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 dofe@sesscouts.org.uk. 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.

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.