Lawrence MitchellRecently appointed by Margery Naylor, Regional commissioner, I am delighted to be helping within the Region – but daunted as well!

I was in Cubs, Scouts and Senior Scouts in Ayr in my early years. Having married in 1970 and moved to Balerno shortly after that, I was asked to help with one of the 51st Balerno scout troops – and within 3 months found myself leading the troop! Over the years, and with help from other Balerno parents, we built the troop up to 42 (all boys in those days!). The emphasis was always on fun, adventure – and the outdoors, and to keep “ahead” of them, I enrolled in The Mountain Leader Training programme, completing my ML at Glenmore Lodge; then did my Sea Kayaking Coach, and later, Coastal Skipper sailing qualifications.

After 11 years as SL, I “retired”, then found myself as DC for Pentland & Almond Valley and after that, as Area Mountain Advisor. After a further “retirement”, I returned as GSL for the 51st for 6 years, before handing over to John Henderson, who has done a truly wonderful job with the Group.

In the meantime, I had continued as a training advisor and member of the District Appointments Committee and within the last year have accepted the appointment of District Chair for Pentland – and as Regional Advisor for Adventurous Activities.

That may sound a long time – and it is – and my age gives that away!  But I remain committed to the concept that Scouting should be FUN, (for both children and the leaders!) and focused on the Outdoors and on Adventure.

Bruce McDonald, Manager of the Adventurous Activities Permit Scheme, and I shall be working very closely with each other as there is a fair degree of overlap in our roles, but our connection started a long time ago at Longcraig as kayak instructors – and we share the common interest in “adventure”.

I think it would be fair to say that while all adventurous activities are important, my emphasis in the short term will be on Hillwalking. We have the Pentlands on our doorstep and other wonderful hills only a short distance away – we need to get more beavers, cubs, scouts and Explorers out there and beyond! And to achieve we shall be working hard to build up the pool of qualified leaders and assessors. Please do contact me if you have any enquiries:

Lawrence Mitchell
Regional Advisor, Adventurous Activities