Duke of Edinburgh Award: Bronze Expedition August 2022

Duke of Edinburgh Award: Bronze Expedition August 2022


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Scouting is designed to be flexible to support all young people to take part, achieve and reach their full potential. That is also true of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Recently, this approach to ensuring all our young people reach their potential was superbly demonstrated when a group of Explorers from Braid and Craigalmond, including some with additional support needs, completed their two-day DofE Bronze Expedition Qualifier in the Pentlands.

At the start of the Expedition, the Explorers agreed that their main “aim” would be to “work together to help achieve their objective of completing the expedition” and it was great to see each member of the group overcome specific challenges and/or support other members of the group, especially when things got difficult. As the Expedition progressed, the group got to know each other better and adapted how they could support each other. The Leader team were hugely impressed with their positive attitude, physical strength, and collective approach to completing the expedition. A highlight was when the group were on the final leg, singing together, knowing they had achieved something special.

Congratulations to Euan, Jack, Kyla, Lennox and Rona on completing your Bronze Expedition and a huge thanks to Lois for your brilliant support during the two days.

Thanks to the Leader Team (Mike, Hector and Donald) and our Assessor (Neil) for your support and to the SEEE Team for their guidance.

Mike Treanor
Leader in Charge

Why not read about the other Regional Expeditions over the summer.

Volunteer opportunity available

If you enjoy reading this then please get in touch to find out how you can become an adult volunteer. It’s so rewarding for you in so many ways. You’ll only know if you try. You can work directly with the young people or more behind the scenes in whatever flexible role suits you in time, skill and space. You don’t have to have had any prior Scouting experience, you just need to want to do good, and help others.  If you believe in this as a set of values then this is a great opportunity for you. What’s not to like!  Please email us for an informal, no obligation, chat. 

Volunteers needed for SEEE

Volunteers needed for SEEE

  • We are looking for adult Volunteers to help with Expedition Training (outdoors) and on Expeditions.  The leaders-in-charge are in place, so what we are looking for is offers of help, whether for one day or for a whole expedition.  If you have not received a request, contact us on enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk.
  • Explorers should have heard about Silver and Gold expeditions and be replying to our messages.  The first training session, on Zoom, is on 6 March, followed by a face-to-face day on either 12 or 13 March, then another to be arranged with groups.  If in doubt, contact enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk.
  • Most Bronze expeditions are being run locally by Units or Districts.  Those who have not heard yet should get a message very soon.  If your local leader cannot help, get in touch with enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk.

The SEEE Team

Explorers are 20!

Explorers are 20!

This is the 20th anniversary year of the creation of the Explorer section.  Explorer Scouts (14-18) are at an incredibly dynamic phase of their lives, and we are fortunate to have so many leaders across our Region who have the energy and skills to provide the stimulation required to cater for their needs.   

Explorer Units do meet in their halls, but more often they are out and about, whether for traditional adventurous activities, games like ‘Where’s Wally’, or an informal ‘Chippy Challenge’.   They do lots of exciting things together.  Here are some of them.

Explorer Belt in Iceland

Camps, expeditions, activities of all sorts, including hikes like the West Highland Way, climbing, watersports, cycling … 

Blair Atholl Jamborette, World Scout Jamboree, Explorer Belt, trips to Europe, Africa and Asia 

DofE, Chief Scout’s and Queen’s Scout, Young Leader Belt.

Fund raising, sleepouts, litter picking, environmental projects, First Aid training, Remembrance Day … 

Helping the younger sections, doing training modules and missions on the way 

Parties, rowdy games, ceilidhs, campfires, challenges … 

What Explorers have to say:

Wildfire ESU (Balerno) asked their Explorers: “How has being an Explorer shaped your life?”  Their comments were very positive: ‘people’ and ‘skills’ featured strongly, as did ‘new’ and ‘fun’.  

New things:

New friends: those I would not have met, and those now at different schools who I can keep in touch with 

New skills: knots, navigation, using an axe, teamwork, leadership … 

New activities: canoe, kayak, expeditions, hikes, lots of camps … 

New role: Young Leader 


A fun way to learn new skills and take part in fun activities 

Overnight hikes gave me a really fun experience  

An outlet to relax and enjoy myself every week 

A few general comments:

Not only has Explorers enabled me to travel over the world but also to prepare me for life with social skills!  

I have met so many new people who are now some of my best friends, they have taught me a lot. Explorers has taught me not only personal skills like confidence and determination but also physical skills like knot tying and canoe riding

It allows me to hang out with my older brother without him being embarrassed by me.  

See what Explorers get up to!

Images included camps, canoeing, ceilidh, charity sleepout, climbing, Explorer belt in Iceland, First aid, investitures, kayaks, Lochgoilhead, map reading, pioneering, QSA, wet hike, wild camping, winter fun and Young leader Cubs class!

Reflecting on their summer camp, they said: 

What I enjoyed at camp 

  • Singing around the campfire 
  • Talking to people I wouldn’t normally talk to 
  • Dancing to music with friends 
  • Stargazing at night and seeing a shooting star 
  • Messing around in the river 
  • Lochy’s dramatic readings at the campfires 
  • Seeing a peregrine falcon was cool 
  • Learning to build a rope bridge was epic 
  • Being given more responsibility and trust by the leaders 
  • Freedom, and getting to choose what to do 

What I learned at camp 

  • How to chop wood 
  • How to tie a square lashing 
  • How to light a fire 
  • To eat what I was given 
  • Lots of new card games 
  • Lots of new camp songs 
  • Confidence in starting campfire songs 
  • How to coordinate in a team when making meals 
  • How to empty a canoe full of water 
  • Irn Bru chicken doesn’t taste that good 

Currently on offer

Apart from the ‘normal’ local programme, the following are live projects right now for SE Scotland Region Explorers:


Some readers may be surprised to see that a lot of these are the same things that they enjoyed, but, actually, young people are much the same now as they have always been – we just live in a different world.  The challenge for us, as adults in Scouting, is to create the environment where they can learn, develop and make friends while having fun.  That depends on leaders.   

Here are some comments from leaders who were asked: “How has being a leader in Explorers shaped your life?” 

  • Keeps my mind busy, gets me outside, gives an expectation to learn and share skills.  Explorers and Scouting are a big part of my whole family’s life. 
  • It has provided an outlet for creativity and organisation, has brought me into contact with lots of young people, has provided a reason to upskill in outdoor activities and has been an enormous amount of fun. 
  • I have done many things that I simply would not have done if not an Explorer Leader. I have enjoyed tramping the Pentland Hills in the middle of the night, rolling kayaks in the local swimming pool, and summer camps. It keeps me active both physically and mentally and engaged with the younger generation. 
  • I’m pretty new as a leader in Explorers, though Cub leader for a number of years.  For me, though, it is about giving teenagers opportunities to do new things in a safe environment, and to form great bonds with others forged through those experiences.  The values of scouting are also those that will stand in good stead throughout life and in that sense as a leader we can have a lifelong positive impact on Explorers. 

Explorer leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and from a wide range of backgrounds.  Some are new to Scouting, some are parents, many have already been leaders with younger sections.  Could you offer some time to help with an Explorer Unit?  It could be as a leader or helper, but also as a skills instructor, DofE leader or administrator.  If at all interested, get in touch with your local Unit, or contact me directly. 

John Buchanan  explorers@sesscouts.org.uk 

DofE Expedition in 2022

DofE Expedition in 2022

Do you know any Explorers thinking of doing a DofE Expedition?

South East Explorer Expeditions (SEEE), formed to provide expedition opportunities across the Region where Units and Districts cannot do so on their own, are recruiting for 2022.  We are asking Explorers who might be interested to sign up now using our Expeditions Form.  There is no commitment at this point and we will use the replies to develop our plans and offer expedition places by January.

It is important that Explorers should sign up now if they expect to continue to their next Award level with SEEE, perhaps by doing a canoe or bike expedition for Silver and/or Gold.

We are still accepting registrations of interest, so please encourage all Explorers to consider this.  

Adults interested in helping are also warmly welcomed to contact us.

The SEEE team

More information:

South East Explorer Expeditions (SEEE) is a team of over 60 volunteers from across South East Scotland Region who run DofE expeditions.  Over 250 Explorer Scouts successfully completed expeditions with us in 2021 at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

South East Explorer Expeditions are preparing DofE expedition plans for 2022.

Are you looking to do a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition in 2022? Sign up before the extended deadline of December 10th.

Whether you are starting out on Bronze or carrying on from a previous level, South East Scotland Scouts Region – South East Explorer Expeditions (SEEE) – offer Silver and Gold Hill, Canoe & Bike expeditions & Hillwalking for Bronze.

Want to know more? Watch our short videos on Hillwalking, Biking and Canoeing – at https://see-expeditions.org.uk – to get a flavour of what to expect and enjoy! They are great!

Note your interest via the registration sign-up form before before the extended deadline of December 10th, 2021.

Got a question – read some handy FAQs. You can also email the team – enquiries@see-expeditions.org.uk 

  • Full training is provided 
  • Learn new skills you may need for biking and canoeing, special gear is provided 
  • Try something new if you want – no previous experience needed 

Please spread the word!

Bonaly Scout Centre September Update

Bonaly Scout Centre September Update

Welcome back!

It is so good the see Scouts back camping at Bonaly following the relaxing of the Covid restrictions. If you are camping or visiting for the day why not give our new self-led “Camouflage Tracking” activity a go? Working in two teams, the first challenge is to lay a trail of tracking signs for the other group to follow into the “Hiding Area”. Then one member of the team is chosen to hide and is camouflaged by the rest of the team using the equipment provided and natural materials. The teams now follow each other’s tracking signs and attempt to find the hidden person! 

ScotJam@Bonaly was a great weekend with 120 Cubs and Scouts enjoying the sunshine and the Archery, Tomahawk Throwing, Low and High Ropes, Burn ScrambleCamouflage Tracking, and of course the Campfire.  We would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make the weekend possible.

Image: Burn scrambling in the Roman Bath. 

Our maintenance ASU have been hard at work keeping the centre looking good. The Chalet refurbishment is now well underway with new carpets, beds and vanity units. We are now taking bookings from the 1st of October for the new look Chalet and dates are filling up fast! To make an inquiry you can email info@bonaly.org.uk or use our online booking request form.

Image: The New Look Chalet

The Bonaly “Come and Have A Go Day” was very well attended and gave anyone interested in volunteering a chance to take part in some of the activities we have. Everyone had great fun enjoying the Low Ropes, Crate Stack, Burn Scramble, Pioneering skills or some of the Self-led activities we have on offer. Interested in joining our volunteer instructor team? Please get in touch by email or give us a ring on 0131 441 1878.

Image: Well done Sandy – that’s got to be a record! 

SEEE DofE Events – Borders

SEEE DofE Events – Borders

D of E has normally been completed in the Scottish Borders District through the schools but a couple of years ago we decided to get some leaders though their expedition assessors’ course and start running our own expeditions and awards.  

Then Covid happened! Our Summer 2020 expeditions were cancelled, and we didn’t know when they would take place. Move forward to Autumn 2020 and temporary changes to the rules allowed expeditions without camping. Borders District joined other districts in the Pentlands to run Bronze qualifying & Silver practice expeditions.

Spring 2021, a new cohort of Bronze from the Borders were preparing for their expedition, but new Covid restrictions prevented them attending the Pentland Hills. So, a Borders based expedition was planned around the Eildon Hills.

The weekend of the 7,8 and 9th May saw 20 Explorers from the Lauderdale and Tweedglen units unite to form 3 expedition teams. Approximately 17km each day through the rolling Borders hills.

Friday night started the weekend with a last zoom briefing and quiz, Saturday took the expedition groups in a loop north of Melrose testing their navigation skills through a mixture of farming and open ground. The weather was as much of a test as the navigation, with heavy rain, winds and cold temperatures. 

The 3 teams all made good progress and coped with the tricky navigation of parts of the first day, they finished off with cooking tea in Melrose before heading home.

Sunday promised slightly better weather and the temperatures were certainly a few degrees warmer, the teams assembled from 8:30am. Two teams started along the banks of Tweed and the third with a sharp assent of the Eildon Hills, both working in opposite directions they would pass each other at lunch time.

The weather still had its surprises with more heavy rain, but it didn’t seem to dampen the participants spirits. With teams arriving back in Melrose just before 5pm they all look tired but very proud of what they had achieved.

To my knowledge this is our first Scottish Borders based Bronze Expedition planned and run by the Borders District Scouts but it won’t be the last, a great achievement and congratulations to all the Leaders involved, here’s to the next expedition.

Andy Beaumont
District Commissioner, Borders District