Learning update May 2024

Learning update May 2024

We have arranged more SES Training Modules that adult volunteers can sign up for between now and the end of June. All of these courses can be accessed via this link. Please encourage your teams to take advantage of these opportunities to enhance their learning and skills.

  • Module 5 Fundamentals of Scouting – Tuesday 21st May @7pm to 9.30pm via Zoom
  • Module 7 Scouting for All – Thursday 23rd May @ 7pm to 9.30pm via Zoom
  • Module 12A & 12B Quality Programmes and Programme Planning – Sunday 26th May @ 12.30pm to 4.30pm Bonnyrigg Scout Hall
  • Module 11 Administration – Tuesday 28th May @ 7pm to 9.30pm via Zoom
  • Module 13 Growing the Section – Wednesday 29th May @ 7pm to 9.30pm via Zoom
  • Module 16 Introduction to Residential Experiences – Sunday 2nd June @ 10am to 12.30pm 10th Craigalmond Scout Hall
  • Module 17 Running Safe Activities – Sunday 2nd June @ 1.30pm to 4.00pm 10th Craigalmond Scout Hall
  • Module 14 Supporting Young People – Tuesday 4th June @ 7pm to 9.30pm via Zoom
  • Module 19 International – Tuesday 18th June @7pm to 9.30pm via Zoom
  • Module 15 Promoting Positive Behaviour – Thursday 20th June @ 7pm to 9.30pm via Zoom


  • First Response 10B – Tuesday 14th May @ 7.30pm Haywards Scouts Centre Galashiels
  • First Response 10B – Thursday 23rd May @ 7.30pm Haywards Scouts Centre Galashiels
  • First Response 10B – Tuesday 4th June @ 7.30pm Haywards Scouts Centre Galashiels
  • First Response 10B – Thursday 6th June @ 7.30pm Haywards Scouts Centre Galashiels
  • First Response 10a & 10b – Sunday 9th June @ 9.30am Pentland Scout Hall
  • First Response 10B – Tuesday 11th June @ 7.30pm Haywards Scouts Centre Galashiels
  • First Response 10a & 10b – Sunday 16th June @ 9.30am North Berwick Scout Hall
Simon Cocker New Deputy Regional Commissioner

Simon Cocker New Deputy Regional Commissioner

“I am delighted to welcome Simon as our new Deputy Regional Commissioner. Simon’s long term interest in outdoor activities means that he will be able to assist our leaders develop and run more outdoor activities and camps in their sections as well as special Regional events. We look forward to a real impetus in the range and quality of these activities and events over the coming years!”

Margery Naylor,
Regional Commissioner, South East Scotland Scouts

My first association with Scouting was in 1971 when I joined a cub pack in the North East of England before moving to West Yorkshire, where I had a fantastic 12 years being a Cub Scout and Venture Scout. The leaders of my Troop/Section were very outdoors focussed, and it felt like every other weekend we were walking, potholing, climbing and camping in either the Yorkshire Dales, The Lakes or Peak District. I also attended a WSJ in Norway in 1982.

Whilst my Corporate career made any subsequent involvement with Scouting difficult, my passion for the outdoors, especially mountains, was sated by hiking, climbing and skiing. Living in Scotland for the last 20 years has allowed me to climb most of her mountains including being a Munro bagging “compleater”. My other passion has been travelling and I have combined both interests to ski, hike and climb in North & South America, Europe, the Himalayas, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.

Five years ago, after returning from a year long career break travelling round the world, I decided that not only did I not want to return to Corporate life, (thus becoming a self-employed), I also wanted to give back to Scouting for giving me the life skills and more importantly the passion for the great outdoors.

I joined Meadows Explorers in Braid as an AESL and within a year was running the Unit’s DofE programme including the expeditions. In addition, I am an AESL with the District’s Young Leaders, I became a Regional Assessor due to the fact I have a Mountain Leader award and also a Regional trainer to help leaders gain their T1 and T2 permits. The old adage of when you get involved with Scouting it hooks you in to do even more was then never truer when I was asked to be Deputy Regional Commissioner in November 2019, with a focus on leading the delivery of the Programme Pillar in the Region’s 5 year strategy.

So, as we go into 2020 I am really looking forward to working with all the Leaders in the Region to enable more young people in Scouting to increase their experiences of the great outdoors. The first step in this to help, encourage and support Leaders to both gain their Nights Away Permits and also, if they wish, Adventurous Activities permits. Increasing the number of capable and confident leaders will support Young People experiencing the magic of the outdoors, not only augmenting their learning of skills for life but supporting their mental and physical wellbeing and resilience. A great measure of this is, not only just more young people getting out there, but also seeing more of them achieve their Scouting Top Awards (particularly Chief and Queen’s Scout Awards).

Scouting is a lot of things to a lot of people but to me the core of scouting, our differentiator and in our DNA, is our outdoor experiences. Learning new things, having memories that will last a lifetime, making long lasting friendships and having loads of fun along the way is what it’s all about. And that’s not just for Young People; it’s for the Leaders too!

I look forward to meeting, working and supporting as many of the Leaders in all the Districts’ sections going forward. And If any of you have any ideas, suggestions, best practice from our Region or the wider Scouting Movement or elsewhere on how we can achieve this please feel to email me at simon.cocker@sesscouts.org.uk

Scout Ambassadors Visit Edinburgh

Scout Ambassadors Visit Edinburgh

Scout Ambassadors Phoebe Smith & Dwayne Fields visited Edinburgh on 3 December while on a 1300km journey walking from Dunnet Head to Lizard Point. A group of Explorer Scouts and leaders gathered to hear their story. Their journey takes them from the most northern to the most southern points of mainland Britain over 40 days. Both are raising money and awareness for an expedition to the Antarctic in November 2020 in which they will take a group of disadvantaged young people on an expedition of a lifetime. Two Scouts will also be invited to join the expedition and the selection process will start soon.

Phoebe talked about her upbringing in North Wales. Despite growing up on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, it took a trip to Uluru in Australia to make her realise the value of wild camping and exploring the great outdoors. Phoebe writes books and articles for travel magazines about the joys of wild camping.

Dwayne grew up in Jamaica with his great-grandmother and lived a carefree life spent entirely outdoors as his house had no electricity. At the age of 6 he moved to London to live with his mother and he struggled to fit in. At school he was asked to draw his favourite TV character – but he had never seen TV! Fortunately he was placed at school next to a boy who became his friend and who one night was taken to Cubs by the boy’s mother while she was looking after Dwayne. The Cub leader refused to let Dwayne sit and watch so he joined in and from that point on Scouting changed his life. In a more dramatic twist, Dwayne recalls the moment he was shot at twice by a gang member in a dispute over a bike. It made Dwayne realise that he should spend less time conforming and more time pursuing his dreams. In 2010 Dwayne set himself his first of many challenges, becoming the first black Briton to walk over 400 miles to the magnetic North Pole.

Phoebe and Dwayne described their journey since leaving Dunnet Head on 18 November and the kindness and interesting experiences they have encountered on the way. They are now a third of the way into their journey which ends at Lizard Point on 1 January 2020.

Dwayne was keen to quiz each Explorer on their favourite badges and what they did to achieve them. He also wanted to know what expedition each Explorer is planning. Perhaps hearing about this amazing expedition will persuade those Explorers who attended to go on an amazing expedition of their own in the near future. As Dwayne and Phoebe themselves explained, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams!

A Leader’s Guide to running the 4 Week Challenge

A Leader’s Guide to running the 4 Week Challenge

The purpose of the 4 Week Challenge is for parents or other adults to see and experience Scouting first hand. The four weeks should showcase how easy it can be to help, show adults it’s fun and gradually build a relationship between the leadership team and the new adults, gradually increasing their involvement in the programme across four weeks.

The young people’s programme when running the 4 Week Challenge should be carefully considered so that the new adults are involved in the programme. For example, small group activities are good where adults are needed to help facilitate.

It is important existing adults are positive, welcoming and friendly and open to new members joining the team. This is not hard a ‘sell’ – you don’t want to scare new adults off! Adults taking part in the 4 Week Challenge would not normally wear uniform but it might be appropriate to give them a necker.

Communication between meetings is important – this could be done by email or text. A quick thank you and a reminder of what to expect with next week’s programme can make a huge difference to making a new adult feel welcome.

Disclosure and Membership

Most adults taking part in the 4 Week Challenge will not be current members of the Scout Association, nor hold a PVG Disclosure. Therefore, the following steps are important when signing up an adult for the 4 Week Challenge.

Prior to commencing the 4 Week Challenge the adult volunteer should complete a self-declaration form (Casual Helper Form) which declares there is no known reason why they cannot help. These should be kept locally and destroyed after they have either left or graduated from the scheme. They should also be given a yellow card and be familiarised with the venue in advance of the commencement of the 4 Week Challenge.

  1. The individual should be supervised throughout the period and should not have unsupervised access to children and young people. Like all “none Disclosure” adults, it is important you have enough current volunteers present to make sure you have ‘sight and sound’ of the new adult at all times. If your programme or venue is not appropriate for your team to have ‘sight and sound’ of the new volunteer at all times you should register them as an occasional helper and obtain a Scouting disclosure prior to the start of the challenge.
  2. You should inform the Scouting Support Officer Mike Treanor @ michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk about the details of the 4 Week Challenge – name of new adult volunteer, section being supported, dates and the outcome at the end of the challenge.
  3. If the new adult continues to volunteer beyond week 4, it is important that they complete a PVG and go through the normal appointment process otherwise they should leave the movement.

Support material for the 4 Week Challenge can be sourced via the Scout Brand Centre.

Download Casual Helper Form

Download Four Week Challenge Information Sheet

Got a query about which way to go?

Information and support for leaders


Got a question you need an answer to in a hurry and you don’t know where to go? The “Information and Support” page  on the South East Scotland Scout website might be able to help.

The page provides support to leaders and assistants, other adult volunteers, parents and young people, particularly in the older sections, in a number of areas including adventurous activities, development, funding, safeguarding and young leaders. Over the coming months we will be ensuring our website pages are as up to date as possible, as well as adding new sections including support on leader recruitment.

If you have any ideas on the type of information you would like to see on the Information and Support page get in touch with Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer @ michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk

And news about Communications from the Region


At the end of August, we had the first meeting of our Regional Communications Scoping Group who are reviewing how we currently communicate with our different audiences including leaders, adult volunteers, parents and the public. The aim of the Group will be to recommend how we make our Regional Communications more relevant, useful and compulsive and how we set up ourselves to achieve this.

If you have any ideas about how we improve the communications you receive from the Region please get in touch with Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer @ michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk

Come and assist us recruit more new leaders

Two great opportunities to meet potential adult volunteers


We have arranged to attend two Volunteer Fairs which are being held in Edinburgh in September and October. We are looking for additional support to assist us on the stalls to let potential volunteers know about the many benefits of Scouting for both our young people and also the potential volunteers themselves.   

The first event, a Volunteer Recruitment Fair, organised by Volunteer Edinburgh, will be held on Wednesday 18th September, 11am to 7pm, at St Paul’s and St George’s Church on York Place, Edinburgh. Approximately 800-1,000 visitors are expected.

The second event, a Careers Fair for Volunteering and Third Sector Jobs, organised by Edinburgh University, will be held on Thursday 10th October (timings tbc) at McEwan Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh.  The University has over 4,000 students who will be invited to the event.

If you can spare an hour or more and would like to support either or both of these events please contact Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer by email at michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk