By way of introduction; after a fairly brief career as a cub and a scout whilst at school in Aberdeen, I re-joined the movement as an Assistant Scout Leader in the 108th Pentland Scouts in 2008. After about 2 months I was bitten by the bug. I did my wood badge training at a weeklong course at Gilwell that cemented my commitment to the movement. I soon became the Scout Leader when our Scout Troop grew so large that we had to split it in two.

 I have planned and been involved in many group and district camps at home and abroad, most recently leading our Scout Group on a trip to the Haarlem Jamborette, the Netherlands, in 2019. I am now the Group Scout Leader for the 108th Pentland Scouts with 2 Beaver Colonies, 3 Cub Packs and 2 Scout Troops. 

We are currently in the process of starting a satellite group to be based in the Bonaly Scout Centre to try and deal with our extensive Beaver waiting list. Our hope is that this will start with a Beaver colony and grow to include Cubs and Scouts in the future. I am passionate about the movement and how it can help to develop the futures of young people.

I am delighted to take on the additional position of Regional Advisor (International). The region has for a long time been a source of a huge range and quality of visits abroad for our young people. I would like to tap into this extensive knowledge and experience to increase the number of international nights away for the region.

Clearly there are several barriers to delivering an international nights away experience. The main one is the expense to the young people and the expense and the lack of leave for the leader team. There may also been reluctance from the leadership team to offer such an experience on the basis of lack of experience and a thought that an international camp is a lot more difficult to plan than a UK based camp.

I would like to develop a series of myth busters about the planning, a full support service for the individual groups and an active programme of sources of external financial support and fund-raising activities to make the camps and experiences affordable for the young people and their families. I also hope to investigate methods of supporting leaders with support for leave through their employers’ social commitments.

I hope to make it as easy for leaders to offer international nights away as it is to offer local nights away. I am here to support the leadership teams to reduce the burden of any processes and red tape they will encounter, especially through the transition of the UK leaving the EC.

I am really looking forward to meeting all the leaders and the young people undertaking International Expeditions and I am pleased to support the Region in this process.

Simon Innes
Regional Advisor, International