Scouts from Edinburgh at the World Scout Jamboree

Scouts from Edinburgh are part of the 5,000 ­members from the UK ­joining 40,000 others to take part in the World Scout ­Jamboree, a skills and adventure festival happening right now in West Virginia.

Two city teenagers have been meeting 45,000 Scouts from nearly every country in the world – sharing their skills while enjoying high adventure in this picturesque part of North America.

The Jamboree is a massive event with a huge campsite described by organisers as ‘roughly the size of the city of Dundee’.

The event offers young people the chance to learn new skills that they can use in other aspects of their life and learn about different cultures from around the world. Ethyn Smith and Sonny Reid have been meeting Scouts from across the world and taking part in exciting activities.

Ethyn, 17, said: “I’ve only been here a few days and I’ve already found out loads about other cultures. Also, my ability to work as part of a team is a skill I’ve taken away from the run up to the Jamboree.”

Sonny, 16, said: “It’s incredible to see the scale of Scouting around the world, and I’ve also learnt new skills from some of the other countries – from ­traditional crafts to new languages.”

The World Scout Jamboree is the culmination of two years of work for the leaders, which has involved camps and team building events preparing the young people for living on a humid site in West Virginia amongst Scouts from nearly every country in the world.

The event was opened by UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who said: “World Scout Jamborees only happen every four years and tens of thousands of Scouts attend each one. They are incredible festivals of peace, friendship and adventure. Young people will make friends for life with people from over 150 countries, experience different food, languages and cultures while learning new skills. It will be the journey of a lifetime.

“The 2019 Jamboree, jointly hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico, is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting yet. The theme is “Unlock a new world” – focusing especially on how we can create a sustainable world together.”

Scouts, the world’s largest youth movement, was founded on 1 August 1907 and there are now approximately 40,000 young people involved in Scouting in Scotland. The organisation helps members, both boys and girls, enjoy fun and adventure, while developing skills for life: the practical, character and employability skills they need to succeed. More than 200 activities are offered by Scout troops around the UK, from canoeing and caving to coding and community projects, made possible by the efforts of 163,000 adult volunteers.

This article is taken from the Edinburgh Evening News and is an example of how we can improve the publicity about Scouting – one of our 3 pillars for development: People, Programme and Public Perception!

Read more about the WSJ in next month’s SES Scouts newsletter – here’s our Scout contingent on their last day at the WSJ!

And check out this video of Scouts from Scotland hosting a ceilidh at the WSJ!

Could you take over from me as your Regional Adviser, International?

Graham Carrington, our Acting Regional Adviser, International, is looking for someone to take over this role. We really appreciate all the hard work he has put in for our Region in 2019 – but now we need to find our own Regional Adviser, International.

Graham says “This summer there are four camps from SES Scouts going abroad, containing 127 members, for a grand total of 1346 nights away. Additionally there are another two trips in October and two already planned for 2020. That’s great news and I’m proud that as the Acting RA International for South East Scotland Scouts, I was able to help these camps go ahead.

 And now it’s time for someone from within the Region to step up and take on the role so that even more young people can go abroad next year.

From my point of view, trip leaders from your Region have engaged in a really positive manner with me in making sure that the trips abroad were properly prepared. And once those leaders who didn’t know the process had it explained why I was involved and how I would support them, they really got on with what they had to do. The DCs who are responsible for those areas also took on board what they needed to do and did it well.

For me the real plus to the role of Regional Adviser International is that as a leader in my own Region, I can run trip that takes 30(ish) people away once every few years. This summer whilst Acting as Advisor for South East Scotland, I’ve enabled 127 people to experience the magic of international Scouting – and that doesn’t include the non-quantifiable elements such as supporting leaders”

Graham Carrington, Acting Regional Adviser, International, and Visits Abroad Coordinator – International Support Team, SHQ International Team. 


Could you be our RA International?


Please do think seriously about whether you could help – it’s not like running a section every week.

It’s about helping the leaders who are organising international trips to understand what they need to know and do. It’s our responsibility as a Region to have an Adviser who can make sure that all out trips abroad are run safely and sensibly.

We are enormously grateful to Graham for filling the gap this year when we have had no one to take on this responsibility. But we cannot go on relying on him to support us. We need to find someone who has the experience and competence to help our leaders when they are taking young people abroad.

There is excellent advice on the Scouts Scotland website, but even better, Graham will answer any questions you may have and give advice and support.

Please check out the role description: . 

So please do think about whether you could take on this vital role to ensure our young people get a quality experience in Scouting. Please drop me a line at and we can have a chat about it.

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner, South East Scotland Scouts

International Scouting – Year in Review

Blair Atholl 2018

It’s been an exciting and busy year with lots of exciting opportunities for our young people and leaders across the region and here Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner gives an update on some of the International Scouting that has been going on over the past year.

Blair Atholl 18

South East Region secured 11 patrols for Blair Atholl 2018 which was a fantastic achievement. Training camps were undertaken at Bonaly, The Craig’s and Philipshaugh bringing the districts together in preparation for their adventure on “the Field of Dreams”. 63 Explorers left Edinburgh on the 16th July for what was to be the start of a journey in their personal development, our patrols were allocated into 6 sub camps meeting Explorer Scouts from Australia, Austria, Barbados, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and United States of America.

Daily camp life saw the Explorers taking part in activities divided into different zones:

  • Adventurous – canyoning, climbing, gorge walking, inflatable rafting, mountain biking, high ropes, mountain hike
  • Blair Highlights – Atholl experience – a mini tough mudder over slippery obstacles, Bushcraft, Ready Steady Cook, I’m an Explorer Get Me Out of Here!, The Great Blair Bake Off
  • Creative – Crafts, culture – learning more about each other, global, photography, jewellery making and Radio Blair
  • Sports – Golf, fishing, Geocaching, Cirque de Blair

Highlights of Blair 2018 included:

  • Sunday Scouts Own the theme was “Dreams” concluding with a choir made up of each sub camp singing A Million dreams from The Greatest Showman.
  • A large Burns Supper with ceilidh dancing
  • As always the final evening reception prior to everyone heading either home or onto home hospitality.

Home Hospitality was well received with SE Region patrols bringing 53 young people back to enjoy 3 – 4 days enjoying the many attractions and lovely countryside the SE Region covers.

I would like to record my thanks to the District Coordinators and members of the Bonaly Active Support Unit for their tireless work behind the scenes in pre and post camp preparation and throughout the training camps.

WSJ 2019

The weekend of 11th / 12th November 2017 saw over 80 young people at Bonaly looking for a place in Unit 91 which will represent SE region and Scottish Scouting at next year’s World scout Jamboree in West Virginia USA. The standard of all applicants was high and after a lot of deliberation on both days the contingent was confirmed and 36 young people were notified of their success. Unit 91 will be lead by Alan Gibson, a leader in the SMESU Explorer Unit, assisted by Mark Petrie from Craigalmond District and Rhona Robb  and Gillian Swarbrigg who hold Scouting appointments in other regions.  To date the unit have had 2 weekend training camps held at Bonaly. The second camp saw the unit make their way from Bonaly to Foxlake Adventures in Dunbar for a fantastic day teambuilding. Future training camps will bring all the Scottish units together as they all prepare for July 2019. Look out for the official “Oor Wullie “ merchandise that is available a well as all the individual fundraising that is going on across the districts of those participating.

WSJ – International Service Team 2019

SE Region are delighted to have 6 leaders who have been selected to be part of the International Service Team, we wish them all well in their preparation and for the many hours of hard work that they will be putting in on a daily basis to ensure that the Jamboree runs smoothly. Watch this space next year for a report on their WSJ experience!

Madagascar 2019

Madagascar 2019 will see Explorer Scouts challenged to explore the world, build International friendships and contribute to International development.

The adventure will take place over 3 weeks during the summer of 2019 and will be led by Martin Gray from Craigalmond District assisted by a team of experienced leaders.

We look forward to hearing and seeing how the project goes and wish all of our successful participants a trip that will give them a unique opportunity to make new friends and learn about a new culture.

International Trips

Throughout the summer a number of troops, units and groups have enjoyed scouting abroad visiting countries such as Ireland, Iceland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and France.

International visits abroad are a special aspect of what Scouting offers young people and adults and it has been great to hear and see while following Facebook and Twitter posts what our young people are experiencing and learning in their personal journeys in order to progress and give them skills for life.

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

Training is fun

Training is fun

Meadows Explorer unit used a fun and effective way to prepare for their Explorer Belt.  Assistant Explorer Scout Leader Vikki McIntyre created an excellent interactive game for use with the whole Unit.  A full report was published in the recent edition of Scouting magazine.  The article can be found here, and contains links to download the materials needed for the game.

Concentrating on the game

Concentrating on the Explorer Belt game

Having fun while learning

Explorers have fun while learning

Lyburn Fund

Lyburn Fund

Are you going abroad with your Scouts or Explorers?

If you are, you can apply for support from the Lyburn Fund.

See below two trips that recently benefited from the fund.

The Lyburn Fund exists to support certain activities within the Scout and Explorer Scout Sections. These are: International Camps (excluding World Jamborees) outside the UK or Outward Bound Courses or equivalent.

The grant is a maximum of £50 per young person and only one application may ever be made for a young person. A Group or District can only make one application in any financial year. The maximum amount that can be awarded to a Group or District in any financial year is £1,000. Because of these limits, some groups apply for 20 of the older members of the group and then – informally – share the £1,000 across all the members by paying for group activities.

The application will be approved by the Regional Commissioner and the Chair of the Regional Executive Committee.

Following the event, it is a requirement that a report regarding the event is submitted to the Regional Office. This should identify what the event achieved. Failure to submit a report will result in no further grant applications being approved. All applications must be accompanied by the most recent AGM approved accounts of either the Group or the District. All applications will be assessed on the basis of financial need.

Application forms are available from the Regional Office, 71 Bonaly Road, Edinburgh, EH13 0PB, either telephone 0131 441 1878 or e-mail or download the new application form.

Margery Naylor

Danish National Jamboree 2017

James Sievewright, leader of the trip for the 4th Braid, 103rd Braid and Greenbank Explorers, writes:

We would like to thank the William Lyburn fund for the grant we received.
Knowing we had received the grant gave us an important contingency fund against unexpected events, particularly uncertainty caused by the volatility of the exchange rate during the period before the trip.  In the end we were also able to also use the grant specifically to pay for extras which greatly enhanced to overall trip for the young people who took part.

See full report.

Buitzenzorg, Holland 2016

The 15th Edinburgh North East Troop went to Buitenzorg in July 2016 and had a great time. Michael Halcrow, Scout Leader, wrote:

I would like to thank Lyburn for the money. It was used specifically for the water theme park and the Amsterdam Arena trips and allowed us to greatly enhance our visit.