EmaiLongcraig continues to attract marine visitors!
We’ve seen dolphins, whales, rare shearwaters – now this one is a bit less plausible!
We had a sighting of sardines in the Forth in August.
The photo shows the evidence, but we don’t think it likely to become an invasion!
***Longcraig Road update***
Following a recent enquiry to our local councillors, we were advised that the road repairs to the Longcraig road were scheduled to take place ‘in mid September’. Not sure if that’s when the work will start, when it will finish, or if it will all be over in a flash! Anyway, it’s now clear that it certainly wasn’t the finish, evidence shows it wasn’t when the work would be carried out, indeed (at the time of writing) – it’s not even started yet!
So we do strongly recommend that anyone visiting Longcraig or indeed into Dalmeny Estate on foot or on cycle, by way of Longcraig Road, please take a flashing yellow beacon so you can be located if you fall into one of our significant potholes! Hopefully better news to report next month!!
Adventurous Activity Permits
These permits are a requirement for a number of ‘adventurous activities’ but our principal interest of course, is around Scouts and young people taking part in water based adventurous activities. It’s not just the instructors and ASU members at Longcraig who might need to hold an appropriate Permit. Any adult leading or supporting a water based activity needs to have an appropriate Activity Permit to do so – unless you are operating on Class C water where you still require the approval of your District Commissioner (DC) to do so.
The process for gaining an Activity Permit is similar across all adventurous activities whether these are hill, mountain, snow, or water, and are described here:
There are four areas assessed to gain a permit:
- Technical Competence
This looks at the specific technical skills required to run the activity. It is usually assessed through a practical assessment although other evidence such as logged experience and other qualifications held can help as well. There is an assessment checklist for each activity listing the skills that will be assessed.
- Scout Association Rules
This checks whether the applicant is aware of the activity Rules and how they affect the activity within Scouting.
This is not for applicants who are under 18.
This will be carried out by the Commissioner or their nominee and ensures that the necessary personal enquiry checks have been carried out and the appropriate safeguarding training (module 1) has taken place.
- Personal Suitability
This is to check the applicant is suitable (in terms of attitude, health for the activity involved etc) to be leading an adventurous activity for young people.
How does it work? Like this:
You will find all the guidance, application forms, log books, etc on the scouts website under ‘Activities’ or ask your District Activities Adviser of you have one, or head to the Region Activities Advisers by emailing the Region’s Manager of Activity Permits – MAPS@Sesscouts.org.uk
Our team at Longcraig is here to support any aspirations you might have to lead water activities, whether through guidance in the permit scheme, to providing assessments required for the issue of a permit, to simply provisioning enough ‘time on the water’ for people to develop their own skills and experience. Give us a shout if this is something we can help out with!
Planning ahead for 2022 – part 2
Last month we suggested a few ideas which groups and sections might wish to think about for activity days next year (assuming we all get back to a near normal).
This month we focus on another key product which does need some planning ahead, that is Training Courses. Training courses vary from activity to activity, but they can be just one day, often a weekend duration, and sometimes it can require a whole week. But, many of us go to work, school, college etc., so a ‘week’ can be made up of a series of weekends, or single days, or even a list of evenings, so long as it adequately and fully covers the syllabus of what is being trained.
And training courses can be arranged for just individuals, if you have a scout or a leader who has a particular aptitude to develop a skill; it can be for a small group of eager folks who want to get a step further up the ladder; or it can be for a larger group, especially if you have a specific themed programme of your own which a training course can contribute to.
Training is not just all about getting in boats and developing physical skills! We can also offer First Aid courses (with a maritime bias to them); VHF marine radio competence courses; and specific courses which can cover one or more aspects of watery kind of things without even getting your feet wet – from navigation, to tides and weather stuff, to how boats go together, even to some simple boat building / maintenance aspects. Just enquire and see what could be available!
We can help with any or all of these things – but they need forward planning!
If you are having any inklings of thoughts in this direction, please get in touch with us over the next few weeks as we also start to put our calendars and diaries together. The earlier we can get involved, the better we can plan our support for your event or skills training requirements.
A few of us ventured out onto Loch Ard in the Trossachs one warm but misty day in September for a paddleboard tour of the loch. Despite the gloominess of the weather, it was a good opportunity to explore some gentle inland water among some marvellous scenery. And the sun came out almost as soon as we finished and sat down for a well earned cup of coffee!
Plans continue to develop towards having our facilities update take place starting in autumn 2022, over the winter months whilst the Centre is closed.
In the meantime, as we refine our plans, explore further funding options, and consider how best we can provide heating and hot water with a minimal carbon footprint, we are pursuing parallel plans to replace the aging alarm system in the current building, and also to redefine our boundaries with better and more effective fencing to provide more robust outside storage space for our boats and some of the equipment. These will be progressing over this coming winter and we anticipate will be ready for our 2022 season.
So, summer 2022 will see the same Longcraig as before, but with better outside storage, and an improved internal alarm system. Does this matter? We think it does!!
At the end of next activity season, we will dismantle and rebuild over the winter of 2022 to have our shiny new facility up and running for Spring 2023. We’ll arrange a ‘Farewell Old Toilets’ party at the end of our 2022 season!!