Campfire Cooking Competition 2024

Campfire Cooking Competition 2024

We would like to say a huge well done to all the Scouts that took part in this year’s campfire Cooking Competition which took place on 28 April. Your food was excellent. On the menu – grilled halloumi, aubergine, and caramelised onion flatbreads; homemade cheesy meatballs in a tomato sauce, leek & potato soup with damper breads, nachos with homemade guacamole & salsa, and a chocolate cake cooked in a frying pan!

Congratulations to the 49th Midlothian Scouts who are this year’s winners.

A big thank you to the members of the Bonaly catering team who were our judges.

Lead Volunteer’s Outdoor in 24 Challenge

Lead Volunteer’s Outdoor in 24 Challenge

Lead Volunteer's #Outdoorin24 Challenge List

Can you help Martin, our Lead Volunteer, to complete his #Outdoorin24 Challenge across 2024? 

There are still some empty entries on the list – can you suggest a challenge for him to complete?

  • Build A Den

  • Sit Round A Campfire

    Completed at Pentland Brass Monkey Camp

  • Sleep in a Tent

    Completed at Pentland District Brass Monkey Camp

  • Cook Something Outdoors

  • Make Some Wild Art

  • Go Stargazing

  • Hike or Walk with a Journey Stick

  • Special Challenge

    Look out for more details on how to join me for this later in the year

  • Take part in a race

    Completed at 7th Braid Cubs Athletics Night

  • Get as Muddy as Possible

  • Have an adventure on wheels

  • Try an activity with snow or sand

  • Plant something

  • Go paddling

Can you help our Lead Volunteer complete #OutdoorIn24

Can you help our Lead Volunteer complete #OutdoorIn24

As we get into summer and the weather (hopefully!) improves, many sections are taking the opportunity to spend more time outdoors and perhaps work towards the Outdoor in 24 Challenge. 

Outdoor in 24 is an initiative by the Scouts to encourage young people to spend more time outdoors throughout 2024. Whether it’s for a single meeting, a Night Away event, or taking on the Outdoor in 24 challenge, the goal is to get Scouts outside and trying something new in nature. 

The challenge involves completing a list of 24 exciting outdoor activities throughout the year, all aiming to get Scouts outside and engaged in outdoor activities. The Scouts have suggested a possible list of activities but this can be adapted for different ages, abilities, and locations as well as to incorporate activity ideas that young people might suggest. All those who complete the challenge can earn the Outdoor in 24 badge.

And it isn’t just young people who can take part in the challenge so I am looking for your help so that I can complete the Outdoor in 24 Challenge and earn my own badge. 

I am grateful to Pentland District and 7th Braid Scout Group who have got me off to a good start but if you have an event coming up that will allow me to complete another challenge or you have a suggestion for what I should include in the remaining empty challenge slots I would love to hear from you. You can contact me at martin.elliot@sesscouts.org.uk.

You can see my Outdoor in 24 Challenge list here and I will endeavour to keep it updated as the year progresses. Also look out for details coming soon on how you can join me for a special challenge later in the year!   

If you haven’t yet started your own Outdoor in 24 Challenge it’s not too late to join in. So, whether it’s stargazing, paddle-boarding, or visiting a local farm, embrace the adventure and make the most of nature this year.

You can find ideas as well as support and resources here.

Building Brighter Tomorrows – A Scouting Manifesto

Building Brighter Tomorrows – A Scouting Manifesto

Following the recent release by UK Scouts of our Building Brighter Futures Manifesto, I wanted to use my update this month to share more about it, why it is important and how we can all get involved to 

 

Purpose of the Manifesto

 

The Scouts’ Manifesto is a clear statement outlining nine policy requests, encouraging the next government to take action and support young people and volunteers in building a brighter future.

Development Process

 

The manifesto was developed in collaboration with Youth Advocates, UK Youth Leads, and volunteers, including our Scottish Youth Lead Mollie.

These stakeholders

  • recognized the need for increased opportunities for young people who may not have access to extracurricular activities like Scouts.
  • emphasized the importance of empowering young people with skills to drive positive change and build brighter tomorrows.

Key Requests 

The Manifesto outlines the following:

    • More, well-trained, better-supported, and motivated adult volunteers.
    • Increased diversity: Attracting more young people from diverse backgrounds.
    • Enhanced perception: Making Scouts more visible, trusted, respected, and recognized for its role in society.
    • Empowering young people: Providing skills for life and opportunities for positive impact.
    • Recruitment of 40,000 new volunteers: Ensuring continued empowerment of young people.
    • Advocacy for all young people: Not limited to Scouts—aiming for brighter tomorrows across the board.

Why is this important?

 

 

With over 100,000 young people waiting to join Scouts groups, time is of the essence.

The benefits of out-of-school and extra-curricular activities are clear, and we can’t keep the UK’s young people waiting any longer.

This manifesto is not about politicizing Scouts or supporting any one party. It’s a tool for influencing the government to create a better tomorrow for our youth and volunteers. By embracing its key messages and advocating with out elected representatives we can work together to build a brighter future!

Read the full manifesto here

What are we doing in South East Scotland Scouts?

In the Region, we are investing heavily in the development of Scouting locally, to bring in more volunteers, increase provision and provide Scouting to more young people in South East Scotland. 

This week saw our new Scouting Support Staff join us – you can meet them here – and they will play a key part in helping us to achieve the ambitious targets of our Regional Strategy, which means we will be preparing more young people in South East Scotland with skills for life, supported by amazing leaders delivering an inspiring programme. We are also making use of the support provided by Scouts Scotland’s new Local Growth Officer Calum to give ourselves the best chance to achieve. We are already working with Lead Volunteers in Districts to focus on our best opportunities for growth in South East Scotland and you will see the first growth projects bearing fruit soon! (So keep an eye on future newsletters)

Lead Volunteer Martin with Nacho, Scouting Support Lead, and Amy, Scouting Support Officer

As Lead Volunteer I will also be using this new Manifesto to engage with local elected representatives and those standing for elected office to ensure that the voice of Scouting is being heard. 

But it isn’t just for me to use – there are opportunities for all members to  get involved. 

Ways to get involved

One of the easiest ways to engage with MPs or candidates is by directly sharing the manifesto with them via email. It’s a simple and quick method to share the campaign and begin building a relationship.

If you’ve already established a relationship with your MP, fantastic! It’s still beneficial to send an email sharing the manifesto, especially if you’re aware they support Scouts.

Once you’ve sent the email, a member of their team will read it and inform the MP or candidate. As a constituent, you’ll receive a response, and you can extend an invitation to visit your scouts’ group or upcoming events.

Who can contact MPs or candidates?

Any volunteer is encouraged to share the manifesto with their local MP. If you need support, you can work together with your group leader or district commissioner or contact the policy and public affairs team.

How do I contact my MP?

You can find your MP’s contact details here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

Simply search using the Group’s postcode or town it sits in and copy the constituency office email available on the website.

Here is an example of an email you could send to the MP:

Dear [MP’s Name], 

I hope this email finds you well. 

My name is [Name], I am a constituent of yours in [Enter constituency], and [volunteer title] at [enter name of group] Scout Group/Explorer Unit/Network. I’m excited to share the launch of the Scouts’ manifesto: “Building Brighter Tomorrows”

Scouts play a crucial role in your constituency, equipping young people as young as 4 with skills for life. However, the harsh reality is that across the UK, nearly 100,000 young people are on a waiting list, in our constituency there is [insert number of young people on the waiting list] due to a shortage of volunteers. 

Created with young Scouts and volunteers across the United Kingdom, this manifesto is a call to action, and a blueprint for a brighter future for young people, volunteers, and civil society. 

Now, why should you care? Because by supporting what we’re asking for, you’re showing you care about young people and want to make our community better for everyone. 

Please see attached the Manifesto and consider how you can support our nine policy asks. 

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing how you can help Scouts in our community. 

Thank you for your time. 

Best regards,

 

After contacting your MP or candidate and establishing a relationship, why not extend an invitation to your group or local event? This provides an excellent opportunity to showcase first-hand how Scouts develops essential life skills in young people and the crucial role that volunteering plays in making this happen.

Past visits from MPs to our groups have featured engaging Q&A sessions, demonstrations of our Community Staged Impact Badge, showing MPs the activities Scouts enjoy, like learning how to build a fire, and much more!

Who invites local MPs to visit groups?

We encourage Group leaders and Assistant leaders to extend invitations to MPs to visit your local group, but this is something District leads may always want to be involved with. If you require assistance, please feel free to reach out to our Policy and Public Affairs team, who are available to offer support.

Activities and badges to work towards:

We offer a variety of engaging activities and a wide selection of badges suitable for young people of all ages! It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to participate in civic engagement and learn about democracy and community impact.

Why not consider the YouShape Award? It’s a great way to encourage involvement and empower young people to make a difference. They can even reach out to local decision-makers like councillors or MPs to advocate for Scouts in your area. For those seeking a more challenging badge, the Community Impact Staged Activity Badge is an excellent choice.

It offers different stages to choose from, all focusing on making a positive impact in the community. You can even invite a local decision-maker to your group to showcase the group’s achievements and emphasise the importance of their contributions.

Looking for more inspiration? Browse more impactful community-focused activities here!

 

What is a husting?

A husting is a meeting where election candidates or parties debate policies and answer questions from the audience. Hustings provide an opportunity to hear the views of candidates or parties.

When all candidates or parties standing are invited, a husting does not promote any candidate or party because they all can speak and be questioned. You can read our political campaigning and general election guidance for support.

Who is responsible for hosting a youth husting?

We suggest group leaders and assistant leaders take the lead, with the option to seek support from the District Lead. However, note that our district boundaries may not align with constituency boundaries.

Why should I organise a youth husting?

There are many benefits for hosting a husting:

  • Democratic education: Hosting a youth husting helps educate young people about how politics works, getting them more involved and informed about what’s happening in their community.
  • Representation: It makes sure that young people’s voices are heard and included in political decisions, making sure everyone’s perspective is considered in democratic discussions
  • Dialogue: Youth hustings spark conversations between young people, political candidates, and elected officials, helping everyone understand different policies and viewpoints better.
  • Policy Influence: By organising a youth husting, you can give young people a platform to influence political agendas and policies, empowering them to make a real difference in their community.

How do I organise a husting?

1. Pick a date: choose a date for the hustings that works well for everyone.

a. Please note that MPs are in Parliament from Monday to Thursday so you may want to pick a date on Thursday or Friday evenings!

2. Invite candidates: Invite a balanced selection of political candidates from different parties or viewpoints to participate, allowing equal opportunity for all to present their ideas. To find who your local candidates are, you may want to use this resource: https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/ppcs/

3. Invite young people: Reach out to young people in the Scouts community and invite them to attend the event.

4. Provide information: Share information about how the hustings will run, making sure young people and candidates know what to expect.

5. Prepare questions: Encourage young people to prepare a range of questions for MPs and candidates so they can get involved.

6. Make it happen and share with the Public Affairs team so we can promote your amazing work supporting young people!

 

Running a Facebook group? Active on Twitter or Instagram? You can lend your support and amplify the campaign message by sharing the social media materials provided below.

Who can share the manifesto on social media?

We encourage all volunteers to demonstrate their support and join us in shaping a brighter future by reposting and spreading the message across platforms such as Facebook groups, Twitter, and Instagram.

Check out this example of how you can help spread the word:

“At Scouts, we’re committed to making sure every young person has access to enriching extracurricular activities.

Right now, we have 100,000 young people on our waiting lists. To meet the demand, we need over 40,000 new volunteers. But we can’t do this without Government’s support.

Young people and volunteers cannot afford to wait any longer. They urgently need support to #BuildABrighterTomorrow.

Visit Scouts.org.uk/Manifesto to find out what support we’re asking for.”

82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Scouts Easter Camp: Douglaswood 2024

82nd Craigalmond (Cramond) Scouts Easter Camp: Douglaswood 2024

We set off for camp on Friday morning to Douglaswood which is an old RAF base set in the countryside north of Dundee. We quickly got all the kit into the centre, had a light lunch and then the Scouts went outdoors to do their first activity on a 100m zip line. Each Scout got three or four goes – an excellent start to camp. We then did a team challenge on the outside obstacle course – so by the time we got back indoors the Scouts were ready for a break.

We allocated the Scouts to dorms and got back outdoors to enjoy volleyball before we allocated the Scouts to their Patrols, all based around our “Space Theme” – Armstong, Gagarin, Jemison, and Sharman.  After an excellent dinner, the Scouts got stuck into the activities based around our camp and came up with a structure or picture related to their patrol name. At this point we knew we had an excellent group of Scouts as they really showed brilliant creativity across the four patrols. Given the rain outside there was no camp fire on our first night.

Saturday morning was dryer and after the first camp inspection including the kitchen, toilets, hall, and dorms (the Scouts earn their keep!!) we did Scout skills bases where, over the next few hours, the Scouts undertook badge activity work as they practiced their map and compass work, learned how to use axe and saws, made hot chocolate on Kelly kettles, and baked some excellent cookies. We needed the calories as, during the afternoon, we did site maintenance on the road within the site – over three hours many tons of soil and dirt were removed, and the local team were delighted with the effort that our Scouts put in. In the evening, we had a space based widegame and after a camp fire and exploring the skies through the site’s telescope, the Scouts were asleep very quickly (a contrast to the first night).

On Easter Sunday we did a “Scouts Own” session, where the Scouts discussed the importance of friends when times are good but also when they are tough – a very mature conversation. We then did our traditional Easter Egg Hunt on the site before heading off to Corrie Fee in Glen Clova. We set off in great weather taking in the magnificent scenery along the route before reaching the spectacular Corrie where we sat and admired the great view. On our return to camp, we had a lovely burger meal followed by an incredible chocolate fondue desert cooked by Karen. We then set off model rockets before the patrol-based games challenge featuring giant Jenga, Connect 4, stocking skittles and “dare pong” followed by another campfire where the favourite song was “My Bungalow”.

On Monday, we started the day with a Geocaching challenge with “space related treasure” hidden over various places on the site – it was a frantic next hour or so with some working in teams and others as individuals. In the afternoon, we headed into Dundee, first visiting the RRS Discovery, which is an auxiliary steamship built in Dundee in 1901. Her first mission was the British National Antarctic expedition carrying Scott and Shackelton on their first, and highly successful, journey to the Antarctic, known as the Discovery Expedition. Kim our tour guide led us round the ship superbly. We then set off for the Aqua Park where some of the Scouts were brave enough to go into the very cold water to take on the obstacle course challenge. Others decided a quick visit to the V &A was a better (and warmer) option. We rounded off our visit to Dundee with a visit to McDonalds and group picture with Desperate Dan. Back at the centre we had a space-based movie night watching “The Martian” – an excellent movie to round off the camp.

On Tuesday, with atrocious weather, we decided to strike camp early and very quickly packed up for home. We finished the camp with flag down and presentation of the prizes:

So, a superb camp, helped by good weather most of the time and the fact the Scouts were so well behaved, got involved so enthusiastically in the activities and got on so well with each other – hopefully lots of good memories were made. A massive thanks to the leader team for giving up their time, preparing their activities and for being such good colleagues and friends. Roll on Summer Camp in July.

The Leader Team – Ansel, Craig, Eilidh, Ellie, James, Gillian, Guy, Hector, Karen, Mark, Mike, Paul

Mike Treanor
Scout Leader 82nd Craigalmond (Cramond ) Scouts

Resources to Support Improving the Volunteer Experience

Resources to Support Improving the Volunteer Experience

Thanks to all of our adult volunteers who took part in one of 3 Regional Webinars aimed at updating District and Group Lead Volunteers, District/Group Trustee Board Chairs and Group Transformation Champions on the changes that we can focus our energy on progressing with now, in advance of the new Digital System going live later in 2024.

The changes we should be moving forward with in our Scout Groups are:

  1. Embedding our Volunteering Culture at all levels
  2. Introducing new team structures and title changes at all levels
  3. Move to Trustee Boards at District and Group levels
  4. Improve our current District Appointments Panels (this will be progressed by the District Teams)

For those who were unable to attend the webinars, or anyone who wants to be up to speed with what you can be working on in your group to improve the experience for all our volunteers we have provided links to the following documents to support you.

  1. A PDF version of the slides we used which contain the links to a range of resources which will help you to progress the changes relating to our Volunteer Culture, our Team Titles and Structures and the move to Trustee Boards.
  2. A link to a recording of the Webinar held on 21st March – lasts 1hr 22mins

Passcode: 8uue=AfV

  1. A document providing details of the different roles in a Section Team

Watch out for the above items on the agenda of your next Group Leader meeting, and if they are not on the agenda, suggest that they are.

Thanks for your continued support in progressing these important improvements which will help us attract new volunteers, make those of us who are volunteering want to stay and allow us to offer Scouts to more young people.

If you have any questions relating to these changes or about the Transformation programme generally, please contact transformation@sesscouts.org.uk

Scott Goddard, Transformation Lead
South East Scotland Scouts