Escape rooms, wide games and canoe training are among the activities enjoyed by our Explorers over the last few months.  Using computers, tablets or phones, usually on their regular meeting night and sometimes wearing uniform, they meet up with their Units to share in games, chat and training.  There are also a series of initiatives involving Districts and the Region to help the Explorers keep working for their Top Awards, including DofE and the Young Leader Belt.

In these very difficult times, the Explorers clearly enjoy Scouting with a Difference, and appreciate planning for the future even when the timings are uncertain.  All of this is the result of very creative thinking and a lot of hard work by the leaders, who deserve our wholehearted thanks.

Leaders of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts who are running online meetings should bear in mind that their Young Leaders would probably be delighted to help, so please get in touch with your ESL (YL) or DESC to discuss how this could best be organised, as there as some great ideas out there.  You are also welcome to contact me: John Buchanan Assistant Regional Commissioner (Explorers)

To give you a flavour of what is going on, here are two examples:

Where’s Wally?

Normally a wide game played outside, this ingenious adaptation by Wildfire ESU in Pentland was a resounding success with participants.  A full report is provided in a separate article along with a complete set of materials and instructions to allow others to do the same. In addition, the Wildfire ESU have undertaken Virtual Investitures of new Explorer Scouts – this video shows one of these:

Preparing for DofE canoe expeditions – online

The coronavirus lockdown hasn’t stopped a group of 16 Explorers from Craigalmond, Braid, Pentland and West Lothian Districts starting the training for their DofE expeditions by canoe…online!  Meeting up since Easter, the weekly Zoom sessions that have been developed and led by Steve Hankin (ASL at 9th Pentland) use a mix of interactive and instructional activities based around the Expedition Training Frameworks, including water safety, equipment, paddling techniques, route planning and dealing with emergencies.

The sessions have been well received and prepare the paddlers for when they can develop and practise their canoeing skills on the water.

At first I was a bit sceptical about learning about canoeing remotely but have been really pleasantly surprised at how much I have learnt from our online meetings. I have learnt a lot over the past few weeks about how we will carry out our canoe expedition and have also enjoyed getting to see the people I will be doing it with.”

Lucia, Bore Stane Explorer

Next month’s newsletter will provide more details of this initiative and its aim to provide the Region’s Explorers with the regular option of canoeing for their DofE expeditions. 

John Buchanan
Assistant Regional Commissioner (Explorers)