Longcraig 50th Anniversary activities roll on!

And do you know the date when Bear Grylls, the Chief Scout, visited Longcraig?

We have amassed well over 100 photos of Longcraig Scout Centre and the people involved in the Centre over the 50 years. These are all being collated and will shortly be available to look at, laugh at, cry about, and reminisce over, both in hard copy (yes, real photos!) and soft copy (online). Details of how to access these will follow soon! Thanks to everyone who has dug deep and cleared out their cupboards!

And funding continues to roll in!

Another donation towards the costs of our Anniversary Events was received in April, this time from the South Queensferry Rotary Club, to whom we are very grateful for their interest and support.

All of these donations will help ensure that we can celebrate our special anniversary year without any impact on the services we provide to Scouts and Guides through training and water experiences.

We continue to seek donations or sponsorship; if anyone is aware of any potential supported please put them in touch to ian.harrower2@virgin.net.

Improvements and upgrades at Longcraig

Over the winter months we have continued to see and make a number of updates to equipment and facilities.

These include:

  • The little orange tractor, vital for helping us launch and recover the safety boats, has had a makeover and substantial amount of repair work carried out – (almost) as good as new!
  • We replaced all the old toilet seats with shiny new soft-close ones!
  • The boats damaged in the September storms last year have been repaired and had broken bits replaced – see photos below of repairs carried out in our workshop to one of the Wayfarer dinghies.

Both of these will be colour blended in before use!

The roadway from South Queensferry along to Longcraig has been repaired and levelled, and some modifications made to the drainage.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

Push The Boat Out 2019

 

 This initiative, essentially an open day sponsored nationally by the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) is this year being supported by Longcraig and aimed at leaders and adults.

The are several aims for this day in the calendar –

  • To encourage adults to take part in water activities and perhaps develop a liking for it;
  • to promote the use of our Centre for both adults and young people alike;
  • to seek to encourage anyone who wishes to volunteer, do consider doing so. This can be with a water skill that you can bring, or not. We have opportunities for a range of support both on and off the water.

But the PTBO Day is predominantly to let people see what Water activities is all about.

The date for this year’s event is Saturday 11 May.

For more details contact: getinvolved@longcraig.info

DISTRICT WEEKENDS START SOON!

 

Every District in South East Region was invited to nominate a weekend of activities as part of a wider plan to extend our services out to every Scout Group. In early June, we will be packing up lots of equipment and taking activities down to the Borders for a weekend with the Borders District at St Marys Loch. 

Later in June, we will welcome Scouts and Explorers from North East District to Longcraig, as an integral part of a large District Camp being held at Fordell Firs.

Other events are planned for later in the year which we will elaborate on in later newsletters.

REMEMBER: Were you involved in any way with Longcraig Scout Centre at any time?

 

Or anyone you know??

As part of this year’s anniversary celebration, we plan to hold an exclusive day specifically for all the folks who have been involved with Longcraig in any way at some point over the last 50 years. If you would like to put them in touch, or even just let us know and we will contact them, let’s make sure everyone is included in all correspondence and invitations to this and other events which will be taking place.

getinvolved@longcraig.info

or directly to: ian.harrower2@virgin.net

Please pass this snippet of information on to anyone you know who may not have direct access to this newsletter!

Cramond Sea Scouts have great fun on a Honda RIB training day

On Saturday 30 March, Craigalmond Sea Scouts and Explorer Scouts took part in a Honda RIB training day at the Longcraig Scout Centre, South Queensferry.

Cramond Scouts have a very active Sea Scout section. During the year we provide opportunities for Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand-up paddle boarding and last but not least Power Boating. All topped off with the annual Sea Scout Camp at Cumbrae National Water Sports Centre

Every year Cramond Scouts use their RIB (Ridged Inflatable Boat) to run a training day to prepare and select competitors who take part in the National RYA Power Boat challenge. This event also gives complete beginners the opportunity to have a hands-on power boat experience.

The challenge involves driving a power boat at speed to negotiate a predefined skills-based course in the fastest time.

The course below includes:

  1. Slalom
  2. Man – overboard (practiced using a life ring and a buoy).
  3. Reversing

This year there were 23 candidates each getting a minimum of 30 minutes supervised power boat driving and qualified instruction, giving those who were able the opportunity to drive a RIB at speeds up to 30 mph.

With the assistance of three RIBs on the water, the Cramond Scouts’ RIB, the Longcraig RIB and the Cramond Boat Club Safety boat, the two smaller RIBs sped round, negotiating the course while the third boat acted as a ferry to and from Longcraig Pier.

For the first time when holding this event, we were easily able to give each candidate a minimum of 30 Minutes tuition and practice. At the end of each of the six individual practice sessions held that day, even those candidates who were driving a power boat for the first time were able to successfully negotiate the course.

Sounds easy! Not as easy as you might think!

All candidates demonstrated excellent skill with only one over enthusiastic driver catching and dragging the course, oops!

This was the first year at Longcraig and proved to be a great success. The perfect weather (for March) and the sheltered Longcraig Bay, where the Dinghies and Longboats are moored during the sailing season, proved the ideal location to lay the course.

Power Boats out on the course.

This was the most successful practice day yet as we were able to easily launch from the pier with the help of Longcraig Staff and keep the candidates out on the water as long as possible.

A Big Thank you to Longcraig Scout Centre for the excellent facilities and particularly the use of the tractor, an essential tool for launch and recovery.

At the end of the day, there were 23 very happy participants who had a great experience with a very good introduction to power boating and the Longcraig Scout Centre.

Big smiles all round.

Looking forward to next year!

John Kenworthy, Cramond Sea Scouts.

Longcraig Scout Centre Anniversary Funding starts to roll in!

One of our main objectives for 2019 is to ensure that we provide a memorable and worthwhile series of events and activities to celebrate our 50 years of operation.

A second objective is to achieve this, without adding any cost burden on to our users – the scouts and guides who participate in all our activity sessions and training throughout the year.

In the past few weeks, we have been very fortunate to attract funding support from Targe Towing, who operate all the tugs and workboats which work the Hound Point Oil Terminal just beside us. These guys are long term friends as they watch over our boats and moorings during their 24/7 operations, they even come to offer assistance occasionally if we appear to be getting into trouble!

This was followed by a donation from Forth Ports, who control and manage all the harbours and ports in the Forth Estuary, and finally, a donation from Ineos, who now operate the Hound Point Oil Terminal, alongside the Grangemouth Refinery and the 140 mile oil pipeline from Aberdeenshire down to Grangemouth. The photos show the representatives from Ineos with the memento and cheque they presented.

We were also presented with a memento, in the shape of a colour photo of the British challenger for The America’s Cup, signed and personalised for our anniversary by Ben Ainslie, the Manager of the Cup challenge team. The Americas Cup is perhaps one of the ultimate challenges for any watersports enthusiast to aspire to, so it is there to be challenged by future generations of today’s young people with a little practice and some perseverance. See https://www.americascup.com/en/history. Ineos is also a major sponsor of the Americas Cup UK Challenge (as you will see from the sails!)

Here is our highly sought after memento:

Further donations and sponsorship are actively being sought, if anyone is aware of any potential supported please put them in touch to ian.harrower2@virgin.net.

REMEMBER: Were you involved in any way with Longcraig Scout Centre at any time?

If so, we’d love to hear from you!

As part of this year’s anniversary celebration, we plan to hold an exclusive day specifically for all the folks who have been involved with Longcraig in any way at some point over the last 50 years. If you would like to get in touch we will make sure you are included in all correspondence and invitations to this and other events which will be taking place.

getinvolved@longcraig.info

or directly to: ian.harrower2@virgin.net

Please pass this snippet of information on to anyone you know who may not have direct access to this newsletter!

 

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

Push The Boat Out 2019

This initiative, essentially an open day sponsored nationally by the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) is this year being supported by Longcraig and aimed at leaders and adults.

The are several aims for this day in the calendar:

  • To encourage adults to take part in water activities and perhaps develop a liking for it;
  • to promote the use of our Centre for both adults and young people alike;
  • to seek to encourage anyone who wishes to volunteer, do consider doing so. This can be with a water skill that you can bring, or not. We have opportunities for a range of support both on and off the water.

But the PTBO Day is predominantly to let people see what Water activities is all about.

The date for this year’s event is Saturday May 11th.

For more details contact: getinvolved@longcraig.info

 

Ian Harrower, Longcraig Scout Centre Active Support Unit

2019 is Longcraig’s 50th Anniversary – Get in touch!

As many of you are already aware, next year is the 50th Anniversary of Longcraig Scout Centre operating at Longcraig Pier. The history of how this all started is shrouded in the mists of a number of old crimpled and curled up folders and files, but much more detail of the early days and beginnings will come to light as part of the celebration of the 50 years of operation.

In the meantime, we would love to hear from everyone who has had any contact with, involvement in, or taken part in any water activities at Longcraig between 1969 and 2018 (that’s the first 49 years!) Please get in touch, or better still please spread the word through your social media contacts, friends of your Group, or any other contact methods you use.

You or they can get in touch with us through Regional HQ at Bonaly, or directly to Ian Harrower at ian.harrower2@virgin.net.  In particular, we are looking for any old photos, documents, stories, or recollections over the years.

Before the beginning:

 

Longcraig circa 1968

Longcraig Pier before the Scouts moved in! (circa 1968, photo believed to be taken by Edinburgh Air Scout team)

Special events for 2019

We are working with all the Districts in South East Scotland Region to set up specific events throughout 2019 to support our year of celebration. The plans for these are nearing completion and we hope to be able to share the dates in the next newsletter, ahead of publication of our full programme for the year, so that everyone has the opportunity to get these dates into their diaries as early as possible. Please also keep in touch with your own District Teams to help formulate these events in the best possible way for your own District and for the widest benefit to the young people within your governance.

Training opportunities

Now is a good time to be thinking about the outline for your programme for next year, and in particular, any training needs or desires that you might have for paddle sports, sail sports or power boats – we can do all of these, from sectional Badges through to Activity Permit requirements and training and assessment for RYA1 or BCU2 certification.

If any of these things are on your horizon for next year, please get in touch with us: info@sesscouts.org.uk so that we can help plan your ideas into reality and ensure that we provide the courses that people want / need.

 

 

RYA – Royal Yachting Association – the governing body in the UK for sail sports and power boat activities
BCU – British Canoe Union – the governing body in the UK for all things paddle sport related.

 

Weathering the Storms at Longcraig

Longcraig at Sunset

2019 – Longcraig Photographic Competition

Next year is the 50th Anniversary of Longcraig Scout Centre operating at Longcraig Pier.

You will recall a competition that was set up earlier this year inviting challenges to find the oldest photo of scouting involvement at Longcraig Pier, or even of any of it’s predecessor locations around Edinburgh.

We will be ‘closing the door’ on this competition at the end of October so we can announce the winner before the end of 2018, and the likelihood is that the winning result will take pride of place in our Anniversary events and activities next year!

So, if you have not yet dug out your old troop, group or family photos yet, now’s the time to do so! These can be sent in to Regional HQ at Bonaly, or can be e-mailed as PDF or photo images to: ian.harrower2@virgin.net by 31st October.

 

Storm Ali

After surviving the summer storm in June unscathed apart from having to cancel one or two activity bookings, Longcraig did not escape Storm Ali on 19th September quite so well.

The storm, whilst quite short lived, was particularly ferocious and caused three of our moored sailing boats to be capsized at their moorings. We have never had three boats capsized simultaneously before. Whilst we have occasionally had a boat broken off it’s mooring, capsizing of moored boats are extremely rare. A team from the Longcraig ASU attended in the early evening, supported by the local H M Coastguard team, and successfully recovered two of the capsized boats with some struggle. Damage included some of the masts and is still being assessed. The third boat subsequently also broke it’s mooring and was recovered later from the rocky shore at Hound Point, a bit the worse for wear especially on the decks as it had washed ashore upside down. Again, the full extent of this is being assessed but we are confident that repairable damage can be made good over the autumn and winter and that the whole fleet will be back in action again next year.

Fortunately, the storm caused no additional damage to the buildings or any other equipment.

 

Recruitment

The Longcraig team has been busy this year seeking out new recruits to support the ASU both on and off the water. Longcraig is not a ‘closed club’, we welcome any adults who wish to pursue their water related skills to pass onto young people. We welcome anyone who has a water qualification, or simply some skills in any water activity. We can provide the necessary training to lead people to activity permits and suchlike so we are also eager to hear from folk without activity skills. For example, we have a number of support tasks which require volunteers, such as marketing and promotion, catering skills, mechanical or electrical or repairing skills, as well as grass cutting, and activities which can help the Centre develop further adjacent skills to support and supplement the range of on-water activities that we currently do.

If you are interested to find out more, please get in touch via getinvolved@longcraig.info  or ian.harrower2@virgin.net where we can discuss your interests and how best we can incorporate your volunteering into our operations.

Longcraig is run entirely by volunteers, so depends on a wide base of staff from water specialists to a range of non-water specialists. So please drop us a line!

Longcraig – 50th Anniversary

2019

Next year is the 50th Anniversary of Longcraig Scout Centre operating at Longcraig Pier.

We are developing plans to help us celebrate this spectacular occasion, and of course the celebrations will extend out to include every one of you in some way!

In the meantime, as we approach 2019, we need some help from you. Have you ever made use of the services or the equipment at Longcraig? If so, do you have a story to tell? We are compiling a book of tales and memoirs, so all contributions are welcome. Especially from the early years (there’s not so many of these folks still about!) but just as important, things from more recent years. Were you at the opening ceremony for the Centre in 1969? Or the ‘new Building’ in 1998? – we’d love to hear from you. Is your family a second or third generation Longcraig participant? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Did you achieve a badge, award, or certificate? – we’d love to hear from you! Have you got any memorable photos? – we’d love to hear from you!

Please send all your tales and memories and photos to: ian.harrower2@virgin.net

2018 – what remains?

As you read this newsletter, there are only a few weekends left available for activities on the water before we close down for the winter. Why do we do this? Well, we have to stop evening activities close to the end of August – because it starts to get dark not long after 8pm. So, we could offer shortened sessions on the water, but that can be further hampered by thick cloud or mist and such like. It’s not that easy to get everyone off the weather and boats away in the dark! We have tried earlier evening starting times, but a lot of people (including some of our instructors) struggle to get to Longcraig for an earlier start time.

We finish weekend activities in October – why? Because there is a significantly increased risk of bad weather, it will be colder, the days are shorter. For experienced watersports people that can all be OK, with wetsuits, suitable warm clothing etc. But for beginners, this can be just the recipe to put people off for life – which is NOT what we are about! It’s all a matter of risk management!

But we will still be active – all the boats come off the water, get stripped down and stored away, repairs get done, and we start the planning for the next year. You are welcome to come down and help – especially Scouts or Explorers – for one day or a few hours, or for longer. This can fit in with a number of badge activities and can also be a really great contribution t Scouting and in particular to Longcraig.

At the end of September we will be supporting the Scottish Scouts National regatta up at Lochgoilhead, with boats, equipment and some experienced staff. A team from Longcraig runs a scouting version of the RYA Youth RIB Challenge over the weekend, open to any participant at the Regatta.

Explorer units

Following the success of the partnership with the Explorer Unit who have been supporting Longcraig over last winter and through 2018,  we are pleased to invite feedback from other Explorer Units who wish to make water activities and Centre Support a part of their programme. Please contact us for further details of how you can join up and add this to your Unit programme as well as learning new skills, satisfying challenge requirements, and fulfilling service activity all at the same time! Contact Ian on 0131 331 1108 initially.

And more on 2018:

Longcraig is coming to the end of a very successful season and it looks as if we will meet or exceed the targets we agreed with the Region at the start of the year. We would like to thank all of our customer groups and  volunteer staff for their continued support. Bookings for the new season will open on 1st January 2019 and we look forward to your continued custom in our 50th Anniversary year.

Not all our activities are in boats:

Longcraig