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!



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.

or directly to:

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!


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

Emergencies and Reporting

It is important to know what to do in an emergency and for everyone involved in an activity to know what is going to happen if there is an emergency.

It is also important to have clear processes for reporting of incidents, both locally, nationally and where appropriate to other agencies.


Safe Scouting and What to do in an Emergency (Purple Card)

This contains essential Information to help you plan safe activities and the necessary prompts to aid you in the event of an accident.  You can also get a handy pocket sized card free from Scout Store.

When reporting an incident to the Info Centre at HQ, Gilwell please provide the following information:

  • Name of injured person, membership type, Group/Unit, District and County
  • Date of incident
  • Activity being undertaken
  • Nature of the injury and severity (were they kept in hospital overnight?)
  • Any external agencies involved
  • Who is reporting the incident and how can they be contacted.

Chapter 7 of Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) lays out the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency involving a member of The Scout Association.

FS320012 Safety – Practical Tips (PDF)
Four key topics which should form part of your planning and organisation for safety:

  • Leader in charge– you must have a nominated person in charge and what you need to consider for this vital strategic role for all Scouting activity.
  • Safety on the Agenda– thinking about safety happens all the time and should be discussed at all meetings. Tips for items that pick up safety issues but aren’t at first obvious.
  • Near Miss reporting– most of the time these just need to come to the attention of the Leaders meeting or Executive to be reviewed and a possible fix put in place. Sometimes it is helpful to let Headquarters know as it could have a wider reaching affect if not picked up.
  • Accident Book– you should have one you put together a simple recording process and explains how/when you may need to report it further.

Near Miss Reporting

As well as reporting incidents where injuries occur it is also important to log and track incidents which could have resulted in significant injury or impact or could have been much worse given a few minor changes to the situation. 

The Scout Association have an online near miss form which allows members to share information about these incidents which can then be learned from to prevent future incidents.

Local Recording

It is important to make local records of any incidents. This will allow you to pass relevant information to parents following an incident. Recording of incidents needs to be done in a sensitive way and meeting all data protection regulations.

Mike, our new Scouting Support Officer, starts work

I am delighted to have been appointed as Scouting Support Officer for South East Scotland Scouts – I started in role on 1st July.

I recently left the Royal Bank of Scotland at their HQ in Edinburgh and I hope to use some of the experience and skills I acquired over my career, including during the 10 years I have been involved in Scouting as an Assistant Scout Leader and more latterly as a Scout Leader, to help provide some focus on the greatest need in our Region – to assist in the recruitment and training of new leaders, as well as supporting our current leaders.

During the first few weeks I will be meeting with as many people as I can to understand the key challenges and opportunities to help support our great teams across the South East of Scotland. I will also be reviewing our Census data, our current onboarding process for new leaders and also helping to drive aspects of our Regional Strategy.=

I have an initial ask – I would love to hear from as many of you as possible with regard to what you think is going well and how we might improve, specifically with regard to leader recruitment, onboarding and retention That will help me to bring together some best practice we can share across the region.

I can be reached via email or via my mobile on 07432866520. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Mike Treanor
Scouting Support Officer, South East Scotland Scouts

Mike with the best patrol at Easter camp

Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian visits East Lothian Beavers

Iain has risen to the challenge and has agreed to complete the Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award which is an award from Scouts Scotland exclusively for MSPs who are committed to raising issues related to young people in the Scottish Parliament.

He is working towards his Youth Advocacy Award by completing a number of activities in the same way all Scouts do for their badges. These actions have been chosen and designed by young people in Scouting.

He visited and joined in helping with 1st North Berwick Scout Group – Monday Beavers on 3rd June 2019 which is one of activities towards his award.

He helped our Beavers with their camp preparation which included, learning some songs with actions around our indoor campfire, helping the Beavers Scouts decide what to pack for camp so that the  Beavers can “Be Prepared“, how to unpack and pack their sleeping bag, learning how to make a reef knot and the tradition of having a Scout camp blanket. Some Beavers discussed in detail with what activities they did to earn their Personal challenge badge.

# skills for life packing up your sleeping bag 

His visit also took place during National Volunteers Week and it was a great opportunity for him to find out about the work that all our volunteers do on a weekly basis across East Lothian.

As an East Lothian MSP, he was presented with an East Lothian District Scout Necker by Hilary Cartwright, Group Scout leader, 1st North Berwick and Deputy District Commissioner of East Lothian Scout District.

1st North Berwick Scout Group wishes him well as he continues to raise issues on behalf of young people in East Lothian in the Scottish Parliament and as he strives to achieve his award.

Border Scouts help protect Golden Eagle future

Innerleithen youngsters go for gold to back eagle project

The Southern Reporter – 21/01/2019

​Youngsters in Innerleithen are keeping an eye on the sky to show their support for a project to boost southern Scotland’s golden eagle population. The town’s scout group has been signed up by the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project as its first champions as part of an initiative to help safeguard the future of the birds of prey in the region. The scouts will get the chance to learn all about the iconic birds and will design a badge to display their champion status.

Borders Scouts work to safeguard the future of golden eagles

Peeblesshire News – 18/01/2019

SCOUTS in Innerleithen have launched a new initiative to help safeguard the future of golden eagles in the UK. Working with the the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, the youngsters will become the county’s first ever ‘Golden Eagle Champions’. The Innerleithen Scout Group’s new role will allow the children to discover how golden eagles live and survive as well as learning from wildlife experts as they get out and about in the countryside. It is also hoped that the initiative will further the Scouts’ knowledge of the local environment and the abundance of wildlife on their doorstep.

Scottish Scouts become Golden Eagle Champions

Scottish Field Magazine – 18/01/2019

​A Scottish Scout group is launching the first ever Golden Eagle Champions initiative to help safeguard the future of Golden Eagles in the UK. Working closely with the groundbreaking South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, the Scottish Borders Innerleithen Scout Group will become the UK’s first ever Golden Eagle Champions, learning from experts and getting to see some of these iconic birds themselves. The Borders’ Scouts will also be designing a special badge that the group can earn as part of their work on this project.

 Read more about this great project at

Edinburgh Gang Show 2019 – the 60th Show!

Preparations are well underway for the 60th Edinburgh Gang Show this November. The Main Gang comprised of Scouts, Guides, Explorer Scouts, Rangers and Scout Network have had initial song rehearsals and the cast have auditioned for solos, duets and parts in the comedy sketches. The Junior Gang have assembled and will begin their rehearsals in September. The Management Team have met to discuss the best way forward for the next few months and the Stage Crew, Wardrobe Team, Administration and Marketing Team are all busy making plans to celebrate this momentous anniversary.

Edinburgh Gang Show is a major part of the Scouting and the Girlguiding annual programme and the next newsletter article will highlight how Gang Show relates to #SkillsForLife

Please keep a trip to the King’s Theatre in mind when planning your programme for the next Scouting year. Stay up to date with all our activities by following us on our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Edinburgh Gang Show 2019 – the 60th
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Tue 19 to Sat 23 November 2019
Evenings 7.00pm
Sat Matinee 2.15pm
0131 529 6000
Group Discounts Available.