A Year is A Long Time in Youth Involvement

First meeting of the Regional Youth Advisory Group, November 2017

As the year ends and we all start looking forward to putting up our Christmas trees, I thought it would be good to let you know what a wonderful year it has been for Youth Involvement. I wanted first to say thank you to Martin Browne, as he has stepped back from being Assistant Regional Commissioner to focus on his new role as District Commissioner for Midlothian. I am truly thankful for all the support and guidance he gave me.

We are always looking for motivated young people who want to make a difference and meet other Explorer and Network members, so if you think of young people who have that spark and desire to get involved and make change please do drop us an email at yi.adam@sesscouts.org.uk .

In the last year Youth Involvement has achieved

  • A Region that has achieved its Foundation Youth Approved Award (c’mon bronze)
  • Input and guidance to the future of Bonaly and Longcraig and how we can focus around what the young people want
  • A social media strategy where we can connect more with young people and engage them
  • Amazing Programmes, amazing trips, amazing camps and all the other amazing opportunities that Scouting offers our young people. They, working with you, have made the experiences great

Martin Browne receives Region's Youth Approved Foundation Award

Finally, I would like to welcome Lauren Davies and Euan McFadzean on to the team as Acting Assistant Regional Commissioners for Youth Involvement. Last year was fantastic and we have big plans for a new year ahead.

Adam Bennett      Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement)

Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Fraser gets QSA at Windsor

Chief Scout Bear Grylls recognises 300 young people as Scouting’s top achievers

Fraser Dunmore of Craigalmond was one of 300 Queen’s Scouts being honoured by international adventurer Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, at Windsor Castle for gaining their Queen’s Scouts Awards on Sunday 22 April.  Bear was joined by Princess Beatrice of York.

The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest honour in Scouting and is awarded for outstanding personal achievement.  This honour is achieved by young people aged between 16 and 25 who have completed a range of challenges, including service to their community, completing an expedition in wild country, undertaking a five-day residential project in an unfamiliar environment and learning a new skill or developing an existing talent.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:

During their time Scouting, all these young people have worked incredibly hard to learn new skills and achieve their Queen’s Scout Award and I am so full of admiration for their spirit, grit and determination.  They have served their community, led others and undertaken expeditions in the UK and around the world. As Queen’s Scouts, they are leading lights and an inspiration to over half a million Scouts in the UK and I am so pleased that Scouting has honoured them today. I am just so proud of all they have achieved.

Fraser says of his Award:

I really enjoyed completing my Queen’s Scout Award as it got me to really challenge myself. It really pushed me to do more for the community and inspire others to do the same! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award.

Going down to Windsor was an experience I will never forget! Everyone was really kind and we were all there as we have all overcome some great challenges. It was amazing to hear all about other people’s experience while completing their award. It was really special to have talks from Bear Grylls and was even more amazing that they managed to get a video of Obama saying congratulations to all of us. The day was really hot and everyone was getting dehydrated but the QSWP looked after us all so well. My favourite part was getting a selfie with Bear Grylls! I would totally recommend anyone to complete the award so they can get the opportunity to go down to Windsor Castle too!

Queen's Scout Award badge

Queen’s Scout Award


Presentations at Windsor

The annual Windsor Castle event has been held regularly since 1934 on the Sunday nearest to St George’s Day (23 April).  St George is the Patron Saint of Scouting. Since the Queen’s Scout Award was instigated, over 100,000 of these awards have been presented to young men and women for outstanding personal achievements and service to their local communities.  They have learnt new skills and taken part in many of the 200 different activities on offer by Scouting across the UK.

The Queen's Scout Award

The Queen’s Scout Award is achieved by completing the following requirements:

  • Providing service to the community for 12 months. Briefing and training should be given in order to gain the necessary skills.
  • Learning a new skill for 12 months, and show progress and lasting interest. The skill can be the development of an existing interest or something entirely new.
  • Completing a four-day and three-night expedition in open or adventurous country by foot, cycle, horse, canoe, boat or dinghy. The expedition should involve careful preparation, training, responsibility and review demonstrating leadership and teamwork skills
  • Completing a five-day and four-night residential project in an unfamiliar environment with people who are not known. This project should be environmental work, activity based, service to others or personal training
  • Completing 18 nights away, of which 12 must be camping.
  • Making a presentation, to a suitable audience, of your achievements so far in working towards the Queen’s Scout Award.

The Award is for Explorers aged 16 and over and Network members.  It must be completed by the age of 25.  It is essential to register for the Award.  See details on Scouts UK site.

Youth Approved Award for Region

Youth Approved Award for Region

This month the Region achieved its Foundation Youth Approved award from Scouts Scotland. We are over the moon with this award and shall be displaying it on most of our future comms and putting the certificate in the reception of Bonaly.

For those of you not too familiar with the Youth Approved Award, the Region had to:

  1. Have a Regional Youth Advisory Group – and the fact that makes us even prouder about these extraordinary 13 young people is that they represent all 7 Districts giving a true spread of experience and opinions.
  2. Appoint a Youth Commissioner – Euan McFadzean was appointed at the first meeting and has been working his socks off supporting the group and working with the Districts and Scottish to involve more young people.
  3. Have a method of communicating with Young People – Social Media is our gateway to getting young people involved and getting information to them, and with this is mind we will be improving how we use social media to this end.

Above all, we must mention all the incredible Groups and Sections within our Region who have achieved Foundation and Bronze – we are so proud.

Adam Bennett      Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement)

RYAG visit Longcraig

RYAG visit Longcraig

On Saturday 22 April some members of the Regional Youth Advisory Group headed down to Longcraig on a fact-finding mission. We had two simple aims:

  1. How do we support Longcraig getting more Young People involved, and;
  2. How do we get more Young People interested in doing activities?

After meeting Ian on possibly the hottest day of the year so far, we had a good look around to see what Longcraig had on offer. It has a lot to offer, we discovered. Once the formal tour was over there was a chance for us to get to know the people at Longcraig, and conveniently for us there were four young people taking part in sailing training after helping out at Longcraig. They talked about how rewarding it was to work so hard over the winter repairing boats and then to learn how to sail one, most of them never having been in a boat on their own before!

Regional Youth Advisory Group meet Longcraig volunteers

RYAG meet Longcraig volunteers

Then came the Golden Question “Do you want a ride in the power boat?”, to which the reply was a fast and definitive “YES!”. Off we went to get our buoyancy aids (safety first) and had an amazing tour of the Forth Rail Bridge.

We left with lots of thoughts on how we can help get more young people involved, but our first and most obvious point is just telling them. So, if you have young people who are interested in a new challenge on or off the water, then get in touch.

Adam Bennett    Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement)

Regional Youth Advisory Group

Regional Youth Advisory Group

The First Regional Youth Advisory Group is happening and it is happening on 26 November at the 71st (Craigalmond) Scout Hall, opposite Edinburgh Zoo, from 2-5pm.


Youth Involvement Day

Youth Involvement Day

The Region held its first Youth Involvement day at Bonaly in October. The Zombie-themed adventure camp was loved by all those who attended. (more…)