Youth Work Guidance Update – New Level 3 and 4 Restrictions from 26th December 2020

Youth Work Guidance Update – New Level 3 and 4 Restrictions from 26th December 2020

To: all members

Dear friends,

You will be aware that the Scottish Government has announced that tighter Coronavirus restrictions will apply in all parts of Scotland, from 26th December. This will have an impact on how we can deliver youth work.

As always, our absolute priority must be to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our members, their families and the wider community. The difference within the Level 3 and Level 4 restrictions, on this occasion, is that schools are also reverting to on-line learning for most pupils, until 18th January at least.

We have liaised with the Scottish Government and now have no alternative but to move Scouting in all parts of Scotland back to the Red readiness level, from 26th December. This means online delivery only

This is a situation that will be reassessed as soon as the Scottish Government reviews the situation for schools and we will contact you again at that point. We know that programme planning for online delivery is challenging, but there are some new resources available to help you on both the UK website and the Scouts Scotland website.

For those of you who were planning a return to face-to-face Scouting in the New Year, please press ahead with getting risk assessments approved, so you will be ready when restrictions are eased. To help you with this, the safety measures that are contained within the guidance on protecting ourselves and others remains unchanged and all Scout Groups, Districts and Regions should continue to follow the UK Framework for face to face activities and all related guidance. Our previously circulated ‘Quick Guide’, to what is permitted at each Scottish Government Level, will not apply until the situation with schools is reviewed.

Scouting plays a key part in supporting the health and wellbeing of our young people and our programme has never been more needed. Our grateful thanks to you and all your Leaders, for everything you have done and continue to do for our young people. These measures are being introduced to help supress the virus and make sure that we can continue to provide a fun and engaging programme for our young people, supported by all our amazing volunteers.

Despite the restrictions, we all wish you a Merry Christmas and look forward to a much happier 2021.    

Andrew Sharkey

Chief Commissioner of Scotland

Christmas Thanks from South East Scotland Scouts

Christmas Thanks from South East Scotland Scouts

The 85th Braid Scouts enjoyed a night hike at Blackford Hill having not been able to do face to face Scouting for six months

Many thanks for supporting Scouting throughout a

challenging year

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and

Best Wishes for 2021

Simon Cocker and Martin Elliot

Acting Regional Commissioners


John Cannon

Regional Chair

As we come to the end of what has probably been the most challenging year of our lives for the majority of us, we wanted to reflect on how all of us in South East Scotland Region have responded to the challenges presented by COVID-19 but also look forward with some hope for 2021.

We started the year, under the leadership of Margery Naylor, our Regional Commissioner, with the Game of Scouting being driven with energy and enthusiasm by our adult volunteers giving of their time, helping our young people to have fun and adventure

The pandemic presented us with some massive and unprecedented challenges but our adult volunteers and young people responded magnificently, finding new virtual ways to meet and continue with Scouting. It has not been easy but it’s been fantastic to see the Game of Scouting continue to thrive with Virtual Camps, innovative badge work and new ways of engaging each other.

More recently, the response to undertaking risk assessments to allow us to move back to face to face Scouting, initially outdoors and more recently indoors, has been inspiring. It has been great to see the joy of many of our young people, our young leaders, and yes, our leaders at getting back to a little bit of normality. We are also conscious that this has happened at a time when there have been other demands on our volunteers to ensure that we continue to meet Scouting requirements.

As we near the end of 2020, a year few of us will forget, we look forward to a return to more normality during 2021 both in our home and Scouting lives. There are still challenges ahead but we know by working together we will come through this.

We would like to take this opportunity to again thank Margery for the fantastic way that she led the Region for three years and wish her well for the future. We would also like to thank all of you for everything that you do for all our young people and for your communities. 

We wish you, your families and friends, peace, health and happiness at this time and all the very best for 2021.

To everyone who volunteers for Scouting, thank you!

Simon Cocker and Martin Elliot, Acting Regional Commissioners

Ode to the SES Longest Day SleepOut

Ode to the SES Longest Day SleepOut

With permission, we are sharing a poem written by one of my 1st North Berwick Beaver colony parents, inspired by her experience in supporting her Beaver son (and older Cub son) in doing the SES Longest Day SleepOut in June.  It’s called ‘Sam’s Lockdown Adventure’.

It’s full of humour and emotion and a lovely, sincere account of a family’s lockdown Scouting experience and a great reflection of the amount of hard work parents did (and are still doing) to keep Scouting going

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 


Laura Hill
1st North Berwick Beavers


At 2 o’clock sharp a text pinged on mum’s phone,

“Scout camp in lockdown,” She read with a groan.

“We can’t come together but we can still have some fun,

Put your tent up at home and we’ll Zoom later on.”

“Can we camp out?” asked Sam with a smile on his face,

“Beaver camp’s off, but the garden’s the place!”

“I suppose so,” said Mum with a bit of a sigh,

As she peered at the clouds through a half-opened eye.

“I’ll go up to the attic and get the tent out,

But I’ll need your Dad’s help, can you give him a shout?

It’s 3 o’clock now, we’d best waste no time,

We should really set up while the sun does still shine.”

“I’ve found it,” said Mum, “But no pegs in the bag”

You kids never tidy, that’s why I’m a nag!

Have you any idea where you put them away?”

“I know!” said Sam, “They’re in the driveway.”

When the town clock struck 4, the gear was outside,

They’d decided to set up the tent by the slide.

But before they got started, Sam gave a shout:

“A Scout camp needs hotdogs, get the BBQ out!”

“Of course,” replied Mum as she pulled out the tent,

 “But first we must sort out the day’s main event.”

“These poles are so tricky, I forget where they go,

Is it this hole, or that one, does you Dad know?”

As the time approached 5, the tent was set up,

Though Sam’s big demands just wouldn’t let up:

“We need marshmallows, hotdogs and burgers in buns!”

There’s not much mum wouldn’t do for her sons.

She pulled out the barbeque, and charcoal briquettes,

They would do this for Sam, so he’d have no regrets.

The charcoal got hot and the embers grew white,

The hotdogs were tasty, a real camp delight.

“Just one more thing, Mum, please make s’mores.

There’s no-one that makes them as good as yours!”

“Oh, go on then,” said mum, with an audible sigh,

“But it’s now nearly 6 – time really does fly!”

They had the sweet treats, then thought about beds,

They’d need somewhere cosy to rest weary heads.

Roll mats were gathered, and sleeping bags too,

But where were the torches? Only mum knew!

At the sight of the den, Dan wanted to join them,

“Nip up to the house, grab your stuff and come on then!”

So, by seven o clock another bed was found,

Though mum was never keen to sleep on the ground.

While the boys made it cosy in one of the pods,

Mum had a plan that would defy all the odds.

She would sleep on a mattress, one good and thick,

With a duvet on top, that might do the trick.

At near 8 o’clock the zoom call came through,

“Let’s sing some camp songs, with all the scout crew!”

His leader sang loud but it was in vain,

For the boys were just shouting, they thought it a game.

Stories were read and the boys settled down,

They could hear 9 strikes from the clock in the town.

“Night now, my boys, I hope you sleep well.

I’ll be right next door if you need me just yell.”

But at ten the zip on mum’s pod was unfurled,

And the boys crept in where she lay tightly curled,

“What’s going on here?” They cried in disgust,

“How have you got a bed while we lie in dust?”

So, by eleven the beds were all swapped,

And onto the mattress the 2 boys just flopped.

But down on the roll mat beside them mum groaned,

“Why am I doing this, I should have known!”

At 12 the cat from next door gave a howl,

As all round their tent he started to prowl.

“I don’t like it” muttered Dan, I want to go in,

But Sam started snoring despite all the din.

And then there were two left out to camp,

With one sleeping soundly and one who had cramp.

As the night closed around them, from the window above,

Some music played loudly, but Sam didn’t move.

The clock down town pealed out 1, 2, 3 and 4,

Young Sam didn’t stir, he continued to snore,

But squashed up beside him his mum couldn’t sleep,

Despite breathing deeply and counting out sheep.

As dawn broke at five, the birds chirped their song,

Mum knew that she hadn’t slept for too long.

She wiped bleary eyes and tried to lie still.

Ignoring the drizzly rain and the chill.

Finally, Sam blinked his eyes open and smiled,

“I did it! I slept through the night!” beamed the child.

“I’m so proud,” said his mum, “I love you a ton,

“You know I’d do anything for you my son.”

Scout Centre December 2020 Updates – Longcraig

Scout Centre December 2020 Updates – Longcraig

Winter has now well and truly set in at Longcraig:

Facilities upgrade – Update

Our Building Warrant application is now at City Planning. Tender invitations have been issued and there are a number of potential contractors preparing bids to do the work. We expect to have their proposals available early December.

So, our hopes and expectations remain that the works will be able to commence immediately into 2021, with a completion date of early Spring so we will be able to re-open after COVID with a significantly improved and modernised toilets, showers and changing.We’ll keep you updated over the winter months as things continue to progress.

And a wee bit of help would be appreciated too please:

We’ve made good progress in preparing and clearing space for the contractors when they come, but we do still need some space away form Longcraig where we could store some of our equipment for a few months to ease up some space. Our needs are very flexible – ranging from some boats/kayaks on trailers, to some of the same not on their trailers, to simply some boxes or crates of equipment and stores. So, any suitable space, either outside or inside, would be ideal, so long as it is reasonably secure, although any boats and trailers can be well locked up!

If you know of anywhere that might fit the bill, please contact Malcolm Leckie, Active Support Unit Manager, on 07919 170437 or Ian Harrower on 07565 593785

Merry Christmas from all the team at Longcraig Scout Centre

We take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and healthy Christmas, and we all join together to hope that 2021 will allow us to return to some sort of ‘more normal’ and that we will be able to start offering activities and training once again.

We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and perseverance during 2020, not just for the bookings and cancellations and reschedules but also for the support we have had during a difficult year for all activity centres and providers.

In keeping with a number of other establishments, here are a few Christmas shopping ideas that you might like to consider:


Gifts for Him:


  • Longcraig can offer taster sessions, training courses, try a new activity, and much more.
  • We can offer vouchers for any of these activities which can be used as part of a group booking or as an individual where appropriate.
  • We can provide kayaks, sailing dinghies, paddleboards, and any of the accessories needed for these, for scout sections, or even for family use, when it’s not being used, provided it is used within the normal activity rules.

            Some ideas for stocking fillers:

  • Buoyancy aids
  • Waterproof smock tops or canoe cagoules
  • Warm woolly beanies
  • Wetsuit boots
  • All the rest of the wetsuit too!
  • Sailing gloves

We are happy to offer advice if you are going on a shopping spree, just drop us an e-mail!

Gifts for Her:

Longcraig is a non-discriminatory organisation, so ALL of the Gifts for Him above are equally applicable to females too! (and leaders; and grannies and grandpas!)


Experiences for Everyone:



  • There are now three bridges in the Forth to sail under, paddle round, or simply view from close up from any angle.



  • A few times a year, when the tides are right, we can offer a muddy day out.



  • At any time of the year, our Barbeque option has one of the best views in South East Region as you gaze up the River Forth through the three bridges!

To enquire about any of the above gift ideas or opportunities, please contact

Ian Harrower
Longcraig Active Support Unit

Scout Centre December 2020 Updates – Bonaly

Scout Centre December 2020 Updates – Bonaly

Since Bonaly Scout Centre was able to reopen to Scouting in September we are delighted to have had 1,500 visits from Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. Thank you for your support. It has been particularly nice to see everyone enjoying some of the more traditional Scouting activities with camp fires and backwoods cooking being the most popular.

We would also like to say a big thank you to the Pink Panthers Explorers for all the hard work they put in to their service project, the Roman Bath is clean again! Also, a big thanks to 28th Braid for planting 100 trees in the Bonaly grounds.  The 21st Midlothian Beavers produced some wonderful “Natural Sculptures” during their visit. This activity is one of our favourites at Bonaly, but it can be run anywhere that sticks and leaves can be collected. If you’d like a copy of our free Natural Sculpture Information pack please email

Natural Sculpture by 21st Midlothian Beavers

Bonaly Scout Centre will be closed during December and January due to major works being carried out to replace the old septic tank with a new sewage treatment system.

We are developing a new activity programme over the winter months with a focus on “Modern Traditional Scouting” – any ideas are very welcome via the email address above.

We keep saying this, but it really is great to see Scouting Back at Bonaly and we’re very excited for 2021. Have a Merry (and safe) Christmas We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next year.

Mark Campbell
Warden, Bonaly Scout Centre

Keep on Scouting – Safety Requirements and Programme Ideas

Keep on Scouting – Safety Requirements and Programme Ideas

Some key reminders to enable you to Keep on Scouting safely:

  1. Tier Status

This table provides information about the do’s and don’ts Scouting guidelines for each Tier as well as a link to the Scottish Government Postcode Checker to determine which Tier your Group or Section falls into

2. Risk Assessments

There is a requirement to undertake risk assessments for re-starting Scouting under Covid conditions as well as for general activities, which become mandatory from January 2021. This link provides some guidance and additional links to other helpful information. In addition, our Regional Assessors have put togethers some useful tools to help you create Risk Assessments for adventurous activities which can be found here.

3. Activity Planning

Whether you are Scouting virtually or meeting face to face either outdoors, or indoors, there are lots of Programme Activity ideas available via these links:

Scout Activity Planner 

Additional Programme Activity Ideas

Press-play-and-go – videos, guidance, tips and tricks to help you run Scouts online 

Mike Treanor
Scouting Support Officer