare for exams by creating timetables (except with something more fun than revision – like preparation for a trip or a new badge).
You can also talk about relaxation techniques. Introduce your Scouts to mindfulness apps and gentle forms of exercise like yoga, and emphasise taking regular breaks. Getting into nature has also proven to be beneficial for mental health, reducing brain fatigue, stress and anxiety. A 2010 study found that participants who walked in a forest had lower blood pressure and levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) afterwards than those who strolled through a city. So plan an expedition into the nearest forest or green area around the time of exams, to help everyone relax.
Explorers: going into further education
One of the best ways you can support your young people in preparing for further education is by helping them work out what they’re passionate about. What badges have they particularly enjoyed working towards? Are they happiest when teaching and helping others, or do they come alive when they’re using their hands to create something?
Once they know what they’re going to do, encourage independence by getting them to take their Scouting to the next level. It could be a good time to discuss going for their Queen’s Scout Award or their Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, for example. These awards involve committing to activities such as learning a skill, taking up a physical activity and providing a service, for six months to a year – demonstrating commitment and dedication, and preparing them for the reality of a minimum of three years at university or similar environment. They also involve overnight stays in unfamiliar environments with people that are unknown to them – an excellent way to get them ready for leaving home.
Finally, although Scouts always look out for each other, it doesn’t hurt to remind them to support each other during times of transition and to look out for any other young people who seem vulnerable or lost during periods of change. It’s not just about getting each other through difficult times, but about helping others to get through them too.
SHQ Scotland says “We truly believe that the new Scout brand will help make sure that Scouting is clearly understood, more visible, trusted, respected and widely seen as playing a key role in today’s society. We have a small amount of funding available to help Groups with the cost of updating your Scout Hall or your materials to the new brand.
Would you like to start the new Scouting year by updating your Scout Hall or other materials with our new brand? If so, we’ve got some funding to help you do this. Head to our funding page to find out more: http://www.scouts.scot/members/funding/ …
Are you keeping in touch?
Do you know about the InTouch system?
It is important that there are communication systems in place throughout all Scouting activities, allowing leaders to contact parents/carers and parents/carers to contact leaders. This is done through having an InTouch system in place, a system designed to be flexible and suit the needs of your activity, from a section meeting through to summer camp and trips aboard.
We used to have the Home Contact system, but now that (almost) everyone has mobiles, we can use them to keep in touch with everyone.
The Factsheet FS120075 includes a step-by-step approach guiding you through the process of setting up an InTouch system as well as further guidance on areas and issues to look at within this and suggestions on how these can be managed.
Key questions to ask yourself and your leadership team
- How will you and the other leaders hold the details of all those taking part in an event, and the contact details of their parents/next of kin, so that they can be accessed as required?
- What contact details of the leader or leadership team will you give to the parents?
- What advice or guidelines will be given to parents as to the how to contact the event and when / why communication is expected or appropriate?
Please read the Factsheet to understand how the system works. It really is important to have one in place!
And let’s hope you will never need to contact your Commissioner or their designate in the case of an emergency (as per POR Chapter 7 – Emergency Procedures) at any point during your events.
Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner, South East Scotland