82nd Craigalmond Scouts visit MS Unicorn, a surviving sailing frigate, at their Easter camp in Douglaswood

The 82nd Craigalmond Scouts and leaders set off for their Easter camp, at Douglaswood on Thursday in glorious sunshine – what a contrast from the monsoon conditions we endured during last summer camp – and the sun continued to shine all camp. Douglaswood is an old RAF base set in the countryside north of Dundee – the facilities are excellent, all due to the endeavours of Scout Volunteers from the Dundee area.

We quickly got all the kit into the centre, allocated the Scouts to dorms and got out into the sun to enjoy volleyball, the obstacle course and boules before the first excellent meal cooked by our brilliant camp cook, Karen. We were joined by the rest of our Scouts at dinner and then got stuck into the activities based around our camp theme “Fortnite Unplugged” – yes, not a mobile phone in sight!  At this point we knew we had an excellent group of Scouts as they really got into making their “Fortnite structure” with some brilliant creativity across the four patrols – Happy Hamlets, Pleasant Park, Paradise Palms and Sunny Steps. We rounded off the first day with a camp fire where the Scouts led the singing for an hour or so before flag down.

Friday morning brought more sunshine. After the first camp inspection including the kitchen, toilets, hall and dorms (the Scouts earn their keep!!) we brought our Scout skills bases out into the sunshine. Over the next few hours the Scouts undertook badge activity work as they discussed first aid scenarios, practiced their map and compass work, put hammocks up (whilst a couple of our leaders gave instructions from their comfy chairs!!) and also helped prepare an excellent lunch including baked potatoes, salad and lentil soup.

We needed the calories as, during the afternoon in searing heat, we did some site maintenance on the road within the site – over three hours many tons of soil and dirt were removed and the local team were delighted with the effort that our Scouts put in. A special mention to Hector for his direction on the maintenance from the comfort of his camp chair!!

In the evening we had a Fortnite widegame and after a camp fire, the Scouts were asleep in minutes (a contrast to the first night).

On Saturday, we started the day with a Geocaching challenge with “treasure” hidden over various places on the site – it was a frantic next hour or so with some working in teams and others as individuals using their navigation skills to locate the items.  

In the afternoon we headed into Dundee, first visiting the MS Unicorn, a surviving sailing frigate of the successful Leda class which was built in 1824.  Chris, our guide, gave an excellent tour and the Scouts really enjoyed being part of the cannon crew, hearing about gruesome surgery carried out on the officers dining table, and getting Chris’s questions right (mostly by reading the little clues readily available). We then set off for the Olympia swimming pool where the Scouts and some bigger kids (the leaders) enjoyed cooling down in the wave machine and flumes. We rounded off our visit to Dundee with a group picture with Desperate Dan and then a meal. In the evening we had a games challenge featuring giant Jenga, Connect 4, blow football and indoor hockey. The final hockey game was between the Patrol Leaders and the “big kids” in a highly competitive game (an understatement!!) with the Leaders victorious. 

On Easter Sunday we did a “Scouts Own” session, watching a “100 people in a village” video and had an excellent discussion on inequality in the world. 

We then did our traditional Easter Egg Hunt on the site before heading off to Corrie Fee in Glen Cova. We set off in the heat taking in the magnificent scenery along the route before reaching the spectacular Corrie where we had drinks and cake bake next to a cooling stream before taking some group pictures and then heading home.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing the Scouts walking arm in arm down to the cars singing “I will walk 500 miles”.

On our return to camp we had a wonderful BBQ – the burgers were so much better than the McDonalds version – followed by s’mores cooked on Swedish Torches. We rounded off the evening with our final camp fire and songs, led by Ansel and Ruaridh.  

Next morning, the Scouts had a Fortnite challenge game and the leaders packed up for home. We finished the camp with flag down and presentation of the prizes.

So, a superb camp, greatly helped by the good weather and the fact the Scouts were so well behaved, got involved so enthusiastically in the activities and got on so well with each other – hopefully lots of good memories were made. When asked what was her highlight, one Scout said “everything” which summed up the views of all at the camp.

Finally, a massive thanks to the leader team for giving up their time, preparing their activities and for being such good colleagues and friends. Roll on Summer Camp in July.  

Mike Treanor, Scout Leader, 82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Scouts

Craigalmond District Training Weekend – a great success!

Over the weekend 22nd-24th February, Craigalmond District held their annual training event at Bonaly Scout Centre. The event was attended by over 80 adults from throughout the District and offered a range of training. It was run on a drop-in basis with some participants attending one or two learning session and some who stayed for the whole weekend!

Throughout the weekend 16 sessions were run including conventional modular training such as Getting Started for leaders and executive members, First Response, modules 12A & 12B, and Safeguarding.  Additionally there were also a number of ongoing learning options including Visits Abroad training, Mental Health First Aid and a session focusing on Inclusion.

On Saturday evening around 40 people enjoyed a three course dinner followed by a presentation from Andrew Sharkey Chief Commissioner for Scotland) who spoke about the 2018-2023 strategy and helped us to celebrate Longcraig Scout Centre’s 50th anniversary.

The weekend was, as always, a great opportunity for leaders to carry out training with others from the District whilst sharing experiences and ideas and making friends too!

Medal Joy for one of our Scout Leaders

Michael Stevenson an Assistant Beaver Leader at the 26th (Craigsbank) Craigalmond Scout Group, has just returned from the Special Olympics World Games held in Abu Dhabi as a member of the Special Olympics Great Britain team.

Michael competed in the Ten Pin Bowling competition winning a Silver medal in the Singles competition, finishing 7th in the Team event and 8th in the Doubles.  Michael has been a member of the Special Olympics Lothian Bowling Team for 3 years and has competed in Regional competitions and at the National Summer Games in Sheffield in 2017 winning a Silver Medal in the Doubles. Michael parents and brother attended the Games and are very proud of his achievements.

The World Games were attended by 7500 athletes from 200 countries competing in 24 sports over 7 days.

Special Olympics Lothians mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual (learning) disabilities – giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing skills, gifts and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

 

www.lothianspecialolympics.org

Dazzling Davidson’s Mains Lights

Edinburgh Scouts support the Mains Christmas Lights switch on event.

 

Davidson Mains Christmas Lights Switch On

On Saturday 1st December the 30th Craigalmond Scouts spent the day making sure the event was successful.  They helped put up tents, prepare the site to make sure everything went smoothly and raise money.  The lights were switched on at 7.30pm and cheers were made throughout the village.

The event was set up to raise money for new lights with an aim of £10,000. We would like to make a massive thanks to the Christmas Lights Committee. This year they managed to hold an amazing event. We would also like to thank them for letting us be part of the organisation. As one Scout explained, “I enjoyed helping out because it was all worth it when you saw everyone having fun!”

 

Article written by the Scouts of 30th Craigalmond Scout Troops as part of their Media Relations and Marketing activity badge

Culzean Camp for Cramond Scouts

by Mike Treanor, Scout Leader 82nd Cramond (Craigalmond) Scouts Cramond Camp 1

Our 2018 Summer Camp was held at Culzean Country Park Scout Camp in Ayrshire. Given the weather had been glorious for what seemed like months and months we were looking forward to a dry camp.  On arrival, the advance party had managed to do a great job putting up the marquees, mess tents and leader tents, despite a tyre blow out on the way there. On arrival, the 32 Scouts and Leader team put up the patrol Stormhavens and dining shelters just before a 48 hour monsoon arrived, which turned rock hard grass into a near swamp in no time at all!! The accompanying wind managed to fell a sizeable tree but fortunately no-one was hurt.

On the Saturday night we introduced our theme “Stranded on a Desert Island” with some familiar and not so familiar islands – Treasure Island, Coral Island (from Lord of the Flies), New Switzerland (from Swiss Family Robinson), Isla Nublar (from Jurassic Park) and Monuriki (from Castaway). The Scouts spent the first evening drawing maps of their islands and creating wooden signs from driftwood to name their patrol area (no camp fire given the ongoing rain).

On Sunday, after the first breakfast cooked by the Scouts we had our first patrol inspection (to set the camp standards) and then we visited the grounds in Culzean.  Unfortunately the rain continued to pour so we persuaded the camp trolley bus service to take us on a covered tour of the site before they kindly went out of their way to drop us off at the camp. We improvised with a Fifty Question Challenge which set the basis for our Patrol point’s challenge. As the rain eased we did some site maintenance, clearing the felled tree as well as removing an old fence and gathering mounds of wood for future camp-fires.

Monday saw us offsite at Maidens for our water sports day – the rain had eased and the sun shone for a while, with a glorious backdrop of Arran, including the Holy Isle and Goat Fell. The Scouts did a full on day, paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing. Our Sea Scouts honed their skills whilst the others scouts learned new water skills, albeit a couple of Scouts unfortunately did not avoid jellyfish stings!! On the evening we did a “Lost at Sea” team building exercise where the Scouts had to select 12 from 32 items which would help them survive stranded on an island – after much debate and discussion, the selections were made with “positive attitude” being the unanimous favourite, followed by fire-lighting equipment, tarpaulins for shelter, knives, rope and safety pins to catch fish (or in one case, birds!!).  We were also able to have our first camp fire, with the young adult leaders doing a fantastic job in engaging the scouts in their favourite camp songs.

Scout Skills day took up most of Tuesday and again the Scouts learned a range of new skills including rope and pulley work (towing the minibus and pulling down dead trees), hammock and shelter building, axe and saw work (very popular), navigation and first aid skills (which were needed when the Scouts used their pen-knives for whittling their woggles!). In the evening we had to abandon our Beach BBQ given the rain, so we cooked in the dining shelters, although we did manage to cook dough bread and smores on Swedish Torches.

On Wednesday we split up, with the older Scouts preparing for and undertaking their overnight expedition and the younger Scouts spending the day in the grounds of Culzean. The expedition to Turnberry was undertaken in horrendous conditions, so the tarpaulins were abandoned and the tents erected. Despite the conditions the Scouts and Leaders stuck it out and came back Thursday morning, drenched and exhausted but very pleased they had met the challenge. The younger Scouts had a great day, making huge SOS signs on the beach using seaweed, rocks and other materials as well as spending an hour or so digging for treasure hidden at the end of a large rope buried in the sand. Unfortunately no fortunes were made. In the evening the younger Scouts searched for “unlabelled” tins for their dinner – macaroni cheese, meatballs, peaches and custard was the best find!! That evening we had a Desert Island themed competition, the most competitive event being the limbo.

Cramond Camp 2

On the Thursday afternoon, we all went to Girvan and had a brilliant afternoon at the RNLI station. Callum and his fellow volunteers showed us around their brand new state of the art boat costing £2.1m pounds as well as demonstrating how to put on their gear. The Scouts were really attentive, asked great questions and we were pleased to hand over a donation of £200.  After an hour of playing in the Girvan play park, we all had a massive meal of fish/sausage/haggis suppers in the evening sun (actually it was drizzle but we didn’t care!!). The local seagulls and some young teenagers tried their best to disrupt our meal but we all enjoyed a great feast. We finished the day with a massive camp fire where we burned all the material we collected earlier in the week followed by more camp songs.

We started to strike camp on Friday, trying to take tents down dry between the showers. The young adult leaders brought together a great “Olympics” with much competition to try to gain those points which would win the prizes. In the evening, Karen, our camp cook, surpassed the excellent service she had already provided during the week, with a superb BBQ banquet meal of kebabs, burgers and chocolate cake.

We closed the evening with our GSL, Graham Cullen,  presenting the Chief Scout Gold Award to 7 Scouts who after 4 plus years of attending Friday Scouts, engaging in activities and challenges and attending Easter and Summer Camps achieved the ultimate award – massive congratulations to them all.

Despite a little drizzle Saturday we were able to strike camp in good time, leaving the camp in good order and getting back to the Kirk at the target time. We had lots of help from parents in putting the kit away, and lots of volunteers to dry our tents.

So a great camp, in a wonderful location and the “positive attitude” certainly got us through the persistent rain. The Scouts were very well behaved, engaged in the activities, challenges and camp singing and gave the leaders very little bother. They were supported by an extensive and committed Leader team to whom I say a massive thanks.

AGM and Annual Review 2018

The Annual Review and Annual General Meeting is to be held on Wednesday 10 October 2018 at Queen Margaret University, University Drive, Musselburgh, Edinburgh EH21 6UU.  The Annual General Meeting will start at 7:00pm followed by the Annual Review.  Refreshments will be available at the end of the Annual Review.

This theme of the Annual Review this year is all Adventure! It’s the core of Scouting and it’s made possible by the hard work of you, our amazing leaders and supporters. Come and share in the great experiences that Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers have been having all year. The fun that young people (and leaders?) have and the skills they learn will stay with them all their lives. Let’s celebrate together the impact we make by hearing from the young people themselves, in their own words and photos. The venue at QMU is fantastic and it should be a most enjoyable evening!

You can attend the event without registering, however as we have to order catering in advance, it would be helpful if you could let us know if you are planning to come along by following the link and adding your details: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ses-region-agm-and-annual-review-tickets-48426919219

Download the AGM papers here: