Edinburgh Gang Show 2019 – the 60th show!

Edinburgh Gang Show 2019 – the 60th show! 

The Edinburgh Gang Show is a large scale variety show presented annually at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. The show regularly features over 250 young people from South East Scotland Scouts and Girlguiding Edinburgh and is recognised as the biggest Gang Show in the UK. Involvement in the Gang Show can develop and expand young ​people creatively, and encourage important skills such as teamwork ​and collaboration, confidence, self-awareness, self-discipline and time​ management.

Just being involved is an adventurous journey that promises fun,​ excitement and learning along the way.

Put the date in your diary now and involve your section as we celebrate our 60th annual Gang Show!

Edinburgh Gang Show 2019 – the 60th show!

Tue 19 to Sat 23 November – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

Tickets on sale now. capitaltheatres.com 

Junior Gang Auditions

Cubs – be part of the Gang! 

We are looking for 60 Cub Scouts to be part of the ‘Edinburgh Gang Show 2019 – the 60th Show’ at the King’s Theatre in November. Cub Scouts perform with Brownies from Girlguiding Edinburgh and together they are known as the ‘The Junior Gang and are considered to be a highlight of the show! 

Please pass on the information about auditions to interested Cub Scouts. Details:  https://www.edinburghgangshow.co.uk/edinburgh-gang-show-auditions/

Main Gang – Additional Audition 

Unfortunately, details of the Edinburgh Gang Show 2019 Main Gang Auditions were omitted in recent SE Region email newsletters.

An additional audition date has now been set for Sunday 16 June at 1.45pm – 2.30pm at St Anne’s Parish Church, Kaimes Road. Regrettably, this additional audition is only available to male Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Scout Network members.

It’s not always easy but we want to make everyone welcome

In Scouting, we believe everyone, regardless of their additional needs, should be able to participate in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, just like these Beavers having fun at Bonaly.

With the right support, there is no reason why a young autistic person cannot fully access Scouting. There are already some great things we do as Scouts that support young autistic people, for example our structured sessions and our balanced programme.

The range of activities and experiences offered help them and their non-autistic friends in many ways to develop skills for life. However, there are also some things that young people on the autism spectrum may find challenging and need extra support with. You can find much more information to help you better understand and support young autistic people in Scouting, read more here.

All Groups must make reasonable adjustments to support young people with additional needs, so that all young people can access all sections.

What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong condition affecting how someone communicates with and relates to other people and the world around them. It can be thought of as an invisible or hidden disability. Autistic individuals share certain areas of difficulty, but are affected in different ways and of different levels.

This is why the term Autism Spectrum Disorder or Condition (ASD/ ASC) exists. There are a range of terms that may be used which fall on this spectrum, including autism, high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger Syndrome. Autism can be referred to as a hidden disability, as you can’t tell that someone is autistic just by looking at them and this can lead to the individual being misinterpreted or judged. Young people on the autism spectrum are also more vulnerable to bullying, with over 40% of autistic children having been bullied at school (National Autistic Society, 2006).

Additional support and resources


You can view the first Scouting and autism webinar here (first broadcast on 25 April 2019) or choose to join a future session.

We have specialist advisers in our Region and at SHQ, so if you want advice or assistance in coping with young people with autism please do get in touch with me or John Kitson, Development Adviser (Special Needs), SHQ, at John.Kitson@scouts.scot

Margery Naylor, Regional Commissioner

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.


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



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.


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!

Fifty Cubs from Durham visit Edinburgh and have a great time!

Fifty Cubs from Durham City District came up by coach for their District Camp at Bonaly Scout Centre in Edinburgh. On Saturday we woke up to snow followed by lots of rain, but the Cubs weren’t going to be put off by that.  Having started to plan the route on Friday night, Cubs set off in smaller groups to get the bus into Edinburgh, half were to spend the morning at Dynamic Earth and the other half to start on Monopoly Run.

The morning group eventually made it to Dynamic Earth having got very cold and damp after walking across Edinburgh, so they were very grateful for the hot chocolate that I bought them on arrival to warm them up!  The staff at Dynamic Earth were fantastic – nothing was a bother and we delayed our tour to get warmed up. We spent around 4-5 hours in Dynamic Earth, although some groups spent more time than others. The Cubs had an amazing time!

We then set off trying to get to as many locations as we could and for Cubs to get their photo taken at those places.  We met some very friendly Policemen outside the Scottish Parliament who spoke to the children and let them have a look at their handcuffs.  My group were determined that we would get to The Royal Yacht Britannia, which we did!

Back to camp for a nice warm dinner and an indoor campfire as the Cubs had been cold and wet enough for one day. Well done to our Leaders and Young Leaders who ran our singing for us. It is always good to have lots of volunteers.

On Sunday morning we took the Cubs to the swimming pool at Wester Hailes where the staff were really accommodating.  Cubs took part in staged swimming badges with a number of leaders on the side checking off each stage. The remaining leaders stayed in the pool, just in case, but all went well and 50 Cubs achieved a swimming badge! We split the Cubs into 2 groups and the other half went to Ratho climbing wall where all the Cubs had the opportunity to take part in climbing.

Thank you, Bonaly, for a great weekend, we will definitely be back again soon.

Sarah Dodds, ADC Cub Scouts, Durham

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.

My dream job!!

When I first started camping at Bonaly, Jack Cuthill was in charge and trek carts were the primary means of transport.  Fortunately, my Troop, the 134th Craiglockhart had bought an ex-army radio cart with suspension which could be pushed and pulled by 4 people.  This suited the winding road up to Bonaly. Many years later the campsite has the same attraction given its access to the City and the Pentland Hills however gone are hand carts, replaced by cars and minibuses supervised by the ASU with their radios and hi-vis vests.

We now have a very professional team managing the campsite and whilst we wait on the arrival of our new manager, Mark Campbell, I was given the privilege to support Barry, Lynne, Blanche, Julie and Neil in my role as the Interim Manager for a few months!!!  The focus of our work has been to serve Scouting and support the needs of our Community by offering facilities to schools and other local organisations.  There has been a concern that we hadn’t got the balance just right however with the support of our regular users we have seen a significant increase in the use of the campsite by SES groups.

John, Barry, Blanche, Lynne and Neil

Each weekend when I talk to Leaders at Bonaly they are so enthusiastic about their programme and it’s a delight to watch our young people learn the basics of outdoor life and develop confidence in a safe environment.  There is still much to do to improve the site however Barry, the ASU and Steve’s Estates committee have made a great start using funds provided by the Regional Executive.

Neil, Julie and our Activity Instructors provide exciting and challenging activities.  The demand is growing however given the finite nature of these resources Leaders must plan their programme and book the activities as early as possible to avoid being disappointed.  The team also lead the holiday Adventure Clubs which provide a valuable resource for parents and much needed income for the centre.

Blanche and Lynne also do a fantastic job with the booking arrangements and Regional finances.  Their work has increased significantly with the interest shn in the holiday activities, growing site usage and participation in International camps.  They are totally customer focused and intent on making your visit successful and stress free so come and enjoy their “welcome”.

I also wish to acknowledge the great work done by our other volunteers whose tireless efforts provide the Tuck Shop services and catering for visiting schools and Scouting events. This work is so important and demanding given the increasing demands for dietary needs and the challenges of food allergies.

As my time in this role draws to a close I want to thank every member of staff, the many volunteers and Leaders who have supported Bonaly and continue to make this the best place to play the game of Scouting.   

John Bruce, Regional Secretary and Manager of Bonaly Scout Centre until 6 May 2019.