Cubs and Beavers have fun outdoors

Cubs and Beavers from the 82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Group had a brilliant September Camp at Netherurd, a fantastically equipped and located Guide centre. In total 42 Cubs and 5 Beavers spent two nights away with the camp theme of Space.

Activities at camp included zip lines, backwoods cooking, shelter building, rocket making (and launching), scavenger hunts and star gazing. Everyone who attended went on a very sunny hike that took us all up to the summit of a local hill with great views.

Thanks to a fantastic set of leaders and some thorough planning it was a very successful weekend! The camp was blessed with great weather for September and everyone went home very tired but happy!

Midlothian District Scouts, Adelboden, Switzerland 2019

On Wednesday 24th July, 11 Leaders, 16 Scouts and 16 Explorers from throughout Midlothian District set off for Adelboden, Switzerland.  We arrived safely after spending 28 hours travelling by coach and ferry.

On Friday we enjoyed a leisurely walk to Engstligenalp where Switzerland’s second largest waterfall can bee seen.  The young people spent some time exploring the area, climbing rocks and enjoying the views.  We also celebrated Damian and Linda’s wedding anniversary with cards, gifts and cake.

Saturday saw us visiting the Schilthorn where we invested seven new Explorers, a Cub Scout Leader and handed out a 10 year service award.  On the way back down we visited Murren village and Birg where the young people and some of the braver adults attempted the sky walk.

On Sunday it decided to rain, a lot, so we adapted the programme to suit.  Frutigen indoor swimming pool, then in the afternoon back at the chalet everyone took part in a bin bag catwalk, which was great fun for all.  Ron and Gravy our coach drivers kindly judged the entries.

Monday 29th we visited the Top of Europe, Jungfrau, after a brief walk out onto the glacier which we had to evacuate due to several people suffering from altitude sickness.

Tuesday the sun shone very brightly, we all enjoyed some sightseeing and shopping in Thun.  We also met some Swiss Scouts and helped them with their Monopoly game.  We travelled to Spiez by boat and met up with Ron and Gravy who took us to Interlaken to visit the chocolate factory.

Wednesday was Kandersteg day.  We took the gondolas to Oeschinensee, walked to the lake and some brave Scouts went for a swim before heading to the toboggans.  In the evening we went to Swiss night, and one of our Scouts, Struan, kindly played the bag pipes and we sang Flower of Scotland, to about 200 other Scouts and Guides.

On Thursday 1st August we celebrated Caroline’s birthday, she thought we’d forgot. Caroline tested herself by taking part in the zip wire activity at the Adventure Park.  We continued the birthday celebrations with a Luau and as it was Swiss National Day we were treated to a fireworks display at night.

Our last day, Friday, we visited Niesenbahn, Swiss Pyramid travelling by funicular to the top, the clouds lifted enough for us to get some spectacular views. 

Saturday 3rd we said a sad goodbye to Adelboden, arriving home on Sunday.

Jo Whiting, Cub Scout Leader, Midlothian District

A proper expedition – not just tourists!

Two groups of Explorers formed from Braid and Craigalmond carried out an excellent DofE Gold expedition over four days at the end of August, walking from Corrour Station and completing their circular route at Rannoch. 

One candidate unfortunately had to drop out on day 3 with an ankle problem but the other twelve completed the expedition in style, one group singing ‘Country road, take me home …’ to keep their spirits up on the last stretch. 

“It was fun.”  “I’m rather sad it’s over.”  “The views were spectacular.” “We really loved seeing a group of tourists watch us wade over the flooded causeway then turn back rather than do the same.” “The best bit was on the last day when we could see back up to the saddle we had climbed on the first day and we realised what we had achieved.”

They all had a sense of humour.  For instance, when asked how they had crossed the river the answer was “After considerable discussion and deliberation”.  And one commented at the debrief session near the end “No ticks, but there’s still a kilometre to go.”

Both groups enjoyed being out in the wilds with no phone signal and relying on burns for water.  They had built up their skills over the previous levels and really appreciated meeting and working together with new friends and having time to chat about things at the campsites.  They were delighted by the perfect weather: almost no rain and enough wind to keep the midges away for a lot of the time. They all intend to get back into the hills again.

The groups did very interesting presentations based on their purpose: one studying Gaelic place names, the other comparing the three big estates they walked through.

They can take a real pride in their achievement and are to be congratulated on it.  Thanks and congratulations are also due to the many adults who helped directly and indirectly with the training, practice and qualifying expeditions done at Bronze, Silver and Gold over several years, and without whom this would not have happened.

John Buchanan DofE Assessor, and ARC (Explorers)

Welcome to our new District Commissioner for East Lothian

Hilary Cartwright

I am a volunteer that had absolutely no relevant previous Scouting experience or Scouting skills 10 years ago. I found my way into Scouting in North Berwick like many volunteers do by stepping forward to ensure a section didn’t close, so my sons’ could get involved.

I joined the movement in 2009 as Beaver Scout leader and persuaded some friends to join me whilst away camping to secure the colony’s future. Then I moved on to being Cub Scout leader in 2014.

It is through both of these roles that my passion for Scouting for All was nurtured as I have a genuine passion to enable young people to do more, learn more and be more, through fun and adventure, as I have seen first-hand that we do make a difference and do have a positive impact on many young people through our shared Scouting adventures.

I have been Group Scout Leader with 1st North Berwick since Jan 2017. I recognise the key to successful local Scouting is continuous recruitment programmes and then active support of leaders and executive group members in their roles. 

So I became a District Training Advisor and a Regional Safeguarding Trainer in 2017. Later in the year I was persuaded to accept the role of Deputy District Commissioner (Adult Support) in 2017, which has enabled me to meet and support many leaders across the large geographical area of our District. 

I am very honoured to be appointed to the role of the District Commissioner for East Lothian. I will continue to be a passionate advocate for young people and for the adults who volunteer to support them 

But Scouting is far removed from my day job as a Chartered Physiotherapist, having worked for many years in NHS  and then subsequently in the private and charitable sectors in various clinical and managerial roles. When I’m not working or Scouting, I am the CEO of my growing family but I do find time for a good book, a box set or a kayak in the North Sea, but couldn’t do any of the above without the enduring support of my family. 

Hilary Cartwright


“I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new District Commissioner for East Lothian. I am very confident that she will bring enthusiasm, energy and a real commitment to working with leaders and supporters to enabling young people to have a great time in Scouting.”

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner.

A busy night at Cubs learning to tie the Reef Knot and Round Lashing

A busy night at Longniddry Cubs learning to tie the Reef Knot and Round Lashing. The Cubs then had to capture an escaped lizard, make a flagpole higher than the Bowling Club’s one, drop a tennis ball into a space on the roof and make a 4 metre selfie stick! As you do!

Want to know more about stars and planets?

Then go to the Midlothian Science Festival  at Newbattle Abbey on Monday 7 October from 7-9pm. Five Scouts from 12th Midlothian (Dalkeith) Scout Troop are presenting a session on astronomy. The presentation has been put together with an astronomer from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh and is suitable for all ages (and parents too).

Booking will soon be open at Please come along with your Colony, Pack, Troop or Unit and support the Dalkeith Scouts in learning about the night sky and enjoy some space-themed fun.

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Martin Browne, District Commissioner, Midlothian.