Trustee Week is 1-5 November 2021. We want to take this chance to showcase the great work our Trustees do and how they make a difference. Thank you to all our Trustees who play a vital role, volunteering your time and working together to make important decisions about Scouts for the good of our young people.

The Regional Executive Committee plays a vital role in the running of a Scouts in South East Scotland. Our Executive Committee makes decisions and carries out administrative tasks to ensure that the best quality Scouting can be delivered to the young people across the Region which is made up of 7 Districts. As charity trustees, Executive Committee members have a number of specific responsibilities that they must fulfil to ensure the effective running of the Scout Region.

The Chair leads the Executive Committee, ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities within the Region. The Chair works closely with relevant Commissioners to achieve the purpose of Scouts through the development of local Scouting, in accordance with the Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association.

All are adult volunteers and we are very grateful for their support.

Next in our South East of Scotland Scouts ‘Meet our Volunteer’ series, we’d like to introduce you to John Cannon, Regional Chair of the South East Scotland Scout Council Executive Committee.

Please read John’s Scouts volunteering story below.

And find the perfect volunteer role for yourself. More comfortable behind the scenes? You don’t always have to work directly with young people to volunteer with Scouts. Please get in touch.

Name – John Cannon
– South East Scotland 
 Chair of South East Scotland Regional Scout Council Executive Committee

Your time in Scouting
I have been through the movement as a young person, been an Assistant Leader before moving to various Commissioner roles, led a unit to a World Jamboree and moved into training and non-uniform roles as a Chair or member of a Committee. My current role is Regional Chair. And now entering my 5th year as Regional Chair.

I started Scouting as a cub aged 8 and completed all sections, so have been involved as a youth member and as an adult since circa 1969. That’s around 40 years in Scouting as an adult volunteer. In this time I’ve enjoyed a number of roles including:

  • Assistant Scout Leader
  • Assistant District Commissioner Leader Training – Inverleith District
  • District Commissioner – Inverleith District
  • Unit Leader for South East Scotland to World Jamboree 1998/9
  • Assistant Area Commissioner (Edinburgh) Scout section
  • Board member Scouts Scotland
  • Regional Trainer and Training advisor
  • Chair and board member of Edinburgh Gangshow Productions Ltd
  • Camp Chief Clanjam 2011
  • Member of Bonaly Committee
Your Regional Chair role

The Regional Chair position is a non uniformed role and involves chairing the Regional Executive Committee who’s role is to oversee and manage the governance of the Region. i.e supporting the aspirations and ambitions of the Regional strategy as presented by the Regional Commissioner and his or her team, also looking after Regional finances, taking a holistic approach to risk management, and providing an oversight of Bonaly and Longcraig outdoor centres. Each member of the Executive is a Trustee and is either nominated or elected onto the Committee at the Annual General meeting of the Regional Scout Council. The Chair position is nominated by the Regional Commissioner on an annual basis.

The role of a Trustee brings a different responsibility from that of a uniformed role but can be just as rewarding. Individuals often bring skills and knowledge from their career or other life experiences and can also be an excellent way to develop business/governance skills and experience in another context. I enjoy the role as Chair as it has allowed me to bring my business experience and previous Scouting background to the position and be part of developing a sustainable future for the Region.

My favourite time in Scouting
My favourite time in Scouting was leading the South East Scotland Unit to the World Jamboree in 1998/9. I felt it was a culmination of the many things I had done in Scouting up until that point. Bringing together a group of young people and Leaders for the sole purpose of participating at a Jamboree was incredibly rewarding. From selecting the group to preparing them to represent Scotland well, it was great fun. The Jamboree itself was held near Santiago in Chile with home hospitality provided afterwards in Curitiba, Brazil. Attending the biggest showpiece camp in Scouting with over 25,000 people from almost every country in the world has had a lasting effect on me as it showed me how Scouting can teach people so much about friendship, inclusivity and removing imaginary or real boundaries between people. I would truly recommend international Scouting to anyone who can find a way to experience it. Also, what I would say to new volunteers is that Scouting gives you as much in return as you are willing and able to give to it. Even now, after all these years, I am still learning and thoroughly enjoying my experience.

Why did I start
I started Scouting as a cub and I’m told my mother put my name on the waiting list to join when I was born. My lasting memory of Scouting as a child was making friends with people from different schools, many of who are still friends to this day. I also joined the Edinburgh Gangshow as a youngster, making even more friends from across the City. I eventually met my future wife at the Gangshow as she was involved in the show as a Girl Guide Leader. Scouting is very much part of my life, and being invited to become a Leader by my past Scout Leaders was a true honour. I went on to become great friends with them too and now reflect on them as significant influencers and mentors as I developed as a person.

What have I learned
I have learned so much being in Scouting. Volunteering can come in many guises and I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to move roles, take on new challenges and build on my experiences. Having shared values with those you volunteer with is the very essence of why I have been involved for so long. I have found that working with or for young people keeps you young too and helps you understand how needs change and that Scouting is as relevant now as it has always been. Fun and friendship is really what it is all about and once connected to others in the movement you will always remain so.

How does volunteering help in life
Volunteering opens up new possibilities and stretches you to achieve more. I have found it provides an outlet to the many other things we cope with in life. Memories are made through Scouting that sustain you in challenging times and remind you why you decided to be part of it!

What would I say to others
I would encourage people to find out what Scouting is about, identify the numerous ways you can become involved and find a way to dip your “toe in the water”. I have found variety to be the key to my lasting involvement, so always keep an open mind to trying something new.

Thinking of becoming a volunteer?

Why not take get in touch to discuss volunteering opportunities. We need your help.

Volunteers make Scouts happen at a national level as well as a local one. From our Chief Scout and Chair of our Board to the incredible volunteers who support young people as leaders and occasional helpers at our local groups, these are just some of the superstars who’ve stepped up to inspire a generation.  

We’re proud that Scouts is a volunteer led movement. That’s where you come in. 

Volunteer roles

There are lots of ways you can get more involved with Scouts as a parent, carer or family member. From helping out occasionally on a family rota or playing a vital role behind the scenes, to stepping up as a leader, our volunteering activities are as varied as you.

We’re talking tidy uppers and tea makers, session planners and Zoom navigators, fundraisers and treasurers, and all round team players to support our young people.

The good news is you shape what you do and the time you have to give. Scouts happens when a lot of us give a little (and no, you don’t have to be a Scout or outdoors expert to volunteer).

Regional Executive Committee and other regional vacancies include:

If you wish to also become a Scout Group Leader working directly with young people we have several opportunities across our Region including in Border District, Braid District, Craigalmond District, East Lothian District, Edinburgh North East District, Midlothian District, Pentland District.

What to expect:

  • A warm welcome
  • Flexibility to get involved in a way that works for you
  • Easy access to training and resources online
  • Friendly ongoing support from local volunteers

No two weeks are the same, but the impact you make is always great.

Make a difference, volunteer today

To find out more about helping out, speak to the leader at your local group or use our volunteer enquiry from which can be found using the option below. Share your details and a volunteer from your local team will be in touch soon.

Enquiry form

Let’s find the right fit for you

Share your contact details and select the opportunities you’re interested in below. We’ll pass them on to the appropriate member, who’ll be in touch shortly:

Enquiry form


Trustee Introduction
Have you recently joined an Executive Committee or keen to be part of one? Thank you for taking on this key role to support Scouting in South East Scotland. The Scouts’ Trustee Introduction training provides really useful information on the role(s) with clear objectives broken down into 3 bitesize modules.
It’s independent learning, so you don’t have to attend a course to complete it so its flexible to work around your other commitments.