When I first started camping at Bonaly, Jack Cuthill was in charge and trek carts were the primary means of transport. Fortunately, my Troop, the 134th Craiglockhart had bought an ex-army radio cart with suspension which could be pushed and pulled by 4 people. This suited the winding road up to Bonaly. Many years later the campsite has the same attraction given its access to the City and the Pentland Hills however gone are hand carts, replaced by cars and minibuses supervised by the ASU with their radios and hi-vis vests.
We now have a very professional team managing the campsite and whilst we wait on the arrival of our new manager, Mark Campbell, I was given the privilege to support Barry, Lynne, Blanche, Julie and Neil in my role as the Interim Manager for a few months!!! The focus of our work has been to serve Scouting and support the needs of our Community by offering facilities to schools and other local organisations. There has been a concern that we hadn’t got the balance just right however with the support of our regular users we have seen a significant increase in the use of the campsite by SES groups.
John, Barry, Blanche, Lynne and Neil
Each weekend when I talk to Leaders at Bonaly they are so enthusiastic about their programme and it’s a delight to watch our young people learn the basics of outdoor life and develop confidence in a safe environment. There is still much to do to improve the site however Barry, the ASU and Steve’s Estates committee have made a great start using funds provided by the Regional Executive.
Neil, Julie and our Activity Instructors provide exciting and challenging activities. The demand is growing however given the finite nature of these resources Leaders must plan their programme and book the activities as early as possible to avoid being disappointed. The team also lead the holiday Adventure Clubs which provide a valuable resource for parents and much needed income for the centre.
Blanche and Lynne also do a fantastic job with the booking arrangements and Regional finances. Their work has increased significantly with the interest shn in the holiday activities, growing site usage and participation in International camps. They are totally customer focused and intent on making your visit successful and stress free so come and enjoy their “welcome”.
I also wish to acknowledge the great work done by our other volunteers whose tireless efforts provide the Tuck Shop services and catering for visiting schools and Scouting events. This work is so important and demanding given the increasing demands for dietary needs and the challenges of food allergies.
As my time in this role draws to a close I want to thank every member of staff, the many volunteers and Leaders who have supported Bonaly and continue to make this the best place to play the game of Scouting.
John Bruce, Regional Secretary and Manager of Bonaly Scout Centre until 6 May 2019.