Bonaly Update

Things have been a bit quieter for us at Bonaly during the Scout holidays, but we have still had over 650 people stay with us in August. We have been pleased to welcome groups from our region, elsewhere in Scotland, England, Poland, The Netherlands and Germany.

Our activities team have been busy during the summer holidays. Along with our ever-popular Adventure Club programme for 6 to 12-year olds, we have been running activities on the High Challenge Course for youth groups from the Borders and Lanarkshire and for visiting Scout groups from Aberdeenshire, Greenock, Hertfordshire and, closer to home, 23rd Craigalmond Scouts. We have availability for both day and evening visits post summer holidays so why not book your group in for a day or evening of activities.

Above: Fun in the woods with the Adventure Club

Impact Funding Partners came to Bonaly in August for a corporate team building day. They enjoyed High Ropes, Mohawk Walk, Nightline, BBQ lunch and a rather competitive Highland Games.

If you’re going to ScoutFest at Fordell Firs this September we might see you there, Bonaly representatives are attending on the Saturday.

We are looking forward to hosting a selection weekend for Blair Atholl 6th – 8th September and the subsequent training camps later this year and then early 2020.

We will be opening our new Night Orienteering course with a Spooky Halloween Special on Friday 1st November.  So if you’re not too scared, bring a touch and use a compass to navigate your way through the woods in the dark! This will be a free event for South East Scotland Scouts, places are limited so please call us on 0131 4411878 for more information and to book.

Spooky Halloween Night Orienteering
 Impact Funding team building day.
Mohawk Walk
Highland Games

Longcraig at 50 – Come and join us for the Grand Finale!


In this our 50th Anniversary Year, we are bringing the year’s celebrations to a close with a Fireworks on the Pier show. This was nominally outlined for September but for a number of really good reasons is now rescheduled to Saturday 26 October. This is the weekend that we traditionally select to get all our boats out of the water for the winter and start to stow away and check what needs fixed etc for the next year. Therefore it is known as our Lay Up Day.

So this year, we are going to celebrate this Work Day with our Fireworks spectacular in the evening. The show will be at 8pm (subject to weather and tidal conditions) and we will be offering steaming hot soup and snacks prior to, and during, the fireworks show. You can arrive any time after 7pm  and take a look round the Longcraig anniversary exhibition in the Centre, prior to taking your position outside, or along the beach, to watch the fireworks. Of course, if anyone would like to help us along the way, you can come down in daylight and assist with the cleaning and stowing activities.

This event is completely free, so round up your friends and come along. During the evening there will be an opportunity to make a small donation which we will share between our colleagues at RNLI South Queensferry and our Anniversary funds.


At last, one of the District weekends struck gold when Craigalmond brought their Cubs, Scouts and Leaders to Longcraig for their water activity weekend at the end of August. Saturday dawned sunny warm and very light wind, ideal for the Cubs who were there first session; still warm and sunny and a reasonable light breeze in the afternoon for the Scouts section, then even sunnier and even warmer, but quite a sturdy breeze for the adults on Sunday. A number of people  got to try something new; others renewed some skills they thought they had over 10 years ago, a few managed to stand up on the Paddleboards – but everyone got some Birthday Cake and many went home with a little bit of a suntan! Two warm and relatively sunny days, both in the same weekend! 99 happy faces.


On Sunday 1st September, around 70 people gathered at Longcraig for an event which included a rededication of the Centre, presentations from John Cannon, Regional Chairman, and Sharkey, the Scottish Chief Commissioner and the cutting of the cake by the Regional Commissioner. A fuller report, and some photos from the event, will come to you in next month’s newsletter! 

Ian Harrower, Longcraig ASU

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 @

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 @

Midlothian District Scouts, Adelboden, Switzerland 2019

On Wednesday 24th July, 11 Leaders, 16 Scouts and 16 Explorers from throughout Midlothian District set off for Adelboden, Switzerland.  We arrived safely after spending 28 hours travelling by coach and ferry.

On Friday we enjoyed a leisurely walk to Engstligenalp where Switzerland’s second largest waterfall can bee seen.  The young people spent some time exploring the area, climbing rocks and enjoying the views.  We also celebrated Damian and Linda’s wedding anniversary with cards, gifts and cake.

Saturday saw us visiting the Schilthorn where we invested seven new Explorers, a Cub Scout Leader and handed out a 10 year service award.  On the way back down we visited Murren village and Birg where the young people and some of the braver adults attempted the sky walk.

On Sunday it decided to rain, a lot, so we adapted the programme to suit.  Frutigen indoor swimming pool, then in the afternoon back at the chalet everyone took part in a bin bag catwalk, which was great fun for all.  Ron and Gravy our coach drivers kindly judged the entries.

Monday 29th we visited the Top of Europe, Jungfrau, after a brief walk out onto the glacier which we had to evacuate due to several people suffering from altitude sickness.

Tuesday the sun shone very brightly, we all enjoyed some sightseeing and shopping in Thun.  We also met some Swiss Scouts and helped them with their Monopoly game.  We travelled to Spiez by boat and met up with Ron and Gravy who took us to Interlaken to visit the chocolate factory.

Wednesday was Kandersteg day.  We took the gondolas to Oeschinensee, walked to the lake and some brave Scouts went for a swim before heading to the toboggans.  In the evening we went to Swiss night, and one of our Scouts, Struan, kindly played the bag pipes and we sang Flower of Scotland, to about 200 other Scouts and Guides.

On Thursday 1st August we celebrated Caroline’s birthday, she thought we’d forgot. Caroline tested herself by taking part in the zip wire activity at the Adventure Park.  We continued the birthday celebrations with a Luau and as it was Swiss National Day we were treated to a fireworks display at night.

Our last day, Friday, we visited Niesenbahn, Swiss Pyramid travelling by funicular to the top, the clouds lifted enough for us to get some spectacular views. 

Saturday 3rd we said a sad goodbye to Adelboden, arriving home on Sunday.

Jo Whiting, Cub Scout Leader, Midlothian District

A proper expedition – not just tourists!

Two groups of Explorers formed from Braid and Craigalmond carried out an excellent DofE Gold expedition over four days at the end of August, walking from Corrour Station and completing their circular route at Rannoch. 

One candidate unfortunately had to drop out on day 3 with an ankle problem but the other twelve completed the expedition in style, one group singing ‘Country road, take me home …’ to keep their spirits up on the last stretch. 

“It was fun.”  “I’m rather sad it’s over.”  “The views were spectacular.” “We really loved seeing a group of tourists watch us wade over the flooded causeway then turn back rather than do the same.” “The best bit was on the last day when we could see back up to the saddle we had climbed on the first day and we realised what we had achieved.”

They all had a sense of humour.  For instance, when asked how they had crossed the river the answer was “After considerable discussion and deliberation”.  And one commented at the debrief session near the end “No ticks, but there’s still a kilometre to go.”

Both groups enjoyed being out in the wilds with no phone signal and relying on burns for water.  They had built up their skills over the previous levels and really appreciated meeting and working together with new friends and having time to chat about things at the campsites.  They were delighted by the perfect weather: almost no rain and enough wind to keep the midges away for a lot of the time. They all intend to get back into the hills again.

The groups did very interesting presentations based on their purpose: one studying Gaelic place names, the other comparing the three big estates they walked through.

They can take a real pride in their achievement and are to be congratulated on it.  Thanks and congratulations are also due to the many adults who helped directly and indirectly with the training, practice and qualifying expeditions done at Bronze, Silver and Gold over several years, and without whom this would not have happened.

John Buchanan DofE Assessor, and ARC (Explorers)

Welcome to our new District Commissioner for East Lothian

Hilary Cartwright

I am a volunteer that had absolutely no relevant previous Scouting experience or Scouting skills 10 years ago. I found my way into Scouting in North Berwick like many volunteers do by stepping forward to ensure a section didn’t close, so my sons’ could get involved.

I joined the movement in 2009 as Beaver Scout leader and persuaded some friends to join me whilst away camping to secure the colony’s future. Then I moved on to being Cub Scout leader in 2014.

It is through both of these roles that my passion for Scouting for All was nurtured as I have a genuine passion to enable young people to do more, learn more and be more, through fun and adventure, as I have seen first-hand that we do make a difference and do have a positive impact on many young people through our shared Scouting adventures.

I have been Group Scout Leader with 1st North Berwick since Jan 2017. I recognise the key to successful local Scouting is continuous recruitment programmes and then active support of leaders and executive group members in their roles. 

So I became a District Training Advisor and a Regional Safeguarding Trainer in 2017. Later in the year I was persuaded to accept the role of Deputy District Commissioner (Adult Support) in 2017, which has enabled me to meet and support many leaders across the large geographical area of our District. 

I am very honoured to be appointed to the role of the District Commissioner for East Lothian. I will continue to be a passionate advocate for young people and for the adults who volunteer to support them 

But Scouting is far removed from my day job as a Chartered Physiotherapist, having worked for many years in NHS  and then subsequently in the private and charitable sectors in various clinical and managerial roles. When I’m not working or Scouting, I am the CEO of my growing family but I do find time for a good book, a box set or a kayak in the North Sea, but couldn’t do any of the above without the enduring support of my family. 

Hilary Cartwright


“I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new District Commissioner for East Lothian. I am very confident that she will bring enthusiasm, energy and a real commitment to working with leaders and supporters to enabling young people to have a great time in Scouting.”

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner.