Volunteering at The Tattoo 2018

Volunteering at The Tattoo 2018

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million.  But there’s no substitute for being there, as part of the 217,000-strong audience over its three-week season at Edinburgh Castle. As a member of Scouting you can become part of it.Continue Reading Volunteering at The Tattoo 2018

Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Chief Scout Bear Grylls recognises 300 young people as Scouting’s top achievers

Fraser Dunmore of Craigalmond was one of 300 Queen’s Scouts being honoured by international adventurer Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, at Windsor Castle for gaining their Queen’s Scouts Awards on Sunday 22 April.  Bear was joined by Princess Beatrice of York.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest honour in Scouting and is awarded for outstanding personal achievement.  This honour is achieved by young people aged between 16 and 25 who have completed a range of challenges, including service to their community, completing an expedition in wild country, undertaking a five-day residential project in an unfamiliar environment and learning a new skill or developing an existing talent.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:

During their time Scouting, all these young people have worked incredibly hard to learn new skills and achieve their Queen’s Scout Award and I am so full of admiration for their spirit, grit and determination.  They have served their community, led others and undertaken expeditions in the UK and around the world. As Queen’s Scouts, they are leading lights and an inspiration to over half a million Scouts in the UK and I am so pleased that Scouting has honoured them today. I am just so proud of all they have achieved.

Fraser says of his Award:

I really enjoyed completing my Queen’s Scout Award as it got me to really challenge myself. It really pushed me to do more for the community and inspire others to do the same! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award.

Going down to Windsor was an experience I will never forget! Everyone was really kind and we were all there as we have all overcome some great challenges. It was amazing to hear all about other people’s experience while completing their award. It was really special to have talks from Bear Grylls and was even more amazing that they managed to get a video of Obama saying congratulations to all of us. The day was really hot and everyone was getting dehydrated but the QSWP looked after us all so well. My favourite part was getting a selfie with Bear Grylls! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award so they can get the opportunity to go down to Windsor Castle too!

Queen's Scout Award badge

Queen’s Scout Award

 

Presentations at Windsor

The annual Windsor Castle event has been held regularly since 1934 on the Sunday nearest to St George’s Day (23 April).  St George is the Patron Saint of Scouting. Since the Queen’s Scout Award was instigated, over 100,000 of these awards have been presented to young men and women for outstanding personal achievements and service to their local communities.  They have learnt new skills and taken part in many of the 200 different activities on offer by Scouting across the UK.

The Queen's Scout Award

The Queen’s Scout Award is achieved by completing the following requirements:

  • Providing service to the community for 12 months. Briefing and training should be given in order to gain the necessary skills.
  • Learning a new skill for 12 months, and show progress and lasting interest. The skill can be the development of an existing interest or something entirely new.
  • Completing a four-day and three-night expedition in open or adventurous country by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy. The expedition should involve careful preparation, training, responsibility and review demonstrating leadership and teamwork skills
  • Completing a five-day and four-night residential project in an unfamiliar environment with people who are not known. This project should be environmental work, activity based, service to others or personal training
  • Completing 18 nights away, of which 12 must be camping.
  • Making a presentation, to a suitable audience, of your achievements so far in working towards the Queen’s Scout Award.

The Award is for Explorers aged 16 and over and Network members.  It must be completed by the age of 25.  It is essential to register for the Award.  See details on Scouts UK site.

Danish Scouts visit

Danish Scouts visit

At the end of the very wintry month of March, a group of Danish Scouts came to Scotland to walk from Crianlarich to Fort William.  The nine Explorers (ages 13-15) and three leaders arrived carrying all their gear, carefully weighed to avoid Ryanair surcharges.

On arrival, they were able to spend a night in the 150th Craigalmond Scout hall, which they very much appreciated.  This follows a long Scouting tradition of helping visiting groups undertake adventurous trips, and it reminds us that we all wear the World Scout Membership Badge.  It is also a reminder that some of the pillars of Scouting are Fun, Friendship and Adventure.

The visitors presented the 150th with their very traditionally designed necker, and the Group hopes to link up with them as part of their World Challenge.

Danish necker

Necker of the Danish Explorers

The Danish Explorer Leader, Birgitte, wrote:

We had a fantastic trip up the West Highland Way and finished in Fort William on time. We had only one day with rain and a little snow, most of the time the sun was shining.  The spirit was great and the views amazing. Most of the group declared even before the departure from Edinburgh that they wanted to repeat the trip but start from the beginning some time.

Their photos give a sense of what they experienced.

John Buchanan    ARC Explorers

Danish Explorers do West Highland Way

Danish Explorers in March

Training is fun

Training is fun

Meadows Explorer unit used a fun and effective way to prepare for their Explorer Belt.  Assistant Explorer Scout Leader Vikki McIntyre created an excellent interactive game for use with the whole Unit.  A full report was published in the recent edition of Scouting magazine.  The article can be found here, and contains links to download the materials needed for the game.

Concentrating on the game

Concentrating on the Explorer Belt game

Having fun while learning

Explorers have fun while learning

Borders Brass Monkeys are 50

Borders Brass Monkeys are 50

On Saturday 27 January 100 Scouts and Young Leaders arrived at Kelso racecourse ready for the Brass Monkey camp, and to celebrate 50 years since these started in the Borders.

An early leader catches up on what he started.

One of the early leaders

In 1968 Jack Robb, the DC of Roxburghshire, decided to run a one-night camp to challenge the Scouts. He decided to code-name it the Brass Monkey camp. The first one was held in Scotchkershope and had around 45 Scouts in attendance.  The camp was a huge success and very quickly over the next few years attracted Scouts not just from the Borders but from all over Scotland, England and even Wales. Local Scouter Bill Watt got involved from the early camps and recently Marion Macintosh, one of the Borders ADCs, had the great pleasure of visiting him and letting him know how it is still running and showed him the trophy we use. He remembers one camp where it was so cold they had to go to the local ironmongers to get large iron nails instead of pegs! Bill still has his original neckie! He is very pleased to hear that we still keep the book going too!

The largest camp had over 400 in attendance.  Every participant that attended was awarded their Brass Monkey neckie and later a badge.  One camp in the 80s is noted as being so cold that the calor gas bottles froze overnight!. The Scouts were unable to take up their tent pegs due to the frozen ground and when the camp returned to this site in 2009 tent pegs were found!  The venue for the Brass Monkey  camp changed every year. One of the traditions that started early on is that the participants were all asked to sign the Brass Monkey book. This tradition is still on-going and it’s great to be able to look back over the years at the history of the camp.

In 1984 a trophy was presented as a gift from a Scout group in Wales. It was to be awarded to someone that had contributed to the running of the camp. This trophy is a Brass Monkey in a kilt. It was first awarded to Jack Robb and it is still awarded today. In the past there were also pottery mugs and pottery woggles!

Bubble football at KelsoThis year’s camp took place at Kelso racecourse where the Scouts camped on the side of the racecourse. They had an afternoon of activities, a mixture of fun, adventurous activities and Scouting skills, including, for the first time, axe throwing. They were also treated to bubble football at Kelso High School where the main concern was that the Scouts might actually take off in the wind!  The evening activities included Zumba and a movie with the Sunday morning seeing all the participants take part in an ‘urban-eering’ course around Kelso.  The Young Leaders at the camp were given the opportunity to work with the ESL (YL) on their Young Leader missions and modules, too.  The weather, whilst not as cold as the previous weekend’s snow, was windy and, in true Scottish fashion, a bit dreich.  The Scouts and the leader team all had a great camp and are looking forward to next year’s camp.

Happy 50th to the Borders Brass Monkey camps!

Cheryl Turpie ADC