#SESLongestDay Sleep Out

#SESLongestDay Sleep Out

During the day we will be setting a variety of challenges for participants to complete before the Sleep Out, either in your garden, or in a den inside your house


Here is the programme for the day.


Links will be added as the time approaches for each activity. 

10:30 – 13:00 – Activity Time 

This morning you have lots of other activities with a “sun” or “longest” theme that you can take part in. Key challenges that you can do between 10:30 and 13:00 before lunch are listed below.


  1. Draw or build a Solar System

The Solar System is the collection of eight planets and their moons in orbit round the sun, together with smaller bodies in the form of asteroids, meteoroids, and comets. The planets of the solar system are (in order of distance from the sun) Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Your challenge is to draw or build a model of the solar system – you can get some guidance here and post your photos.


  1. Do a Sun Dance

We would like you to send us a video of you doing our Camp Dance – Gurdeep Pandher demonstrates the dance here – we would love to see your attempt at doing the Camp Dance and perhaps singing two choruses of Here Comes the Sun (see below) at the same time – post your videos on our social media platforms.


Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right



  1. Build Your LongestDay Campfire 

Why not take some time at this point to make your campfire? Not all of you will be able to go outside in the garden so be creative.  Your campfire can be real, a model or virtual. Models can be made from wood, lego, coloured paper, get creative and share your ideas with us.

  1. Build a structure with Spaghetti and Marshmallows

We would like you to build the highest and/or longest structure you can with spaghetti and marshmallows and take a photo – if you can make it in the shape of a famous structure like Stonehenge, or the Eifel Tower even better – post your photos on the social media sites


13:00 Lunch Make a Sandwich

It is coming up to lunch so you need to make it for yourself. We have two challenges to do – pick one or do both:

  1. We want you to make lunch with one hand behind your back. No cheating. It would be great if you could include a banana sandwich.
  2. Make a solar oven to cook some smores- as long as the sun is shining – this video clip shows you how to do it – you


Remember to post a photo of you making your lunch/smores on our social media platforms using the #SESLongestDay

14:00 – 16:00 – Activity Time

This afternoon you have more activities with a “sun” or “longest” theme that you can take part in. Key challenges that you can do between 14:00 and 16:00 are listed below.

If you have finished then there are 15 other challenges that you can do across the day.


  1. Longest T-Bag/Water Throw Challenge

We would like you to do the Longest T-Bag throw challenge but with a “water” twist – see the instructions and video below – send your videos in and we will join them together to create the longest t-bag challenge



Longest Tea Bag/Water Throw Challenge

We would like you to help us create the Longest Tea Bag throw challenge but with a “water” twist

Here are the instructions:

1. Set up a camera in your garden or a nearby outdoor space. Set it to record remotely or ask a family member to operate it.

2. Stand in the centre of the camera shot wearing your uniform or at least a necker. Optionally you can hold a (non-breakable) mug in your hand. Have a container of water at your feet.

3. Another family member stands on your RIGHT out of camera shot with a teabag. Get them to throw the teabag at you. Catch it in your mug, in your hand or pick it up.

4. Take the teabag and throw it your LEFT. Make sure the teabag is thrown far enough to go out of camera shot.

“But wait, you can’t make a cup of tea with just a tea bag! You need water”

If you’re up for it, do these tasks as well:

5. Another family member throws water at you from your LEFT (from where you threw the teabag). Make sure the camera doesn’t see them. The wetter you are the funnier it will be!

6. You will pick up the container of water at your feet and throw it to your RIGHT.

If you want, BEFORE you throw your container of water, add a creative twist. Perhaps you like milk and two sugars with your tea? Packet of biscuits? Agree with your thrower what they might throw at you! Then throw your water “at” the nexy person

Explorers James and Colin show you how it is done

  1. Paint a Stone with a Solstice/Sun Theme

Get a large stone/pebble and draw/paint the sun with possibly a Scout Logo – take a photo and post it on our social media platforms then place your stone outside so people passing can see the stone/pebble When you are on your daily exercise, see how many you can spot.

  1. Make a pair of Traditional Origami Sunglasses

Hopefully the sun is shining on the Longest Day – we will need a pair of sunglasses – we would like you to design and make a pair of Traditional Origami Sunglasses and post a picture on our social media platforms – here is one way of making them.


  1. Throw a paper aeroplane the longest distance

This is a simple task – build a paper aeroplane in whatever style you like then see how long you can throw it – post your videos and the distance travelled on our social media platforms – there is a prize for the person from each section who throws the longest.



16:00 – Summer Solstice Family Quiz  

Join our Family Quiz with a number of topics including Famous Quotes, Geography, Flags, Scouting, Scotland, General Knowledge and a special round for our younger members.

To participate – Login to the Region Zoom meeting
Meeting ID: 881 8972 3389
Password: SES

The quiz will use Kahoot to submit your answers, no need to sign up or sign in, just go to kahoot.it and enter the PIN code to start. The PIN code will be issued by the quiz master at the start of the quiz.

It is recommended that you use Kahoot on a separate device (phone, tablet etc) than what you are watching zoom on.


16:30 – 19:00 – Dinner time 

Time to have dinner with whoever is at home with you. If you would like to challenge yourself more then why not cook outside, with a BBQ or on a wooden fire. Please stick to current social distancing rules and check our guidelines around local by-laws regarding fires as some local authorities are not permitting fires due to the smoke causing issues with respiratory conditions, such as Covid-19.


19:30 – Campfire

“Visit our Facebook site and check out the campfire – sing out loud with the camp fire songs – we would love to see photos or videos of you taking part – remember to use #SESLongestDay


20:00 – Story Time – mainly for our younger members.

It is now time for our younger members to relax with a number of short stories, some with a Scouting theme.

The New Scout 5 mins https://youtu.be/XlqMMBD2pNA

The Camp 5 mins https://youtu.be/_aKxuk5NHEY

The Good Scout 5mins https://youtu.be/M9iYDdLAiTw

The Smartest Giant in Town 7.5mins https://youtu.be/qSMEBoh-coE

Curious George Goes Camping 7.5 mins https://youtu.be/4cNmFmMD9A4

20.30 – Update on the long running Edinburgh Gang Show

Unfortunately, the 2020 Edinburgh Gang Show has been cancelled for the first time since it started 60 years ago – so they are planning a Virtual Performance – in the meantime let’s enjoy some memories of last year’s 60th Gang Show.


 22.00pm or thereabouts – Sunset and Summer Solstice

Its sunset on the Longest Day of the year – if you still up then take a photo of the sunset where you are (see above) and at the precise time of the Summer Solstice (10.42pm) and post a photo on our social media platforms – check here for the precise sunrise and sunset times where you are.

 22:10 – Leaders Social (over 18’s only)

Leaders are welcome to join the Regional Zoom meeting for some social time, have a chat and a drink and catch up. Sorry it can’t be in person, but it’s the best we could do!

Topic: SESLongestDay Leader Meet (0ver 18’s only)

Time: Jun 20, 2020 10:00 PM London

 Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 971 4597 7019

Password: SES2020

We would ask that during the event, you please share your photos and videos etc. to our social media (see below) with the hashtag #SESLongestDay.

Facebook: SES Scouts
Twitter: @sesscouts
Instagram: @ses_scouts

Can adults (parent/carer or leader) please pre-register participation for themselves and/or for young people (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers) via this form. Please register adults and young people separately.



Starter Activities

Start your Virtual Meets with something a bit silly – this is a list from the First Virtual Scout Group site – some are more appropriate for different Sections:

  • Best apron
  • Bring a teddy
  • Best pair of socks
  • Best hat
  • Bring a baby photo
  • Bring 5 household objects they would take on a desert island – then list them in order of importance
  • Dingbats
  • Memory game – they show their 5 items then take one away and others shout out which is missing
  • A variation on story cubes? One person starts a sentence of a story that has to involve one of their objects somehow, the next person carries the story on using one of their objects as well and so on around everyone to make a story?
  • Talk about where objects in the home come from, use a globe or map. How did they get to your country? Links to the Global Issues badge.
  • Build an origami boat to get off a desert island – done properly they float
  • Introduce your pet (real or stuffed/toy animal if they don’t have a pet)
  • Funkiest hairstyle
  • Create sock puppets then do a story in teams
  • Weirdest item (excluding siblings) in their house
  • Bring 5 items which begin with the first letter of their first name
  • Tee-shirt challenge – how many t-shirts can you wear


Ken Thomson – Gone Home

Ken Thomson – Gone Home

We all heard, with great sadness that Ken Thomson, Vice President in South East Scotland Region and previous Chair of the Scottish Board, passed away on 20th May 2020.

Alan Willoughby has provided the attached story of Ken’s truly remarkable Scouting career

Ken’s funeral is being held at Mortonhall Crematorium at 12:30 on Friday 5th June with a limited number in attendance.

Those who wish to pay their respects can applaud Ken’s hearse by standing on the pavement outside the crematorium.  You are advised to arrive by 12:15.

There will also be a live broadcast of Ken’s funeral. You will find below the Username and Password for this Live Webcast along with the viewing times.  You can login to the website at any time to view a Test Webcast – we recommend you do this in plenty of time before the service.  During the service window you will be automatically redirected to the Live Webcast of the service.

Username                               Vero9136

Password                               082086

Service Date                          Friday 5th June

Service Time                         12:30pm

Service Viewing Time          12:25pm – 1:35pm

Website                                www.obitus.com

Once the viewing window has passed the Live Webcast will close automatically and a message will appear saying “This funeral service has now finished”.  A “watch again” Webcast will be available within 3 working days, where it will be available to view for a further twenty-eight days using the same Login Information.

A fund will be set up on “Virgin Money Giving” for anyone wishing to donate in Ken’s memory.  The money will be used to support Young People in South East Scotland Scouts. The details will soon be available on the Region’s web site at https://sesscouts.org.uk/ where you will also be able to download a gift aid form.

Ken Thomson – Gone Home

Ken Thomson (1949 – 2020)

The following tribute to Ken Thomson, who passed away on 20th May, was compiled by Alan Willoughby and John Bruce

Ken joined Scouting in the 1950s and progressed through the 30th Midlothian at Davidsons Mains becoming a Queens Scout in 1967 and later that same year taking out his first warrant as an Assistant Cub Scout Leader

Ken Being Presented with his Queens Scout Award

This was the start of an unbroken record of service to Scouting which lasted 53 years and included roles in District, Area, Regional, Scottish and UK Scouting.

Ken soon transferred to the 30th Inverleith Scout Troop, Davidson’s Mains becoming part of Edinburgh County Scout Council in 1968 and he was responsible for the growth of a strong and large troop, which split into two in the late 70s.

In 1979 he left the group and became Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts in Inverleith District, which had at that time over 400 Scout section members.

Colin Mackay appointed Ken as District Commissioner for Liberton in the summer of 1980 where he quickly established a robust district which had in it, the special needs group at the Royal Blind School, the Dr Guthrie’s List D school group and groups in the Inch, Gilmerton, Burdiehouse and Gracemount.

Ken’s people skills blended the diverse groups into a solid and sociable district with life long friendships being formed.

In 1983 plans were made for the Sri Lanka Water Expedition and Ken and Alison  were appointed as the leaders. The planning and preparation came to fruition in the summer of 1985 when a party of    over 20 Venture Scouts supported by  12 leaders went to build wells and help development projects aimed at giving clean water to villages as well as education

There was great support across the Area for the project, including the setting up of the Scoutpost operation and it is indicative of Ken and Alison’s leadership that the team from Sri Lanka still meet and many have remained in Scouting.

Ken’s involvement in training grew at this time and after a Trainer’s Basic Course and a role as Assistant Leader Trainer, he completed a Trainer’s Advanced Course  at Gilwell Park in 1986, taking up the role of Leader Trainer later that year, an involvement with training which lasted until 2016

In 1987 Ken was appointed as Area Commissioner Designate to become Area Commissioner with effect from February 1988.

He had been AAC Scouts for just one year when he was appointed AAC (without portfolio) for the six months until he took up post, time which he used well in getting to know the Area.

The ten years from 1988 were full of activity and action:

  • The Scouting into the 90s report
  • The Opening of Forth Lodge
  • The Management and Support of the Area Report which resulted in, among other things, the creation of a seven district Area with Blackford District and an enlarged Leith District
  • Scout trek, a youth camp for 14-25 year old members
  • An Area Celebration in the form of a Service in the Assembly Hall on the Mound in November 1994
  • A European Scout project on the Scout section and methods of learning based on an Edinburgh troop
  • The report into links between Scouting and Guiding and a joint Conference at Drummond High School
  • The introduction of computers into the Area office
  • A drug awareness project at conducted at Area level
  • A blend of youth and experience in the Area and District teams
  • Chief Scouts Visits
  • The integration of six groups into Edinburgh Area from West and Midlothian
  • The ‘Scouts go for a million’ campaign resulting in a million millimetres of haggis being cooked at a Bonaly Open Day
  • The Opening of the new Building at Longcraig
  • And so much more..

In 1998 Ken retired as Area Commissioner but took up the role of AAC Development and provided leadership to the Lottery Project. which was run by Edinburgh Area from 1998 until 2000, focusing on recruitment

Ken had served on the Scottish Committee since 1994 and in 1998 he was appointed as Chair, where he served during an incredibly busy time for Scouting, overseeing the Centenary of Scouting as well as the initial stages of the regionalisation of Scottish Scouting where he managed masterfully to tread the fine line between supporting and encouraging local opinion whilst considering  the  broader view across the whole country. He demitted office in November 2007

Having served on the UK Board in 2006 Ken was elected as Chair of the Finance Committee at Gilwell Park and regularly commuted to and from London. He served in this role until 2008

When John Kennedy was wanting someone to co-ordinate the Centenary Camp, Ken was approached and he agreed, taking on the leadership of the event with the usual attention to detail and a most successful camp was held at Dalmeny.

When South East Region was formed in 2008 Ken took on the role of ARC Training and played a major part in all the workings of the Region despite his health problems. He organised training courses, conferences, hosted countless meetings and greatly supported individuals in their roles and tasks. He used his many contacts in Midlothian and Borders to great advantage

He became Deputy Regional Commissioner in 2013 and served until 2016 when he demitted as ARC Training as well but retained a training adviser role which was a well-used appointment until the past year. He had become a Regional Vice President in 2016.

He was awarded the Silver Wolf in 2003 following on the receipt of the Silver Acorn and Bar and the Medal of Merit as well as the 50 year long service award.

Ken with Andy Matthews who was the Chief Commissioner for Scotland

He was deputy head and headteacher at Drummond Community High School and headteacher at Lasswade Community High School and taught at several city schools and was a highly regarded Head.

Ken was also heavily involved in Rotary in Edinburgh and Dalkeith, serving as President in Dalkeith. 

Message from the Regional Commissioner

Message from the Regional Commissioner

It’s Volunteers’ Week and I would like to say a massive thank you to all 2,017 adult volunteers in the South East Region. Whether you teach our young people new skills, manage and train our leaders, support our Groups, Districts or Region, or do one of the myriad of others things which go on to support our young people, you are incredible and I thank you for the time and commitment you give to Scouting.

During this difficult period, we have been continuing to communicate with you, via our Regional Commissioner’s emails, our Regional Newsletter, our website and other means. These messages are designed to help adult volunteers remain connected with Scouting during the current situation and we use them to share positive stories and support for leaders to continue providing Scouting via virtual means. We recognise that many volunteers are facing challenges outside of Scouting and thus we have also focused on leaders’ wellbeing in our communications.

We must emphasise that we do not want any of our adult volunteers to feel pressurised into having to continue with Scouting. We do understand if you do not have the capacity, given your other priorities, or if you do not feel confident in terms of using the various technology platforms and/or in developing programme activities. In a similar vein, we understand if parents and carers of our young people do not want to be involved

If you do want support with the technology and /or putting together activities to engage young people, please let us know. Mike Treanor, our Scouting Support Officer, will be able either to assist you himself or locate someone to do so. Mike’s email is michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk and he would be very happy to work with you, or to have an initial chat with you. Mike is a Scout leader who now runs troop meetings via Zoom so he is completely comfortable with discussing any queries you may have.

Many thanks,

Margery Naylor
Regional Commissioner

Adult Training Update

Adult Training Update

Update on First Response


Many of you will have seen the update from Gilwell regarding First Response certificates that expire during lockdown – in-short they are to be considered valid for a period of 6 months following the resumption of face to face scouting.

For obvious reasons I need to await guidance from both the government and Gilwell before plans can be finalised for mobilising the sessions that’ll be needed to catch up on the backlog. At present I know no more than you do about whether or not CPR will be required, or with what precautions, how many we can train in one session etc.

At present we are quantifying the problem – getting numbers from Compass of how many people will need First Response training before the end of the year. Ensuring any valid certificates are recorded on Compass will be helpful, so please check your record and contact your ADC (Adult Training) if you don’t believe Compass is accurate.

Thank you for your patience.

Training for Leaders, Training Advisers, Managers and Supporters


Huge thanks to those of you who have been brave enough to help the training team pilot virtual training.  We’ve run 4 sessions so far, with a further 3 in the calendar for early June.  All are fully booked, which is fantastic from one perspective but disappointing for those who missed out.  I’ve set up an entry on the booking system to allow people to add their details to a register of interest.  If we get a viable number of people for any course, I’ll do my best to get it organised.  The register is here.

Based on the response so far, we’ll continue with virtual training after lockdown is over in addition to the traditional face to face sessions.

Scouts Scotland has updated their guide to the training scheme – I’d strongly recommend this to all leaders working towards their Wood Badge.  It can be downloaded here.

There will be a chance for Training Advisers to discuss how they can best support leaders, exchange their top tips and share best practise on 23rd June.  This is in the training calendar, and can be booked via this link.

For those who have stepped up and taken on a Manager or Supporter role in Scouting (e.g. GSL, ADC, ARC, DESC) I’ll be running a short Zoom session to discuss the training scheme for these roles on 16th June, and answer any questions you may have.  It can be booked from the website  here.      The training sessions run by the Scottish training team are also on our website with links to the SHQ booking system.  If you are in one of these roles please do try to plan when you can attend.  The Region will pay the training fee.

If you have any questions about training please contact your ADC (Adult Training) in the first instance, or email me at Training@sesscouts.org.uk

Mary Dick
Assistant Regional Commissioner (Adult Training)