by Mike Treanor, Scout Leader 82nd Cramond (Craigalmond) Scouts
Our 2018 Summer Camp was held at Culzean Country Park Scout Camp in Ayrshire. Given the weather had been glorious for what seemed like months and months we were looking forward to a dry camp. On arrival, the advance party had managed to do a great job putting up the marquees, mess tents and leader tents, despite a tyre blow out on the way there. On arrival, the 32 Scouts and Leader team put up the patrol Stormhavens and dining shelters just before a 48 hour monsoon arrived, which turned rock hard grass into a near swamp in no time at all!! The accompanying wind managed to fell a sizeable tree but fortunately no-one was hurt.
On the Saturday night we introduced our theme “Stranded on a Desert Island” with some familiar and not so familiar islands – Treasure Island, Coral Island (from Lord of the Flies), New Switzerland (from Swiss Family Robinson), Isla Nublar (from Jurassic Park) and Monuriki (from Castaway). The Scouts spent the first evening drawing maps of their islands and creating wooden signs from driftwood to name their patrol area (no camp fire given the ongoing rain).
On Sunday, after the first breakfast cooked by the Scouts we had our first patrol inspection (to set the camp standards) and then we visited the grounds in Culzean. Unfortunately the rain continued to pour so we persuaded the camp trolley bus service to take us on a covered tour of the site before they kindly went out of their way to drop us off at the camp. We improvised with a Fifty Question Challenge which set the basis for our Patrol point’s challenge. As the rain eased we did some site maintenance, clearing the felled tree as well as removing an old fence and gathering mounds of wood for future camp-fires.
Monday saw us offsite at Maidens for our water sports day – the rain had eased and the sun shone for a while, with a glorious backdrop of Arran, including the Holy Isle and Goat Fell. The Scouts did a full on day, paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing. Our Sea Scouts honed their skills whilst the others scouts learned new water skills, albeit a couple of Scouts unfortunately did not avoid jellyfish stings!! On the evening we did a “Lost at Sea” team building exercise where the Scouts had to select 12 from 32 items which would help them survive stranded on an island – after much debate and discussion, the selections were made with “positive attitude” being the unanimous favourite, followed by fire-lighting equipment, tarpaulins for shelter, knives, rope and safety pins to catch fish (or in one case, birds!!). We were also able to have our first camp fire, with the young adult leaders doing a fantastic job in engaging the scouts in their favourite camp songs.
Scout Skills day took up most of Tuesday and again the Scouts learned a range of new skills including rope and pulley work (towing the minibus and pulling down dead trees), hammock and shelter building, axe and saw work (very popular), navigation and first aid skills (which were needed when the Scouts used their pen-knives for whittling their woggles!). In the evening we had to abandon our Beach BBQ given the rain, so we cooked in the dining shelters, although we did manage to cook dough bread and smores on Swedish Torches.
On Wednesday we split up, with the older Scouts preparing for and undertaking their overnight expedition and the younger Scouts spending the day in the grounds of Culzean. The expedition to Turnberry was undertaken in horrendous conditions, so the tarpaulins were abandoned and the tents erected. Despite the conditions the Scouts and Leaders stuck it out and came back Thursday morning, drenched and exhausted but very pleased they had met the challenge. The younger Scouts had a great day, making huge SOS signs on the beach using seaweed, rocks and other materials as well as spending an hour or so digging for treasure hidden at the end of a large rope buried in the sand. Unfortunately no fortunes were made. In the evening the younger Scouts searched for “unlabelled” tins for their dinner – macaroni cheese, meatballs, peaches and custard was the best find!! That evening we had a Desert Island themed competition, the most competitive event being the limbo.
On the Thursday afternoon, we all went to Girvan and had a brilliant afternoon at the RNLI station. Callum and his fellow volunteers showed us around their brand new state of the art boat costing £2.1m pounds as well as demonstrating how to put on their gear. The Scouts were really attentive, asked great questions and we were pleased to hand over a donation of £200. After an hour of playing in the Girvan play park, we all had a massive meal of fish/sausage/haggis suppers in the evening sun (actually it was drizzle but we didn’t care!!). The local seagulls and some young teenagers tried their best to disrupt our meal but we all enjoyed a great feast. We finished the day with a massive camp fire where we burned all the material we collected earlier in the week followed by more camp songs.
We started to strike camp on Friday, trying to take tents down dry between the showers. The young adult leaders brought together a great “Olympics” with much competition to try to gain those points which would win the prizes. In the evening, Karen, our camp cook, surpassed the excellent service she had already provided during the week, with a superb BBQ banquet meal of kebabs, burgers and chocolate cake.
We closed the evening with our GSL, Graham Cullen, presenting the Chief Scout Gold Award to 7 Scouts who after 4 plus years of attending Friday Scouts, engaging in activities and challenges and attending Easter and Summer Camps achieved the ultimate award – massive congratulations to them all.
Despite a little drizzle Saturday we were able to strike camp in good time, leaving the camp in good order and getting back to the Kirk at the target time. We had lots of help from parents in putting the kit away, and lots of volunteers to dry our tents.
So a great camp, in a wonderful location and the “positive attitude” certainly got us through the persistent rain. The Scouts were very well behaved, engaged in the activities, challenges and camp singing and gave the leaders very little bother. They were supported by an extensive and committed Leader team to whom I say a massive thanks.
An Update From Kirsty Ireland, Regional Advisor – Explorer Scout Young Leaders
As you may be aware the Young Leader (YL) scheme has recently started undergoing some changes including the release of new Explorer Scout YL (ESYL) logbooks. We are excited to announce that the new ESYL Logbooks are now available to purchase from the Scout Shop.
To facilitate the transition from the existing YL training scheme to the new one and avoid any negative impact on our invaluable YLs there will be a phasing in period. The inclusion of the new Module J – “Communicate it” will be phased in and, up until May 2019, any existing ESYLs will not be required to complete this module. After this time this module should be included in the training as a requirement for the completion of the scheme and award of the ESYL belt.
More information on the updated ESYL scheme can be found at: https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/2628/resources-to-support-the-scheme?cat=9,98&moduleID=10 or by contacting email@example.com.
A huge thank you to everyone in the region who continues to help and support our invaluable ESYLs.
It’s been an exciting and busy year with lots of exciting opportunities for our young people and leaders across the region and here Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner gives an update on some of the International Scouting that has been going on over the past year.
Blair Atholl 18
South East Region secured 11 patrols for Blair Atholl 2018 which was a fantastic achievement. Training camps were undertaken at Bonaly, The Craig’s and Philipshaugh bringing the districts together in preparation for their adventure on “the Field of Dreams”. 63 Explorers left Edinburgh on the 16th July for what was to be the start of a journey in their personal development, our patrols were allocated into 6 sub camps meeting Explorer Scouts from Australia, Austria, Barbados, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and United States of America.
Daily camp life saw the Explorers taking part in activities divided into different zones:
- Adventurous – canyoning, climbing, gorge walking, inflatable rafting, mountain biking, high ropes, mountain hike
- Blair Highlights – Atholl experience – a mini tough mudder over slippery obstacles, Bushcraft, Ready Steady Cook, I’m an Explorer Get Me Out of Here!, The Great Blair Bake Off
- Creative – Crafts, culture – learning more about each other, global, photography, jewellery making and Radio Blair
- Sports – Golf, fishing, Geocaching, Cirque de Blair
Highlights of Blair 2018 included:
- Sunday Scouts Own the theme was “Dreams” concluding with a choir made up of each sub camp singing A Million dreams from The Greatest Showman.
- A large Burns Supper with ceilidh dancing
- As always the final evening reception prior to everyone heading either home or onto home hospitality.
Home Hospitality was well received with SE Region patrols bringing 53 young people back to enjoy 3 – 4 days enjoying the many attractions and lovely countryside the SE Region covers.
I would like to record my thanks to the District Coordinators and members of the Bonaly Active Support Unit for their tireless work behind the scenes in pre and post camp preparation and throughout the training camps.
The weekend of 11th / 12th November 2017 saw over 80 young people at Bonaly looking for a place in Unit 91 which will represent SE region and Scottish Scouting at next year’s World scout Jamboree in West Virginia USA. The standard of all applicants was high and after a lot of deliberation on both days the contingent was confirmed and 36 young people were notified of their success. Unit 91 will be lead by Alan Gibson, a leader in the SMESU Explorer Unit, assisted by Mark Petrie from Craigalmond District and Rhona Robb and Gillian Swarbrigg who hold Scouting appointments in other regions. To date the unit have had 2 weekend training camps held at Bonaly. The second camp saw the unit make their way from Bonaly to Foxlake Adventures in Dunbar for a fantastic day teambuilding. Future training camps will bring all the Scottish units together as they all prepare for July 2019. Look out for the official “Oor Wullie “ merchandise that is available a well as all the individual fundraising that is going on across the districts of those participating.
WSJ – International Service Team 2019
SE Region are delighted to have 6 leaders who have been selected to be part of the International Service Team, we wish them all well in their preparation and for the many hours of hard work that they will be putting in on a daily basis to ensure that the Jamboree runs smoothly. Watch this space next year for a report on their WSJ experience!
Madagascar 2019 will see Explorer Scouts challenged to explore the world, build International friendships and contribute to International development.
The adventure will take place over 3 weeks during the summer of 2019 and will be led by Martin Gray from Craigalmond District assisted by a team of experienced leaders.
We look forward to hearing and seeing how the project goes and wish all of our successful participants a trip that will give them a unique opportunity to make new friends and learn about a new culture.
Throughout the summer a number of troops, units and groups have enjoyed scouting abroad visiting countries such as Ireland, Iceland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and France.
International visits abroad are a special aspect of what Scouting offers young people and adults and it has been great to hear and see while following Facebook and Twitter posts what our young people are experiencing and learning in their personal journeys in order to progress and give them skills for life.
Take part in an international study
Looking for a programme idea? Your Explorer Unit could take part in a study of environmental attitudes and behaviour, run by Athina Georgiou Shippi, a PhD student at Edinburgh University. She will visit your Explorer Unit and get the Explorers “to join in a number of activities which are both fun and interesting as well as providing me with data. Thus, you could support this study by allowing me to carry out these activities, ideally within a normal meeting. Please note that all information collected during the activities will remain anonymous.”
Athina has already started her visiting and the project is scheduled to run between June and October.
Two documents are attached, one for leaders, and one for Explorers. For further details, please contact Athina using e-mail: S1226472@sms.ed.ac.uk .
Camp includes M&D’s Theme Park
The camp is for Explorers and Young Leaders from all Districts in our Region, even if their leader(s) cannot attend. It will take place from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 September 2018. This is a holiday weekend in most areas. Details of the full camp programme are being decided by Explorers and Leaders.
- At The Barrwood Campsite, Forth Region – highly recommended by those who have visited it
- Saturday visit to M&D’s Theme Park, Motherwell
- Fri evening, Sat evening and Sunday offer many activities on site
- Water activities on Sunday morning
- Chance to bivvy out overnight, counting for Zodiac Award
- Cost £40 per head
- You can still join in, but let us know as soon as possible.
- Ideas still welcome
- Contact John Buchanan firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a chance to meet Explorers from other part of the Region and have fun.
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