Here are a couple of great activities which have been going on across the Region:
The Future Speaks – South Scotland
On Friday the 5th of February a group of Scouts and Explorers from Lauderdale Scout group were lucky enough to be part of “The Future Speaks – South Scotland”. A virtual event where politicians from different Scottish parties came together and answered questions relating to environmental problems.
With Scotland hosting COP26, the next annual UN climate change conference later this year in Glasgow, it seemed like a great opportunity for some of our young people to be involved in an event like this and have a voice with politicians.
It was easy to find suitable young people in our group because although Lauder is a small town in the north Scottish Borders, it is very active in environmental projects and the Scout group has previously been involved in events like litter collections, reducing waste through a public display, clothing swaps and tree planting to name but a few.
The Scouts and Explorers seemed to enjoy the experience and the following are some of their thoughts:
Isla (Scout) said the main purpose of the event was to give young people an open forum to engage with elected representatives on this most important issue. Attending were Catriona Bhatia (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Claudia Beamish (Scottish Labour Party), Finlay Carson (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party), Mairi McAllan (SNP) and Laura Moodie (Scottish Green Party). It was a very interesting and engaging talk and lots of questions were answered with much detail. The politicians were very convincing in their argument and covered the important areas of this issue. I really enjoyed listening to their answers and proposals for the future relating to Climate change and global warming.
Ellie (Scout) said it was an open discussion and they (the political representatives) were honest that they didn’t achieve the 2020 goals. Many of the goals talked about long term and there is a realisation they need to make more shorter mid-term goals. There appears to be a lot of financial support however we didn’t see how it was being used. Ellie believes change is possible with persistence.
Scarlett (Scout) & Dylan (Explorer) said It was really good that all of the political parties had been brought together in this way to listen to us. It was also good to hear all of their promises for how they plan to work towards a greener future. However, we want to see these promises become a reality and not just being talked about.
Well done to our young people!
Lauderdale Scout Group
25th Brrr-aid Scouts Winter Camp
Cold, snow, wind? “Nae bother,” said Scouts attending the 25th Brrr-aid Virtual Winter Scout Camp on 13 February 2021.
January and February can be tough months in Scotland at the best of times – the thrill of Christmas is well and truly over, and the freezing darkness does not hold quite the same charm when not festooned with twinkling lights. As if the fates knew that everyone, particularly children, needed a bit more variety in their lives, Scotland was gifted with loads of fresh snow over this difficult period – providing little and big kids alike with loads of opportunities for sledging – and the 25th Braid Scout Group with inspiration for their Winter Camp.
Whereas this “Virtual Camp” could not replicate the experience of a Brass-Monkey camp, an adventurous, flexible and varied programme guaranteed there was something for everyone to enjoy and Scouts could participate in a way that suited their own situations. Special effort was made to ensure that the event did not require too many extra supplies and was as easy to follow along with as possible – most of the organising leaders are parents who are also trying to balance home school with work pressures. It was important to provide a fun and entertaining camp for the Scouts, but not to add an extra burden for parents.
The event kicked off on Saturday with the twenty-seven Scouts and Leaders participating given the chance to stretch their legs around the local area with a self-led, photo scavenger hunt in which Scouts were tasked with finding local landmarks such as the secret Wild West town, a historical mile-marker and Fields in Trust medals. Once found, selfies proved their discovery. The Scouts could also choose to create “Scout-themed” words using images to form the letters – a project which gave everyone the opportunity to show off their creativity. It was great to see Scouts out and about, often with parents and siblings, trying to achieve their tasks.
In the afternoon, we met via Zoom where we shared photos of the morning’s adventures and the Scouts chatted about what they accomplished. A camping and cold weather quiz helped teach the Scouts important (and particularly relevant) information about winter camping and how to survive and thrive in difficult conditions. Our dexterity was then challenged via the afternoon’s concluding activity – a craft where participants were shown how to make paracord woggles.
During the time before our evening meeting, the Scouts were tasked with setting up their camp and cooking a camp-style meal for their families. Scouts were given the choice of sleeping in indoor dens or using their new-found winter-camping knowledge to safely camp outdoors in the snow (under the supervision of their parents who had also been provided with extensive safety information for outdoor camping). In total, 15 Scouts and Leaders chose to brave the outdoors under canvas!
We were extremely impressed by the variety of foods the Scouts chose to prepare for their campfire meals. Scouts cooked pastas (by trangias and on the stove), chili con carne and hot dogs by fire, wraps and steaks to name a few of the delicious creations – the parents were rather pleased by this activity.
The evening’s Zoom meeting started off with online camp challenges including pillowcase races, blind folded drawings and spaghetti tower building. The Scouts next followed a recipe together to create delicious microwave mug cakes that were thoroughly enjoyed during the grand-finale of the evening – a “campfire” sing-along. For those who have attempted group singing online, you will appreciate the technical difficulties that such an event presents – the technology does not allow for people to sing together without sound delays. Prior to the meeting, one of our brave leaders volunteered to MC and sing for the group while we sang along whilst on mute at home! It warmed the heart to see Scouts and Leaders singing and dancing along at home – making the most of the opportunity to be together apart.
In the morning, we had one final goodbye meeting where we shared our overnight stories about sleeping in our dens or the thrill of surviving a sub-zero night in tents with 5 layers of clothes, 7 sleep mats and 12 sleeping bags! We finished off the camp with a “Scouts Own” video featuring Mollie Hughes, Adventurer and recently appointed President of Scouts Scotland, recounting one of her incredible climbing adventures in the Himalayas and reminding us to make the most of our time here on Earth. After many, many Zoom “Goodbyes” and “Thank-yous”, the first Virtual 25th Brrr-aid Winter Scout Camp was concluded. It will be remembered by those who took part for all the best reasons – superb teamwork in organising the event, enthusiastic Scouts participating and that special spirit of camaraderie that the best Scout Camps have. Thank you to everyone who helped and attended – I cannot wait to camp with you all again in person.
Assistant Scout Leader
25th Braid Scout Group