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.

MSP Kezia flies high at Bonaly

MSP Kezia flies high at Bonaly

The South East Scotland Scouts Leadership team were very pleased to welcome Kezia Dugdale MSP to Bonaly Outdoor Centre at the end of April. Kezia was keen to learn more about the opportunities that Scouting provides to young people in the Lothians, which she represents in the Scottish Parliament.

After a welcome from Regional Commissioner Margery Naylor and Regional Chair John Cannon, Kezia was given a tour of Bonaly by Euan McFadzean, our Regional Youth Commissioner, and Adam Bennett, Assistant Regional Commissioner (Youth Involvement). During the tour, as well as showing her some of the activities that young people can do at Bonaly, they also told her about the wider opportunities that Scouting provides for young people to develop and some of the ways that the Scouting Programme allows them to do this, including through Challenges and Awards at all levels. Kezia was impressed by the wide range of activities on offer and very interested to learn about the positive impact that Scouting has on the lives of its members.

After a brief escape from the rain and an opportunity to chat to some of the Regional Leadership team over tea and coffee, Kezia then joined two local Scout groups for a shot on the High Challenge Course. Guided by Neil Kirk, Activities Manager for South East Scotland Scouts, Kezia successfully navigated the balance beam and Postman’s Walk before a brief visit to see a group at work in the Bushcraft village.

Having enjoyed her experience of Scouting at Bonaly, Kezia left with a commitment to take what she had learned (and her new Bonaly neckerchief) back to the Scottish Parliament with her and to work towards her Scouts Scotland Youth Advocacy Award, for MSPs who are committed to raising issues related to young people in the Scottish Parliament.

Special thanks to:

  • Diane Marshall, Deputy Regional Commissioner, who organised and ran the event
  • Neil Kirk for running the activities
  • Fiona Elliot, Division Commissioner with GirlGuiding Edinburgh, demonstrating the strong relationship between Scouting and Guiding in South East Scotland by volunteering to be photographer for the event
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

On Sunday 26 November in the 71st Craigalmond Scout Hall, we had at least one youth representative from each district in South East Scotland come along to be part of the first meeting of the Regional Youth Advisory Group.  The meeting lasted three hours, a vast amount was discussed and lots of pizza was eaten. Continue Reading Regional Youth Advisory Group