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:

Scout Brand Update

Scout Brand Update

New Branding

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/ …

Pentland District’s Year by Numbers

Pentland District’s Year by Numbers

13,800,000,000 – the number of years travelled in time by the 80 Beavers who took part in a sleepover at Dynamic Earth in May. It was a great experience to explore this popular attraction after all the visitors had disappeared.

6.4% – the increase in young people in the district since the 2017 census.

4 – the number of special awards that have been presented in Pentland. Well done to Ben Walker (19th Scouts) and to Stewart Nicoll (98th Scouts) in receiving the Commendation for Good Service Award, Claire Dallas (Active Support) for being her Award for Merit and to Natalia, who is a Cub at the 92nd who was presented with a Meritorious Conduct Award.

11.6 – the number of kilometres that the 40 Scouts who took part in the Pentland Hills Expedition Challenge hiked over 2 days.

530 – the number of sausages cooked for breakfast for the 180 Scouts, 60 adults and 10 Explorers at the Brass Monkey camp at Bonaly in February. The wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits for those taking part in the Monopoly themed event and a great time was had by all. Well done to the winning team who were from the 100th.

Pentland District’s Year by Numbers

10 – the numbers of days that 2 patrols from Pentland spent at the Blair Atholl Jamborette taking part in a variety of activities and meeting Scouts from all over the world.

5 – the total number of goals scored in the final of the Pentland District Football Cup which was held at the World of Football in May. The winner of the trophy were from the 19th as they overcame tough opposition in the final from the 107th.

50 – the number of Cubs who came along to Bonaly for the Sixers and Seconders camp in September. During the camp the Cubs learned some of the skills they needed to be effective leaders as well as having a shot on the challenging high ropes course.

265 – the number of fantastic adults who make Scouting happen in the District. Without all their hard work and support, the young people would not get the amazing experiences that have been offered to them over the past year.

485 – the score of the winning team from the 9th at this years District Flag camping competition.

Pentland District’s Year by Numbers

 

 

 

Pentland District’s Year by Numbers

200 – the number of cars that were raced at the first ever Pentland Cubs Pinewood Derby in November. Cubs designed and build their own cars from kits given to them and over the space of a day in November, raced them on the specially designed track.

 

12 – the number of action packed months that have taken place in the District

1 very happy outgoing Acting District Commissioner!

Borders District Report 2018 for Regional Report

Borders District Report 2018 for Regional Report

Borders Brass MonkeyThe past year has seen an increasing number of Young People taking part and Adult volunteers becoming involved in Scouting in the Borders which is excellent news. This has kept our Appointments Advisory Committee and Getting Started training busy and active on a regular alternate bimonthly programme. Groups are offering a varied and engaging programme to all Young People from regular weekly meetings to all manners of trips out be they local or city based. Nights Away Experiences are a regular part of many Groups activities involving all sections on a local, national and International level. The Borders were very fortunate to have 10 Explorers participate in the Blair Atholl Jamborette along with 7 selected for the 2019 American World Scout Jamboree. In January a District Brass Monkey camp enjoyed by 100 Scouts was held at Kelso Racecourse which celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the first one held in the Borders which is said to be the birthplace of the Brass Monkey camp.

Borders District Report 2018 for Regional ReportThis year we have also appointed our first Assistant District Commissioners for Youth Involvement – one will be appointed in each cluster and so far, two out of three are in place. These roles are being filled by young people between 18-25 who are bringing a fresh new viewpoint to the District team and they are already ensuring that the views of Young People are at the heart of what we do.

Borders District have been very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of a substantial bequest by the late David Hendry of Jedburgh for which we are extremely grateful. Part of this has been used by SHQ to fund a Local Development Officer for a two-year period. This is allowing us to target specifically three groups, one in each Cluster with the aim of growing them in adult volunteers, sections available and number of young people involved. Whilst the benefits of having an LDO directly involved in the District are immense, it cannot be under estimated the additional work load placed upon the District team. The balance of the bequest has been made available to the District to benefit directly all of the Young People. This is now beginning to take effect with distributions flowing out to groups.

Borders District Report 2018 for Regional ReportBorders District has a huge geographical spread covering approximately 5000 km2 which creates a logistical challenge for all involved. Huge thanks to all of our dedicated leaders, District Executive and District Team for tackling this head on and making opportunities available for the Young People over all of this area. It was with great pleasure at our District AGM in May I was able to present four Chief Scout’s Commendations for Good Service and four Awards of Merit to leaders and Executive members.

Douglas Allan
District Commissioner
Borders District

Auchindrain

Auchindrain

Auchindrain – the field of the blackthorn tree. Who could imagine that a group of 10 – 15-year-olds would be demanding that the Auchindrain camp stays firmly fixed on the 14th Midlothian (Bonnyrigg) Scouts calendar?

After eight years this is still one of the most popular camps – it has to happen in May on the Victoria holiday weekend because it is such a long way from home, and the only way to get there is by mini bus, there are no local trains and the bus journey to Oban and on to Inveraray would take the whole day.

Auchindrain is the most complete Highland farm township in Scotland.  It survived the Highland Clearances and has now become a category A listed building. Although building is the wrong term as there are a number of buildings and more being discovered each year. Bonnyrigg Scouts have been privileged to be a part of this. The Township lies approximately six miles south of Inveraray in Argyll It is typical of settlements of its kind 200 years ago.

Eight years ago following a random conversation between the Scout Leader and the handyman at the site Bonnyrigg Scouts were invited to camp and experience life in the Township as part of what was then the local history badge, they duly turned up and pitched camp, met the curator and learned the Gaelic equivalent of their names and what they meant, they worked all day Saturday on the site helping to remove old fencing and make the site secure for the heritage sheep that were to be moving in, they planted 1000 tiny tree seedlings on the edge of the forestry commission plantation and tried keeping the peat fire going in one of the old dwellings. On the Saturday night they met a local Free Church minister who led a traditional Highland service of sung psalms and read from a Gaelic bible – a new experience for everyone! Scouts explored the local hills and woods on a hike on the Sunday and finished their visit with a trip to Inveraray jail, luckily no one got locked up.

This started a tradition of visits with Scouts learning skills such as waulking the cloth with the weaving group, making butter in traditional churns, cooking on the peat fires, whitewashing walls, stone harvesting the tattie field, joining in games of shinty, looking after the rare-breed hens, exposing former access tracks and paths within the site, forming drainage ditches and helping Cathy build a traditional travellers’ “tent” from willow and canvas. This year the Scouts were able to take part in the digit2017 project managed by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. This involved the continued excavation of work begun in 2017 to excavate and unravel the story of Building T – until last summer a completely unknown building. The Scouts explored the infill of the building scraping back the weeds and soil to expose the original floor, retrieved small finds which included boots, teapots, broken china and a various glass bottles. The Scouts also helped to rebuild the original walls using the stone pushed or fallen into the building, learning how to drystone and, in the process, why not to climb on drystone dykes! The finds were washed and catalogued ready to be included in the inventory of Auchindrain.

The weekend is not all work however and between times the Scouts were taught how traditional dyes were made for woollen clothing, how to card tease and spin wool, they learnt a number of weaving techniques and how to make felt. Cooking and eating of traditional foods was a firm favourite – what a difference having to cook on an open peat fire on a griddle! They weren’t keen on a totally traditional menu though the idea of sliced cold porridge for breakfast and lunch wasn’t well received so instead we cooked Orkney bannocks, fish cakes, drop scones and flatbreads, topped with butter churned in large kilner jars YUM! Meals were based on the food that would have been available to the residents at Auchindrain although we ate more protein in one weekend than they would have shared in a month between all the families!

On Saturday night a traditional Ceilidh was held in the Barn with a little bit of dancing and plenty of singing with guitar and piano accordion, historically this would have been when the local news was shared by travellers moving from one place to another selling, fixing and exchanging tools, special foods or other items.  At night groups of Scouts took it in turn sleeping on the old cot beds in Martin’s house – although they used sleeping mats and sleeping bags rather than the straw paillasses and scratchy woollen blankets, and torches rather than candles and oil lamps.

During our time at Auchindrain this year the Scouts also contributed to a series of blogs following their experiences at the site and detailing the things they found in their archaeological dig contributing to the year of Young People Visit Scotland initiative and their public relations badge work.

Traditionally at Auchindrain the group calls in to another visitor attraction in the local town and delights in the offerings of the wee sweetie shop where cremola foam, candy stick ”cigarettes”, gold bullion gum and giant gobstoppers can still be found, fortunately for the leaders Inveraray also hosts a very nice tearoom with homemade cakes! On the return journey we have made a further tradition of calling into a visitor attraction that shows a totally different lifestyle to the township, in the past we have visited the jail and Inveraray Castle (where a great number of the people from the township went to work as servants and agricultural labourers), Stirling Castle and Doune Castle where the recent television series of Outlander has been filmed, and made famous by the Monty Python film “Holy Grail”.

By the end of the Auchindrain weekend the Scouts are able to gain their local knowledge badge (history) and have carried out site service as part of the outdoors challenge but they have learnt far more about the hardships and the lives of Scots ancestors, changes to lifestyles that have occurred in the relatively recent past, they have cooked traditional meals and learnt traditional skills. Over the years that we have been going to this camp, the Scout Group have made a tremendous contribution to the museum, carrying out work which there would not be time for in the general running of the site. Visitors to the site have been impressed by the attitude and work of the Scouts and many have commented on the help the Scouts have given them in understanding the history of the site.

We look forward to the new things we will be learning next May!

Erika Pryde, Group Scout Leader, 14th Midlothian (Bonnyrigg)

For more information

Craigalmond District Review

Craigalmond District Review

First, a warm welcome to everyone reading our 2017-18 annual review report.  As you will see, our various groups have being providing fantastic opportunities for our young people throughout the year. It has been a year of highs and lows, though. The highs are self-explanatory but the major low is that we desperately need more adult volunteers (both uniformed and non-uniformed) to be part of our fantastic team with the sole aim of ensuring that our Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers can fulfil their Scouting dreams. No experience necessary! If you are able to make a contribution, no matter how small, please let myself, the District Commissioner or any member know.

Congratulations must go to Graham Cullen, GSL at the 82nd who received the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct in recognition for his positive attitude to Scouting.

Congratulations also to Fraser Dunmore a Young Leader at the 30th who 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.

On the international front, I am pleased to say we have really moved forward. More Groups are camping overseas. We have 2 patrols plus leaders at the Blair Atholl Jamborette in July for the first time in many years. Also, in 2019 we have Scouts and leaders selected for the World Scout Jamboree in the USA and an expedition to Madagascar. Concerning Youth Involvement we have appointed Katie as the Youth Involvement Commissioner and she has been working closely with the Groups to deliver the Youth Approved programme. Many sections now have their Foundation level and are working towards Bronze. We have started a District youth forum and soon they will appoint a Youth Commissioner to work in the District team.

Adult recruitment will remain a key focus for us and with increased house building in the Maybury and Kirkliston areas the demands for Scouting within the District are likely to come under significantly more pressure.

Russell Shoulder, District Chair

Beavers

Beavers practise circus skills

Circus skills

In December 2017 a Magic Show was held at Craigsbank Parish Church in Corstorphine. This was attended by almost 200 Beavers from most colonies in the district. The magician was Tricky Ricky who put on a Christmas- themed magician show, being that it was a December event! Tricky Ricky involved some of the Beavers during his performance and overall the event was a great success, feedback was that both adults and Beavers enjoyed themselves.

In April 2017 nearly 150 Beavers and adult helpers descended upon the Museum of Flight for a day of activities to gain their Air Activities badge. This included creating paper planes, going on Concorde at the museum (sadly only stationary!), learning about the history of flight and different types of plane on display from one of the museum staff. We were very fortunate with the weather considering the event was held in April with lovely sunny skies, the Beavers had lunch in groups among the displays.

Beavers with fire engine

Seeing a fire engine

Overall, the Beavers have had fantastic opportunities to broaden their horizons and learn new skills in the last year. Activities included (to name but a few):

  • A sleepover at the City Chambers
  • Learning the phonetic alphabet
  • Making pizza
  • Climbing at the Edinburgh International Climbing Centre
  • Learning circus skills
  • Camping
  • Supporting the Forth Hedgehog hospital
  • Road Safety

The leaders of each colony will be meeting in the next month to discuss and arrange district events for the coming year.

Sue Sibbald, ADC Beavers

Cubs

Last year at this time we were happily reflecting on the centenary of Cub Scouting and the hugely positive impact it had on youth numbers.  Cubs continue to be the biggest section and Increasing youth numbers are very encouraging but do bring issues around adult support too and pressure on leaders to contribute even more of their valuable time. Leaders have risen to this challenge and a very big thank you is due to all volunteers supporting Cub packs across the District, their time and effort is highly appreciated.

Cubs on spider frame

Cubs tackle spider frame

The District team (Kathleen Pullen, Niall Cockburn and Iain McBride) have been happy to roll our sleeves up and help leader teams throughout the year, supporting a number of packs to enable them to continue operating or go to camp.  This temporary support gives Groups breathing space to recruit and begin training new leaders and prevents section closure. Currently three packs are being supported in this way, allowing GSLs to focus on recruitment.

Inevitably, after the excitement of the centenary, this has been a more “business as usual” year, consolidating success. Congratulations to the 21st South Queensferry pack in winning the annual District Cub Football Competition.  and a District Cub camp in September.

Cubs at Bonaly

Awards at Bonaly

Offering more Cubs the chance of everyday adventure and now discovering Skills For Life, are The Scout Association’s unique selling points and thankfully there are positive signs of new adults joining to support established Cub leader teams in Craigalmond. Most packs operate parent rotas and the impact of these can’t be underestimated either.

Cubs in canoe

Cubs at Lochgoilhead

Numbers aren’t everything, and the District Cubs team have been bowled over by the many enthusiastic and dedicated leaders that we have met in the last twelve months, at meetings, Cub camps and events.  The quality of Scouting can only be increased by offering young people more outdoor activities, great programmes and the opportunity to influence the content through Youth Shaped Scouting.   It is great to see Cubs enjoying not only so many fun-packed programmes, exciting outings and amazing activities but also contributing to their communities, too (see the photos) – for example:

  • from swimming to rock climbing
  • from fox falls to fire lighting
  • from balsam bashing to beach clean ups
  • from electronic adventure at the Applestore to messy and fun super-Science nights
  • from visits to Warhammer to Hobbit-themed winter camps
  • camping at Canty Bay, Bonaly, Fordell, Barrwood, Meggernie and many more

It is heartening to see a steady stream of new and talented volunteers attracted to Cub Scouting to help the existing successful pack teams. Thanks are also due to a small but select band of Young Leaders who assist packs and greatly contribute to their success. Whilst there are a very small number on temporary closure, particular mention should be made of a new pack recently opened in the District, the first for a few years.

We are confident that Craigalmond Cubs will continue to grow from strength to strength and we also offer Cub leaders a challenge or three for the year ahead – go for an award in the Youth Shaped Scouting scheme, channel your Cubs towards more Chief Scout Silver Awards and (most importantly) enjoy your Scouting!

Iain MacBride, ADC Cubs, Kathleen Pullen, Ian Hunter, Niall Cockburn (DCSLs)

Scouts

Campfire - almost a bonfire!

District Camping Competition

I am extremely grateful to all the leaders who pulled the District Camping Competition together and made it possible. Special thanks must go to Jackie for leading and co-ordinating the event on top of her GSL responsibilities. They say its quality and not quantity that matter and its very true in this case.  What a great weekend it was with 12 teams entered and a large leadership support team from across the District all working together. They even let the DC camp with them and clean a few dixies. It would be good to see all troops represented next year.  The eventual winners were the 71st (WELL DONE) who will now go forward to represent the District at the Scottish Zonal camp in June 2018. During the camp we also tested out the new District necker concept and following universal approval we will be introducing this across the District in the 2018/2019 session.

Scouts at camp

Patrol at camp

Troops have been very active with numerous camps and expeditions. The Group reports provide more details. I am always amazed when reviewing the NAN forms that everyone keeps coming up with new sites to use.

Many Thanks to all the Scouts and their leaders for the great things they are doing.

Mark Hesketh DC

Explorers

A major focus for this year has been international Explorer Scouting – after a period when the District was not represented it is great to see two Patrols attending the Blair Atholl Jamborette in July, and Craigalmond Explorers are well represented in the South East Scotland World Scout Jamboree contingent with training and fund raising going ahead full steam for next year.

Explorers by reservoir in Pentlands

Explorers on DofE expedition

The international theme continues at Unit level – with a joint camp between the Pink Panther ESU and 122nd Craigalmond Scouts who attended a Danish Jamboree, Granton ESU who hosted Italian Scouts at camp in Loch Tay, and the Douglas Brown ESU who held a camp with the 10th Craigalmond Scouts in Italy which featured a trip up Monte Bianco by cable car, white water rafting through glacial run-off rivers and a whole variety of other adventurous activities.

More locally, the Pink Panthers challenged themselves to stay awake for 36 hours, eat a litre of ice cream and have bacon with every meal at Canty Bay at a Christmas camp while the Douglas Brown ESU went wild camping at Tynningham, followed by a visit to Foxlake Water Adventure, and are in the final preparation stage for a team of Explorers to complete the West Highland Way this summer.

Explorers playing Hungry Hippos

Pink Panthers play Hungry Hippos

The Craigalmond DofE Unit had a successful beginning last year – 13 Explorers undertook Bronze Expedition training and most have now completed their Bronze Awards, with many also achieving their Platinum Scout Award.  This has led on to a group of 15 Explorers who are well advanced with Silver expedition training leading to their 3-day Practice Expedition in the Peebles area. Meanwhile a second cohort of 8 Explorers has commenced Bronze and completed a successful 2-day Practice Expedition in the Pentlands in April in preparation for their Qualifying Expedition in the Lammermuirs in June. This group has made a huge difference boosting the achievement of both DofE and the core Scouting Awards within a year – and I’d like to thank Janet and her team for the huge amount of effort involved in getting this off the ground.

Explorers on DofE expedition

DofE group on expedition

Explorer Scouts continues to grow year on year – from 134 Explorer Scouts in 2017 to 146 Explorers this year including 15 in the Young Leader Unit, supported by 32 adults. This adult team are the often-unsung heroes who deserve great credit and recognition for their commitment and energy providing such a fantastic range of opportunities to Explorer Scouts in the District.

In terms of development, Youth Involvement is being driven by adoption of the Youth Approved Award and representation in the District Youth Advisory Group. The Pink Panther ESU successfully completed a move to Blackhall St Columba’s – to accommodate the expanding membership in a more central location for their catchment area and with more opportunities for outdoor meetings in the nearby Ravelston Park and Woods.

And finally, congratulations to Fraser Dunmore of the Pink Panther ESU on his fantastic achievement in completing his Queen’s Scout Award – he joined 200 Scouts to celebrate at Windsor Castle with Bear Grylls.

David Newton, DESC

Network

The term started out on a glamorous note as the Network suited up for a James Bond-themed casino night. The dress code at the snooker and bowling nights that followed was somewhat less snazzy – we just let our mad skills speak for themselves. But, more than anything, this term has been marked by a number of highly successful appearances at a local pub quiz. Knowing a little about a lot goes a long way, it seems!

In a very proud moment for our leader team, 5 of our number were selected for the 2019 Madagascar trip, attending an icy Bonaly selection camp in December and the first training camp in Angus in March. In preparation for the drainage works they’ll be carrying out on the expedition, the team tested their mettle against the rigors of ditch-digging(!), as well as quizzes, team building, hiking and fun with silly hats. Fact: You’re never too old for fun with silly hats.

Craigalmond Network is also delighted to be sending representatives to the 36th Blair Atholl Jamborette for international antics in July-August 2018. We’ve also been exploring the possibility of closer ties with Pentland and Braid Networks, and hope to hold an all-Edinburgh football game in the coming months. As always, we’re looking forward to the Scouting year to come!

Lisa McCreadie, DSNL

Youth Involvement

The role of ADC Youth Involvement is new to Craigalmond and to Scouts Scotland, so it’s been interesting and exciting to get to grips with something brand new. The role of the ADC(YI) is to make sure all the young people in the District get the opportunity to have a say in how their sections are run, and how the district works as a whole.

One key part of that is setting up our District Youth Advisory Group, a team of Explorers, Young Leaders and Network Scouts who meet regularly to share ideas and opinions, plan events within the District, and represent the opinions of all our youth members to the leaders on the District team. Over the year there’s been a reasonable degree of interest from our Explorers and we have had an initial exploratory meeting to work out how our own ‘DYAG’ will run. We expect to have it up and running next year, and to elect our own District Youth Commissioner who will join me in representing our young people in the District Team.

The other part is to support the sections and groups within the District to achieve their Youth Approved Awards, and to ensure that the District are working towards the same. Nearly all of our sections meet the standards for the Foundation award, and many are already working towards their bronze. Once all the sections in a group have achieved the Bronze Award, The Group can then go on to work towards their Silver and Gold level awards. So far in Craigalmond, we have achieved 10 Foundation awards, and one Bronze award. I’m looking forward to dropping in with sections a lot more next year to help them meet the standards and apply for their awards.

The role of ADC Youth Involvement is new to Craigalmond and to Scouts Scotland, so it’s been interesting and exciting to get to grips with something brand new. The role of the ADC(YI) is to make sure all the young people in the District get the opportunity to have a say in how their sections are run, and how the district works as a whole.

One key part of that is setting up our District Youth Advisory Group, a team of Explorers, Young Leaders and Network Scouts who meet regularly to share ideas and opinions, plan events within the District, and represent the opinions of all our youth members to the leaders on the District team. Over the year there’s been a reasonable degree of interest from our Explorers and we have had an initial exploratory meeting to work out how our own ‘DYAG’ will run. We expect to have it up and running next year, and to elect our own District Youth Commissioner who will join me in representing our young people in the District Team.

District Youth Advisory Group meet

Youth Involvement in action at the DYAG planning meeting. The Explorers wanted something to do with their hands while we talked, so we dug out the Knex from the cupboard!

The other part is to support the sections and groups within the District to achieve their Youth Approved Awards, and to ensure that the District are working towards the same. Nearly all of our sections meet the standards for the Foundation award, and many are already working towards their bronze. Once all the sections in a group have achieved the Bronze Award, The Group can then go on to work towards their Silver and Gold level awards. So far in Craigalmond, we have achieved 10 Foundation awards, and one Bronze award. I’m looking forward to dropping in with sections a lot more next year to help them meet the standards and apply for their awards.

Katie Goudie, ADC Youth Involvement