Grand Reunion

On a lovely summer day, 20th July, Longcraig welcomed many people through the doors  – new and old.

New, because our current members brought along a few folks who might wish to help us out in the near future and pass on their skills they have learned in water sports.

Old, because around 50 people gathered together (or came when they could) and a few of these were old enough to have been involved when the first small wooden hut was erected at Longcraig Pier.

The photos show:

Tony Jones (whose father, Dave Jones as Sea Activity Commissioner, was part of the initiative to bring sea activities to the shelter and availability of Longcraig back in 1969) and his wife Pat light the candles depicting 50 years of activities. Tony was a Venture Scout when Longcraig started, and for may years was a qualified sailing instructor on our team.

Tommy Scott, now well over 80, has been a supported of Longcraig since the beginning, alongside his close interest in 7th North East Sea Scout Group. Tommy kindly wielded the Big Knife and cut the cake, appropriately designed and made representing a sandcastle.

Amongst the others who were able to join us, were around three or four who are all turning 50 this year too, so the cake had a particularly special meaning as we wished everyone a very Happy Birthday! At least one visitor flew in from Dublin, just for the day, in order to come back and reminisce with her ex-colleagues!

As it was a particularly nice day (despite the forecast of rain and wind……) a number of folks took advantage of some boat trips, and the chat and BBQ continued well into the evening.

Our thanks also reach out to the Craigalmond ASU team who ably provided a steady supply of soup, tea and coffee throughout the day and then administered the Barbeque and toasts as the afternoon went on.

It was a great way to formally say Thank You to those who have gone before us and who helped int heir own way, to the creation of the Centre we have today – 100,000 Young People later!

TRY SOMETHING NEW

In this our 50th Anniversary Year, we are offering the opportunity to try a new activity – the Dutch call it Wadlopen, we call it a Mud Walk!

It only happens about three of four times a year, when we have very large spring tides, and the area where out boats are moored dries out completely. We have about one hour to explore the dried out sea bed and discover some of the wild life (and other things) that lurk there. And you will get a bit muddy…….

This year, as a trial, adults only. It has to take place on Friday 30th August. Low water is 08.18 so we will start off at 7.45am at Longcraig Scout Centre. Tea, coffee and Mississippi Mud Cake available afterwards (and perhaps a bacon roll). There is a nominal charge for this event of £5 all of which will go towards the costs of the anniversary special events. Please contact Ian Harrower ian.harrower2@virgin.net if you would like to come along and get your boots muddy.

Borders District Water Activity Weekend – A Fuller Report

This first of this year’s special Longcraig anniversary events for Scouts took place at the beginning of June, based at St Marys Loch Sailing Club in the Borders. This was arranged for Scouts and Explorers from Borders District, and was significant on at least two counts:

The first was that 190 young people were able to take part in a wide range of water activities, courtesy of the generosity of the St Marys Loch Sailing Club whose facilities we were able to use. Despite some less than ideal weather conditions for June (windy, often wet, and unseasonably cool) the vast majority of the participants had a great time on, near or  in the water depending which activity they close! Some activities, such as the single handed sailing dinghies, had to be curtailed due to the strong winds, but we were able to utilise other equipment to make sure that everyone was able to experience first hand what water activities are all about.

The second was the large amount of logistics involved in making the weekend happen! Many trailer-loads of boats, kayaks, safety boats and all the necessary support equipment was transported down to St Marys Loch and back again by the Longcraig team; and also the Scouts attending came from all across the Borders District – from as far afield as Earlston, Eyemouth, as well as more local ones whose journey was a bit less.

But this is the nature of Scouting in a rural area, it is of course offset by the amazing scenery (even when raining), the closeness to nature – birds, animals and plants – and the varied terrain of the Borders District in general. It’s not every day we can see ospreys hunting for fish whilst paddling around in a kayak!

To ensure the Scouts got the very most out of the opportunity to take part, there were many people involved in making the weekend a success:

The Longcraig Team, who provided transportation and supervision on the water;

The Borders Leader Team who organised all the local arrangements, provided tentage, and – importantly – fed all the adult helpers who were involved;

St Marys Loch Sailing Club who willing opened up their facilities to enable us to make the event happen, and put up with over 200 people trampling around and through their clubhouse facilities;

Birthday cakes were lit up with sparkling candles, and Scouts resounding sang ‘Happy Birthday to Longcraig’ with a watery resonance!

DISTRICT WEEKENDS CONTINUE WITH EDINBURGH NORTH EAST

 

The second District activity weekend took place at Longcraig in the middle of June. Edinburgh North East ran a whole district camp at Fordell Firs over the weekend, and bussed a group of Scouts and explorers over the Forth to Longcraig throughout Saturday and Sunday to take part in a range of activities on the water. For many, this was their first visit to longcraig, and for others, it was of course a return visit if they had been before.  Despite all that, everyone got the opportunity to have a try at a number of activities, even if some of them did have to be reined in a little bit. A birthday cake for Longcraig’s 50 years was produced for each group attending, and over 150 Scouts sang a resounding ‘Happy Birthday to Longcraig’

Youngest Scout lighting cake candle

Next event: we jump to just after the middle of August when Craigalmond District have their opportunity.

 

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

Or anyone you know??

We have been in touch with a good number of the folks who have helped out at Longcraig in previous years, in any capacity. But we know there are many more that we have lost touch with (or may have lost touch with us). If you know of anyone, can you please point them to a new dedicated e-mail address we have set up, to get in touch.

reunion@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!

We are planning a reunion and celebration event in July specially for these very important people!

REMINDER:

One of the more important ‘instructions’ that we issue to all groups using Longcraig for any water activities is a need to come prepared for the activity and prepared for the Scottish weather! This includes – clothing and footwear suitable for wearing during the activity, that may get wet; a change of clothing so you have something dry to go home in; and a towel to rub the water off should you happen to get wet! Not everyone will get wet, and water activities don’t necessarily involve falling in the water – but it can happen! And sometimes it is just rain water that has the effect!

So, please remined all participants to  “Be Prepared” and follow our guidelines closely. We don’t want young people to be put off by being cold, or unnecessarily wet, and we certainly don’t want to have to stop people from taking part – but we will do so if we feel that they are inadequately dressed or protected from the weather or conditions.

We don’t always need all of the elements in the poster but it has some good guidance!  

Midsummer’s Day 2019

The setting of the Sun – 10.04pm

Explorer Scouts invested into their Unit afloat on Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP)

Two Explorer Scouts from Earlston were invested as Explorers standing atop Paddleboards which they had just learned to master, during the recent Borders water activity weekend. More photos and a full report in next month’s newsletter!

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

 

Or anyone you know??

We have been in touch with a good number of the folks who have helped out at Longcraig in previous years, in any capacity. But we know there are many more that we have lost touch with (or may have lost touch with us). If you know of anyone, can you please point them to a new dedicated e-mail address we have set up, to get in touch.

reunion@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!

We are planning a reunion and celebration event in July specially for these very important people so need to get in touch with anyone we have missed very soon!

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