21st Midlothian Newtongrange raise money for Australia

21st Midlothian Newtongrange raise money for Australia

The 21st Midlothian Newtongrange Scout Group has raised an amazing £685.90 for the Australian Bushfire disaster at a fundraiser held at its hall.

The money raised will be split 50/50 between Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund and the Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund.

The Group would like to thank the local community who came and supported the fundraising effort and the young people and adults who gave up their time to make it all possible.

Upcoming Scout and Cub Events

Upcoming Scout and Cub Events

The Howling 2020

The Howling – The Scottish National Cub Camp will be run at Scout Adventures Fordell Firs between Friday 6th – Sunday 8th September 2020.

The Howling is open to Cub Packs from across Scotland, who come with their leaders. It is in its 3rd consecutive year and was so popular that it sold out within 12 hours in 2019!!!

We are currently reviewing the booking process, if you would like details emailed, when they become available, please send an email to thehowling@scouts.scot

You can also visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/thehowlingcamp

Richard Fairbairn
Camp Leader
The Howling 2020



Booking for ScotJam 2020 is now open!!

ScotJam is Scouts Scotland annual summer residential experience for Cubs and Scouts at Scout Adventures Lochgoilhead.

ScotJam for Cubs runs from the 13th to 17th July 2020. The cost is £250.

ScotJam for Scouts runs from the 18th to 25th July 2020. The cost is £299.

A £60 deposit secures a place.

 For more information and for booking instructions just follow this link.

Salmonberry clean-up by Pink Panther and Cramond Explorers

Salmonberry clean-up by Pink Panther and Cramond Explorers

On 19th January, 30 explorer scouts and leaders from Pink Panthers Explorers and Cramond explorers chopped down, pulled up and burned the invasive Salmonberry from Corstorphine hill.

Salmonberry is an incredibly fast-growing invasive plant species which is native to the west coast of America from Alaska all the way to California, meaning it is very versatile and grows easily in very different climates. Salmonberry can become very woody and hard to manage if left to its own devices and sprouts can grow very quickly from the main roots. It may also become difficult for us and animals to walk through if allowed to grow too large. Salmonberry can end up killing the other plants around it as they no longer receive the sunlight they require to grow. It can also prevent plants from growing for the same reasons.  

The Explorers spent the day tirelessly working to pull up these plants and large roots. Everyone got stuck in, especially when burning the Salmonberry!

 They managed to clear a huge area of Corstorphine hill saving many of the native plants and wildlife from this invasive plant and encourages the woods to flourish. Halfway through the day there was a delicious BBQ prepared by the ASU which gave everyone the energy for a final push. Our explorers were rewarded for their efforts with a trip up Corstorphine tower. A huge thank you goes to the rangers and Friends of Corstorphine Hill for allowing us access to the tower itself.

 Many of our explorers also used this project as an opportunity to achieve parts of their platinum or diamond chief scout awards. To achieve these top awards the explorers need to complete either bronze or silver DofE and also 2 or 4 activities on top of that from a list. This Salmonberry clear up gave our explorers the opportunity to research and participate in an environmental project that helps to improve their local environment. As a group we plan to make this project an annual event as although the explorers cleared a huge amount of the salmonberry there is still a lot to do before the incredibly invasive species that is salmonberry is almost completely eradicated, or a lot more tightly controlled, from Corstorphine hill. Hopefully as this gains traction even more young people and leaders from Cramond Explorers and Pink Panthers explorers will participate in this worthwhile event next year.

Inclusion Courses

Inclusion Courses

The Region will be running two autism workshops in early 2020 to support our local leaders. The workshops will be supported by the National Autistic Society Scotland and will provide an opportunity to share and explore strategies for supporting young people with autism in Scouting.

 We are also hoping to include a session on therapeutic gardening which is all about inclusive activities for those who sometimes experience challenges in joining in.

The workshops will last 4 hours and we anticipate having approx. 30 spaces available at each venue.

 The workshops will take place between 10am to 2pm: 

  • Saturday 28th March – Edinburgh @ 31st Pentland Hall, 45 Lanark Road West, Currie, EH14 5JX 
  • Sunday 29th March – Borders @ Melrose Scout Hall, Abbey Place Melrose

The courses will be available to book on the South East Scotland website soon. 

    2nd Haddington Explorer Scouts Bushcraft & Survival Weekend

    2nd Haddington Explorer Scouts Bushcraft & Survival Weekend

    On Friday 4th October the 2nd Haddington Explorers ventured out to the idyllic location of Bolton Muir Woods, where we spent the weekend wild camping.

    When everyone arrived, we spread out and found their ideal location to pitch their tents and hang their hammocks.

    Task accomplished, we worked in collaboration to peg out a large parachute where we socialised and ate. Fulfilled, we went to bed.

    Saturday morning bright and early we all made our way out of bed, where we ate breakfast and went over the itinerary for the day.

    The main jobs for the day were building a table, prepping our meals, collecting/chopping firewood and creating a shelter where we would spend our second night.

    The shelter took up the majority of our day as we built a structure out of wood and layered bracken over the top to make it more water resistant and add insulation.

    After our achievement we dressed the game and prepped the veg for dinner. Once dinner was finished, we spent a cold and wet night in the shelter.

    Once we woke up and finished breakfast, we packed our bags but left our tents for later.

    Neville Kilkenny came and educated us about the different types of fungi and how to identify them. After we ventured further into the forest we chopped and cook the edible mushrooms we had collected and had them for our lunch. We didn’t have long left until we had to leave so we packed up the remaining of our equipment and left.

    Hillwalking Permits (T1 & T2). 2020 Training & Assessment programme now live!

    Hillwalking Permits (T1 & T2). 2020 Training & Assessment programme now live!

    In our December Newsletter we mentioned we were developing the Hillwalking Permits programme for 2020.

     This has now been completed and the training details are summarised below.



    Type of training

    Who is it for

    Max no of candidates

    19 Feb 7 – 9pm

    Basic & intermediate navigation

    People looking to either learn or brush up on their navigation skills


    26 Feb 7 – 9pm

    Advanced Navigation including route plans & escape routes

    Getting ready for T1 or T2 assessment






    4 Mar 7 -9pm



    Emergency procedures, 



    Getting ready for T1 or T2 assessment








    Risk Assessment

    Group Management (including remote management)

    Personal & Team Equipment

    Planning (Inc. weather forecasts)

    11 Mar 7 – 9pm

    Advanced Navigation (micro & night)

    Getting ready for T1 or T2 assessment


    29 Mar – All Day. Timings & venue TBC

    Navigation exercise, camping & Security on Steep Ground + water hazards (for T2)

    Navigation & camping (T1 & T2 assessment)

    SoSG & Water hazards (T2 assessment)       



    The training is not a mandatory requirement but recommended in order to make sure you are ready for assessment. Also, there is no need to come on all the dates; just choose the ones you feel will benefit you the most. We expect high demand and noting places are limited, we would encourage you to sign up quickly!

    And if you are beginner or your navigation skills are rusty we particularly recommend the basic and intermediate navigation course even if you do not wish to gain a permit for this year. The skills and techniques taught are useful for all terrains (including T0) and will support you leading outdoor walks and expeditions with young people.

    The first 4 dates will all be held at Bonaly and the booking instructions are now live on the Regional website.

    If you wish to book a date for an Assessment (whether you are undertaking training or not) please email hillwalking@sesscouts.org.uk with which dates you would be available and any order of preference if giving more than one. If you have not yet submitted your permit application form and hillwalking log then please do so at the same time. Details of this can be found https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/30/hillwalking?moduleID=24&cat=26,407,351&runMethod=scout.

    We will then come back to you to advise which date you have been provisionally allocated with initial next steps (full details of the assessments are usually sent 2 weeks prior to the date). We hope to offer the date you have requested but it will be subject to a minimum number of candidates being available.

    Provisional Assessment Dates


    Type of Assessment

    Min & Max no of candidates

    18 & 19 April

    T1 Assessment


    25 & 26 April

    T2 Assessment


    5 & 6 Sept

    T2 Assessment


    12 & 13 Sept

    T1 Assessment


    26 & 27 Sept

    T2 Assessment


    10 & 11 Oct

    T1 Assessment


    If you have any queries please email hillwalking@sesscouts.org.uk