Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Chief Scout Bear Grylls recognises 300 young people as Scouting’s top achievers

Fraser Dunmore of Craigalmond was one of 300 Queen’s Scouts being honoured by international adventurer Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, at Windsor Castle for gaining their Queen’s Scouts Awards on Sunday 22 April.  Bear was joined by Princess Beatrice of York.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest honour in Scouting and is awarded for outstanding personal achievement.  This honour is achieved by young people aged between 16 and 25 who have completed a range of challenges, including service to their community, completing an expedition in wild country, undertaking a five-day residential project in an unfamiliar environment and learning a new skill or developing an existing talent.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:

During their time Scouting, all these young people have worked incredibly hard to learn new skills and achieve their Queen’s Scout Award and I am so full of admiration for their spirit, grit and determination.  They have served their community, led others and undertaken expeditions in the UK and around the world. As Queen’s Scouts, they are leading lights and an inspiration to over half a million Scouts in the UK and I am so pleased that Scouting has honoured them today. I am just so proud of all they have achieved.

Fraser says of his Award:

I really enjoyed completing my Queen’s Scout Award as it got me to really challenge myself. It really pushed me to do more for the community and inspire others to do the same! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award.

Going down to Windsor was an experience I will never forget! Everyone was really kind and we were all there as we have all overcome some great challenges. It was amazing to hear all about other people’s experience while completing their award. It was really special to have talks from Bear Grylls and was even more amazing that they managed to get a video of Obama saying congratulations to all of us. The day was really hot and everyone was getting dehydrated but the QSWP looked after us all so well. My favourite part was getting a selfie with Bear Grylls! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award so they can get the opportunity to go down to Windsor Castle too!

Queen's Scout Award badge

Queen’s Scout Award

 

Presentations at Windsor

The annual Windsor Castle event has been held regularly since 1934 on the Sunday nearest to St George’s Day (23 April).  St George is the Patron Saint of Scouting. Since the Queen’s Scout Award was instigated, over 100,000 of these awards have been presented to young men and women for outstanding personal achievements and service to their local communities.  They have learnt new skills and taken part in many of the 200 different activities on offer by Scouting across the UK.

The Queen's Scout Award

The Queen’s Scout Award is achieved by completing the following requirements:

  • Providing service to the community for 12 months. Briefing and training should be given in order to gain the necessary skills.
  • Learning a new skill for 12 months, and show progress and lasting interest. The skill can be the development of an existing interest or something entirely new.
  • Completing a four-day and three-night expedition in open or adventurous country by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy. The expedition should involve careful preparation, training, responsibility and review demonstrating leadership and teamwork skills
  • Completing a five-day and four-night residential project in an unfamiliar environment with people who are not known. This project should be environmental work, activity based, service to others or personal training
  • Completing 18 nights away, of which 12 must be camping.
  • Making a presentation, to a suitable audience, of your achievements so far in working towards the Queen’s Scout Award.

The Award is for Explorers aged 16 and over and Network members.  It must be completed by the age of 25.  It is essential to register for the Award.  See details on Scouts UK site.

Danish Scouts visit

Danish Scouts visit

At the end of the very wintry month of March, a group of Danish Scouts came to Scotland to walk from Crianlarich to Fort William.  The nine Explorers (ages 13-15) and three leaders arrived carrying all their gear, carefully weighed to avoid Ryanair surcharges.

On arrival, they were able to spend a night in the 150th Craigalmond Scout hall, which they very much appreciated.  This follows a long Scouting tradition of helping visiting groups undertake adventurous trips, and it reminds us that we all wear the World Scout Membership Badge.  It is also a reminder that some of the pillars of Scouting are Fun, Friendship and Adventure.

The visitors presented the 150th with their very traditionally designed necker, and the Group hopes to link up with them as part of their World Challenge.

Danish necker

Necker of the Danish Explorers

The Danish Explorer Leader, Birgitte, wrote:

We had a fantastic trip up the West Highland Way and finished in Fort William on time. We had only one day with rain and a little snow, most of the time the sun was shining.  The spirit was great and the views amazing. Most of the group declared even before the departure from Edinburgh that they wanted to repeat the trip but start from the beginning some time.

Their photos give a sense of what they experienced.

John Buchanan    ARC Explorers

Danish Explorers do West Highland Way

Danish Explorers in March

Scout Group helps school

Scout Group helps school

The Comely Bank Scout Group (122nd Craigalmond) volunteered twice in 2017 to help improve the school playground at Flora Stevenson Primary School, in collaboration with the school’s Parent Council. Over 50 of our Young People across all sections – Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts – participated at one of the two events in May and then again in November, on Remembrance Sunday. Activities included sweeping and topping-up bark, clearing litter, painting benches and tree surrounds, and rehoming wandering sand. Moreover, outdoor play equipment was repainted at the nursery which is attached to the school. Our Young People thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and demonstrably felt a genuine sense of accomplishment; many outstayed their allotted time slots and braved inclement weather, fuelled in part by refreshments provided by the Parent Council. Although many of them do attend Flora Stevenson Primary School, the events saw Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts from other local schools volunteer, in line with the sense of community spirit we strive to encourage in our Group.

Nikola Popovic, ACSL

Tom Woof

Tom Woof

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Tom Woof, Honorary Member of Craigalmond District Executive.
Tom first joined the Group Executive of 30th Inverleith (Davidson’s Mains) Scout Group in the late 1960s when his sons were in the group. He served on the Group Executive for many years in a range of roles including Hall Convenor and Bookings Secretary for the Scout hall, and those who remember Scout Post will fondly remember Tom’s significant involvement and support.
Tom went on to serve on the District Executive, where his wise counsel was appreciated by District Commissioners and others over the years. For many years, Tom was an efficient and effective Badge Secretary, overseeing the transition into Craigalmond District – a post which Tom held until very recently, when he handed over the reins and was made Honorary Executive Member.
Tom also served as a member of the Edinburgh Area Executive for nearly 20 years; he was attentive to his duties and was quiet, but when he gave an opinion it was always grounded in common sense and well considered.
Tom was awarded the Silver Acorn in 2013 for specially distinguished service to Scouting – a well-deserved award which was greeted with pleasure by the many friends and colleagues he had within Scouting.
Tom was also very active in the local Episcopal Church and his role as Hall Convenor there helped when there were bookings needed and the Scout hall was in use; in particular, he was instrumental in sorting out some Scout Hall / Church Hall accommodation for visiting groups especially at the time of the Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborettes.
Tom’s funeral service will be held at 11:30 on Friday 16 March, at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Davidson’s Mains. His family would be pleased to see members of the Association attend in uniform.
Graeme Robertson Deputy District Commissioner

Gone Home

WSJ journey begins

WSJ journey begins

Almost 8 months ago the Jamboree journey began for the South East Scotland unit when our four Unit Leaders were selected from applicants across Scotland.

Leading the unit is Alan Gibson who is an Assistant Explorer Scout Leader with South Morningside Explorer Scout Unit (SMESU), Braid District.  Making up the leader team are: Mark Petrie Cub Scout Leader 16th Craigalmond, Gillian Swarbrigg Assistant Scout Leader, West Region and Rhona Robb Assistant District Commissioner (AT), Clyde Region.

All our unit leaders have a vast amount of Scouting experiences under their belts, including many International events and World Scout Jamborees including Japan, Sweden, UK and South Korea.   We believe we have a strong leadership team ready to support the unit of 36 young people when they embark on their adventure of a lifetime to the 24th World Scout Jamboree to be held in West Virginia in the summer of 2019.

November saw our selection weekend at Bonaly where we welcomed around 60 Scouts and Explorer Scouts over the weekend. Each had submitted an application that included a personal statement and testimony from their own sections leaders.  The calibre and enthusiasm of the young people made for a most enjoyable weekend for the volunteers from the Region who came along to run team building bases and help in the incredibly difficult task of selecting just 36 young people to be part of the unit.  We are very pleased to say we have representatives from the following Districts:

Borders, Braid, Craigalmond, Edinburgh North East, Midlothian and Pentland.

The first of five training weekends will take place in February when the unit will gather again at Bonaly for the weekend.  This will be an opportunity for all the unit members to get to know each other, start forming their unit identity, plan different aspects of their training prior to the Jamboree and programming for the Jamboree experience itself.

You can follow the unit’s progress over the next 18 months on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sescotlandwsj2019/ where the young people will have the  opportunity to share stories of this life-changing experience.