It’s nearly Winter at Longcraig

So, we’re well on our way to cleaning and stowing the boats to keep them safe and away from any winter storms (we’ve already had two!!). But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped – it’s only a few short months until Spring and our 2024 season! In 2024 we hope to have no building work disruptions, we have no planned outages expected, we don’t anticipate any further pandemics coming along, so – we’re planning for and hoping for a full season of activities on the water for Scouts of all ages across the Region. Our building work is all but finished (one adjustment needed to some flooring in one of the shower areas to encourage the water to run off down the drains) so please do take an opportunity to pop in and have a look around if you’ve not done so already. Please check our website for days and times when there will be people there, so you don’t turn up and find the door closed. The early autumn and it’s storms have already seen two publicised wildlife ‘events’. Sadly a dead whale was washed up at the far end of Whitehouse Bay and had to be disposed of after a post mortem by a number of vets; and Storm Babel blew hundreds of seabirds off course by long distances – the bird watching community was quite excited and recorded many instances of seabirds they would not normally expect to see at our location.

A reminder

To any Groups whose bookings were unfortunately caught up in the delays to our building works – remember the offer to ‘get in quick for ’24 – see below: So, if your Group was one of the unfortunate ones, please do get in touch with us before the end of this year, so we can plan between us for a firm date for next year, ahead of our online booking system opening up. We’ll do our best to accommodate you and try to make up for any disappointment this year. The best way to get in touch is through bookings@longcraig.comand we’ll take it from there. If you’ve not yet been in touch, please do so before the end of December as we need to plan your dates into our 2024 calendar.

Our gains and acquisitions this year.

Although 2023 was curtailed by the building works in the early part of the year, we’ve had good success in the acquisition of some really useful pieces of equipment which will enhance our centre and help us move forward with our plans for the future:
– A large gas barbeque – donated by some local people who can no longer make use of it (a second BBQ to the one we already have – now we can barbeque more)
– We were successful in applying for a grant from the ALDI Scottish Sports Fund which will get us two outboard trolleys so we can store and transport the small outboard engines that we sometimes use on the Drascombe longboats – this will save a lot of handling and also damage whilst in transit up and down the pier – Thank you ALDI!
– We have also had success in obtaining a grant from the Forth Yacht Clubs Association which will get us two waterproof boat covers for our Wayfarer dinghies – this will aid our desire to keep some sailing boats in usable condition over the winter, by helping keep the leaves and dirt and birds off them when stored ready for use in our new storage compound – Thank You FYCA!
– We are soon to receive an additional Wayfarer dinghy from a kind benefactor many miles away who is no longer able to use it himself. Whilst this could expand our fleet of these dinghies, we are considering disposing of one of the very old boats we have, which is not in great condition, and is retained only as a spare boat if it’s needed. So, the net result is we would be back up to six working Wayfarer dinghies again.
– Our newest Wayfarer, which spend all summer back at the makers due to some faults in its’ manufacture, has also arrived back at Longcraig, so we’re keen to see it back on the water at the earliest opportunity.
And a few things we are looking for: Every year, the sea tried to ‘break in’ to our grounds and shoreline at Longcraig. We’ve worked hard to help prevent this causing too much damage, but it is a constant fight. And last month’s storms – Agnes and Babet – were no exception! Tons of seaweed washed up, and some minor damage to our shore defences. We’re on it, but we are seeking a few small items to help us. These include used garden forks; used metal rakes; used grass rakes – all to help with returning the seaweed to the sea, instead of on our grass areas. Offcuts of concrete reinforcing bars – the 19mm round kind – lengths of 1 metre or longer – we use these for pinning down the timber along the shoreline. – see photo!

If you can help us source any of these items, please get in touch –

Still to come:

The 2023 season on the water is fast coming to an end, but we do still have a few things to offer:
• We’re running a Powerboat Course in November – this can be at level 1 or Level 2 and can be for adults or for older scouts and Explorers.
• We can also support meetings such as AGM’s, planning meetings, or training sessions should you be seeking a venue and looking for somewhere slightly different – now with great showers, toilets and changing facilities!
Please register your interest at


TYPE 1: We’re always keen to see or hear from adults who would like to help out with what we do – up front on the water, or simply behind the scenes making the Centre operate. We continue to offer opportunities to come and meet with us and see what we do, and what you could do as a volunteer. Our next planned drop-in session is on Sunday 12th November – Longcraig 2pm. Please simply contact us at with your preferred meeting date and your contact details. We’ll take care of the rest! If you can’t make the set aside date above, please still get in touch! We’re not planning any dates in December because everyone is too busy, but we will be setting aside some dates through the winter and early spring to continue with this opportunity. Do you have any parents in your Group who might be interested in this? Please do let them know!! TYPE 2: We can also offer a different type of volunteering, which is to provide an opportunity for groups of adults, scouts or explorers to come along during the ‘closed’ season and give us the benefit of your volunteering – this could be just for one event, or it could be – say – once a month for a period of time. This can count to a number of outcomes, such as DofE volunteering, various scout badges and awards, or simply to lend a hand for a few hours. Things you might get involved in could be checking of buoyancy aids, fixing boats, painting, and decorating some parts of the centre which were not impacted by the recent building improvements, beach protection work, or behind the scenes stuff like preparing our land activity kits. If you’re interested, please get in touch to make arrangements or discuss further.

2023 Fireworks and Bonfire night

On Friday evening 3rd November, Longcraig played host to the South Queensferry (21st Craigalmond) Scout Group for their annual fireworks and bonfire night. After all the storms, rain, wind over the past few weeks, Friday turned out a pleasant day for preparation, and a perfect evening for the fireworks – just a light SW breeze to blow the smoke and sparks away from causing any harm. The fireworks were accompanied by a bonfire, then everyone tucked in to hot dogs, hot and cold drinks and lots of social chit-chat. The event was open to all the young people and also their parents/carers, nearly 250 people turned up this year (the beavers were away at camp, so they had separate adventures and fun!)