Pentland Brass Monkey 2020

Pentland Brass Monkey 2020

At the start of February, Bonaly played host to the annual Pentland Brass Monkey camp which was attended by 240 Scouts and 80 adults. This year’s event saw troops from West and East Lothian taking part for the first time, as well as the usual suspects from Pentland.

Strong winds were the first challenge on the Drum Field for the participants as tents were hastily erected after arrival on the Saturday. All four subcamps managed to succeed without any tents becoming airborne.

After a welcome meeting at the campfire circle, all the Scouts took part in Saturday afternoons “International Themed” activities. This consisted of teams of 3 or 4 attempting to complete 36 activity bases to earn points. Activities included dizzy football, giant chopsticks, mine sweeper and hoop horns. The winning team was Japan from the 100th Pentland.

After a sing song at the campfire and a filling roast beef dinner it was time for the evening activities such as a very muddy game of four-way football, a hectic ‘minute to win it’ competition, a challenging Simba’s game and a captivating game of sit-down bingo.

In the morning after a wet night, with all the not so dry tents packed away and a hot filling breakfast it was time to head up to Bonaly Country Park for a selection of wide games. Despite the miserable weather spirits were still high and it was brilliant to see everyone taking part in the activities. Once they were over it was back down to the campfire circle and just as the sun began to shine it was time to close the camp (typical) and everyone headed back down the road to go home and dry off.

Well done to all the Scouts who braved the Scottish February weather and survived the camp. Also, a huge thank you to all the adults who took part in the camp especially the core team of Kirsty, Ross, Stewart and Sue.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award leaders meet Earl of Forfar

The Earl of Forfar (who is better known as Prince Edward), met a group of our leaders at a reception in the City Chambers on 4 July for DofE leaders from across Edinburgh and the Lothians.  Simon Cocker of Meadows ESU, Sam Dickinson of Borestane ESU and Janet Paterson, DofE expedition organiser, represented Braid, Pentland and Craigalmond Districts respectively, along with John Buchanan, one of our two Regional Advisers for DofE.  We were accompanied by the new DofE Manager from SHQ, Calum Lorimer. 

At this very pleasant event we were able to report considerable success in organising DofE through Scouting in our Region: 56 young people have successfully completed their Bronze expedition this season and 18 Silvers and 14 Golds look forward to completing theirs.  The DofE awards dovetail closely with the Chief Scout’s Platinum and Diamond and with the Queen’s Scout Award.

Those of us present were very conscious that we were representing the many adults who contribute towards this success by helping with administration, training, supervision and assessment.  The best model is clearly that of cooperation within and across the Districts, as nobody can run DofE alone. 

Training and help are available and interested adults are encouraged to contact the Regional Adviser(s) for advice using Any offers of assistance will be most welcome. It is also worth reminding young adult leaders that they can complete or start the Gold Award, as they have until the age of 25 to do so.

John Buchanan
Assistant Regional Commissioner (Explorers)

Bronze Award expedition

Silver Award expedition

Gold Award expedition

The Wee Sleep Out

Malala Yousafzai, the young woman shot by the Taliban as a teenager, will follow in the footsteps of George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in addressing a charity event which seeks to eradicate homelessness in Scotland.

Ms Yousafzai, 21, the world’s youngest Nobel prizewinner, is to speak at a dinner at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 13 March, hosted by Social Bite. The event will be an opportunity to thank the fundraisers behind Sleep in the Park 2018, when members of the public slept outside across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Representing South East Scotland Scouts will be Lorna Spence, GSL of 100th Pentland and some of her youth members.  The 100th held a Wee Sleep Out in support of the charity last November with around 60 Cubs and Scouts at Bonaly.  They smashed their target of £1,000 reaching £4,300 for the charity. Well done to all of them!

Keith Bryce, District Commissioner, Pentland District

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!

Pentland Brass Monkey Camp

Pentland Brass Monkey Camp

Over 180 Scouts made the trip to Bonaly for the annual Pentland District Brass Monkey Camp. Despite the constant Saturday rain and cold temperatures, everyone had a great time taking part in all the activities.

The Scouts took part in a Monopoly-themed activity where they had to go round 36 activities that were on their board to earn either a house, hotel or skyscraper depending on how well they did. Activities included minefield, space hopper racing, sushi sweeties, and a bush tucker trial. The winning team came from the 100th troop and received a special Brass Monkey hat for their efforts.

A huge well done to those who were responsible for planning the camp and making sure that the event ran so smoothly throughout the weekend. Also, well done to the nearly 60 adults and 10 Explorers who were there to help with running activities, cooking meals and keeping all the Scouts safe and happy.

Neil Hogg DDC

Natalia gets top award

Natalia gets top award

Natalia, aged 9, was presented with The Cornwell Scout Badge and the Meritorious Conduct Award, in recognition of her devotion and enthusiasm for Scouting despite suffering a life-threatening illness and undergoing major surgery and for showing great courage throughout.  She received the Cornwell Badge, a certificate and also a letter of congratulations from Chief Scout Bear Grylls.

Natalia joined 92nd Pentland Beavers based at Dalry Primary school in August 2015 and moved up to Cubs in January 2017.  She then spent several months in hospital, but as soon as she was well enough she was itching to get back to our group. She re-joined us in August 2017 like she’d never been away she is a very enthusiastic member of our group.

She was presented with her award as a surprise at Dalry Primary school during assembly on Monday 27 November.  Natalia is the first Young Person in our group to be awarded this prestigious honour.

Angela Smith, Group Scout Leader

About the Cornwell Scout Badge

The Cornwell Scout Badge is awarded in respect of pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance.

It is restricted to Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Scout Network Members. Both the bronze badge and the cloth emblem of the same design may be worn.

John ‘Jack’ Travers Cornwell, a Scout in the St. Mary’s Mission Group, Manor Park, London, entered the Royal Navy in 1915. It was wartime and training was brief, but Jack, helped by his days in Scouting, was able to adapt quickly.

On 31 May 1916 while serving in HMS Chester, Jack was struck by a shell splinter. Grievously wounded, he stayed at his post awaiting orders until he was relieved at the end of the battle. On reaching port, Jack was transferred to a hospital in Grimsby and three days later he died a national hero.

For gallantry he was given both the Victoria Cross and the highest Scouting award, the Bronze Cross. To commemorate the courage shown by Jack, The Scout Association created ‘The Cornwell Scout Badge’ in his memory.

From Scouting UK site.