Across South East Scotland we’re proud to be a single family of Scouts. But to make sure everyone gets the support they need, we are arranged in different Groups and Districts across our Region. As part of our Scouting structure there are a number of management roles who provide leadership, motivation and guidance to our other adult volunteers. Bill Ramsay, as Deputy District Commissioner for Edinburgh North East, does just this helping to make sure that the young people get the best possible experience.

Next in our series ‘Meet our Volunteer’, we’d like to introduce you to Bill whose primary Scouting role is the Deputy District Commissioner (DDC) in Edinburgh North East (ENE) District and secondary roles include being the District Training Administrator and a Training Adviser.

Read his story and find the perfect volunteer role for yourself. Whether you want to work with young people directly or help behind the scenes, there’s something for everyone at Scouts.

Photo: Bill is far right.


Name – Bill Ramsay
Group/DistrictEdinburgh North East District
Role – Deputy District Commissioner (primary) and District Training Administrator and a Training Adviser

My time in Scouting
I have been involved in Scouting since I was 8 years old – moving through Cubs, Scouts and Venture Scouts to be an Assistant Cub Scout Leader in the scout group in Skelmorlie, North Ayrshire.  A new job brought me to Edinburgh, and I got involved again as an ACSL and then CSL at 7th Leith (now 7th ENE). I didn’t know anyone in Edinburgh when I moved, so being involved with Scouting allowed me to meet lots of new people, some of whom have become very close friends. 

After a break of a handful of years due to work commitments, I returned to volunteering with Scouting by becoming a member of the District Appointments Committee and Assistant District Treasurer. I then took on the Chair of the Appointments Committee, a role I absolutely loved as you get to meet all the new volunteers to Scouting in the District who came from diverse backgrounds. In January 2019, I was encouraged to take on the role of DDC.  In total, I have been an adult volunteer with Scouting for nearly 25 years. 

What is it like being a Deputy District Commissioner?
Being DDC involves supporting the District Commissioner (DC) to ensure that the District thrives and has the best systems in place to support the Groups, to support all adult volunteers in the District and to develop Scouting in the District.  The DC and I work together as a management team and several tasks are delegated to me, so that we work effectively using our respective skills – being partial to a spreadsheet is a well-known trait of mine! This means the role doesn’t have any set time commitment and can be fitted in around work commitments.  Some of the main qualities a DDC needs are being able to plan, manage and monitor own tasks and time and being able to work as part of a team and promote good teamwork.  

One of the delegated tasks is encouraging and reviewing all Nights Away Notification forms and respective Risk Assessments. Nights Away of varying lengths have been some of the best times in Scouting for me. Watching the young people (and adults!) try new experiences, grow and develop skills for the future brings me a great sense of satisfaction. 

Have you learnt anything as a Scout volunteer?
I have learned so much being in Scouting and probably wouldn’t have my current job without the skills learnt in scouting. Instilling self-confidence and working with a wide variety of different people and views but shared values has been invaluable. Investing in people and supporting them to develop further is a major motivator for me and Scouting has given me the opportunities to put that into action. 

Would you encourage anyone to volunteer with Scouts?

Scouting offers so many flexible volunteering opportunities from directly working with the young people to support roles which can fit in with people’s life. Volunteering opens up new possibilities and stretches you to achieve more. You are also likely to create strong lifelong friendships and memories. 

It really is fun and friendship!   

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.


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).

Across the Edinburgh North East District, the current vacancies include:

  • Group Scout Leaders
  • Occasional helpers
  • Cub Leaders
  • Scout Leaders
  • Beaver Leaders
  • District Scout Network Commissioner

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. You can read some role descriptions here to help you decide.

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.