Ken’s Den the new “village” at the heart of Bonaly

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A lasting legacy of Ken Thomson, Vice President of South East Scotland Scouts

It’s a rare opportunity to open a new facility these days so everyone at the Bonaly Scout Centre was therefore delighted when the sun shone on Saturday 11th March for the official opening of Ken’s Den by Alison Thomson.   

Ken’s Den is the new village consisting of two log cabins, a shelter with catering facilities, campfire with seating, round picnic tables and camping area at Bonaly. It’s ideal for younger members like Beavers and Cubs, particularly as it can be booked for one night at a time.  

Official opening of Ken’s Den by Alison Thomson

This new “village” has been made possible by the very kind donation by Alison Thomson in memory of her husband Ken who was a former Vice President of South East Scotland Scouts.  Over the year’s Ken held many important roles in Scouting and laterally he led Adult Training in the Region and used his teaching skills to enthuse many new Leaders to provide exciting and adventurous opportunities for our members.  

He is remembered as a good friend by all and we know he would be delighted that this amazing “village” in the heart of Bonaly Scout Centre gives our young visitors the chance to experience the outdoors to develop friendships and self-confidence, and learn new skills. 

Around 50 guests attended the opening and after a few opening words from John Cannon, Regional Chair, Alison was invited to officially open Ken’s Den by unveiling the nameplate above the gate. Afterwards, whilst guests looked around, Alison cut a special cake to commemorate the occasion.  



Hamish Leal and Martin Elliott
It was also a very special day for Hamish Leal, a member of the Bonaly Active Support Unit, as he was presented with the Silver Wolf award (the highest awarded by the movement) by Regional Commissioner, Martin Elliot, and Ronnie MacDonald, a distinguished Leader who already holds the award.  It consists of a Silver Wolf suspended from a dark green and yellow neck ribbon.
Hamish has been involved in Scouting since he was a Wolf Cub in then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1950s and has held many Scouting roles over the years.  He has led Scout expeditions to the USA twice, Russia and a large Scottish contingent to Denmark.
Hamish Leal and Ronnie MacDonald
The Sheiling
The Shelter
The Bothy

More about Ken’s Den


Ken’s Den is a self-contained small village consisting of two log cabins, a shelter with catering facilities, campfire with seating, round picnic tables and camping area. The indoor facilities can accommodate 22 persons. It is located on the right hand side of the main field behind the Blair Barn.

The Sheiling: Cabin with 5 bunk beds and mattresses, sleeping 10 persons, with an attached separate cabin with 2 single beds for Leaders

The Bothy: Cabin with 5 bunk beds and mattresses – sleeping 10 persons

The Shelter: A large open fronted shelter with kitchen facilities – worktops, fridge, sink with cold water (sorry no hot water), food storage rack, seating area and tables, catering equipment, gas burner and Calor gas.

First visitors - 108th Pentland Beavers

The first visitors to Ken’s Den

One of the first visitors to use Ken’s Den were the Beavers from the 108th Pentland and they had a brilliant time in December. 

No doubt, this was helped by the overnight snow which eventually postponed the original planned opening the following day.