|Scouts Scotland South West Region||January 2009|
Volume 1 Issue 1
|South by Southwest
Published on behalf of and with the approval of South West Region Scout Council.
A few thoughts from your Regional Commissioner
I am writing this mid December while on a few days break in Kenmore which, as you will know is located at the eastern end of the very beautiful Loch Tay. My wife Sheila and I usually come here in the week before Christmas to just get away from it all before the somewhat frenetic festive season. Sometimes the weather is freezing with sun flecked morning mists and frost and at other times it snows and the surrounding hills and mountains take on a wondrous mantle of white. This time however the crisp cold weather of the past few weeks has been replaced by more typical December weather when you just hope that the "low cloud" will maybe ease off in the afternoon, as the BBC have said it will (maybe), to let you get out and about without getting a soaking. No matter what the weather brings we try to get out walking, not on the highest hills but on some of the superb trails to be found in these parts of Perthshire, and our outdoor gear and walking poles are always with us. (By the way if you have never used poles - must be a pair - you are missing out on the best walking aid since Scout Staves). This evening our muddy boots are reposing in the drying cupboard.
You may wonder where I am going with this! As a young Scout in a town centre Group I missed out on most outdoor activities but by the time I was of Explorer Scout age we had leaders who had just returned from National Service (that dates it) and who were keen to pass on their skills. Week-end camps and hill walks all summer long - summers were always long - became a way of life which I am sure has served well all those who experienced those far off days. For me, however, one of the highlights was the six annual winter week-end 24 hour challenges run by the DC and ADC's ( and they led them too) for young leaders, which were called, significantly, "Kanutakits". They were classified, roughly, according to conditions and targets as Wet & Windy, sub Zero, 2000ft +, 20 miles+, Snow and Overnight and, as weather couldn't be guaranteed even then, and of course there were the usual part time Saturday jobs, you were allowed three series to collect a full set. I still have the badge I proudly gained after having led a night hike through deep snow ( longest legs !) over the Renfrewshire hills. I won't mention Glencoe, Ice, and fortunately carrying an ice axe!
Have I got to the point yet? Well, yes! My wish for 2009 , and beyond, is that, in South West Region, Leaders will endeavour to give their Scouts ( that's all Sections of course!) every opportunity to get into the real outdoors, according to their ages and abilities, not just when the sun shines in spring and summer ( autumn somehow misses out) but all year round - though admittedly preferably when the sun is shining! I firmly believe that Scotland's magnificent outdoors, and the South West is blessed in this respect, is where Scouting can give of its best, and is where not only our young people but many leaders as well, will find and learn about hidden abilities and skills, self reliance and the value of friendships, in sometimes testing situations. If you haven't looked enough to the outdoors make it your target to get out and about in, and out of, Scouting as often as you can. If the "great outdoors", as distinct from the local streets or park, is new to you take it a little at a time and seek advice from one of our many experienced outdoor Leaders and advisers. They are waiting to help you at any time.
I look forward to hearing of all your activities and exploits and also to reading about them in our Regional Newsletters and on our Regional website.
I wish you all the best in your Scouting in 2009
Home Contact Update
4 short sessions, run by HQ at Gilwell will be
held during February. I would encourage as many of you as possible
to come along as the Region has undertaken to trial the project
along with a number of Counties in England and Wales.
22nd Feb - Dumfriesshire and Galloway - Douglas Arms, Castle Douglas, 2 p.m.
23rd Feb - Ayrshire East - St Josephs Church Hall, Hill St, Kilmarnock at 7.30 p.m.
24th Feb - Kyle & Carrick - Parkstone Hotel, Prestwick, 7.30 p.m.
25th Feb -North Ayrshire & Arran - Menzies Hotel, 7.30 p.m.
Details will be circulated shortly.
Explorer Belt 2009
There is an Explorer Belt Expedition to Poland this summer, organised by Jenny Stevens, SHQ Commissioner for Explorers. There is a flyer about the Expedition in the Library section of the Regional web site, along with an application form. To date there are 6 Explorer Scouts from Galloway that have signed up and potentially some from Kyle and Carrick.
And further into the future
These events may appear to be a long time off, but it will not be long before they need attention and in fact the Regional has already been asked to consider the 22nd World Jamboree in 2011
Blair Atholl Jamborette
The Blair Atholl Jamborette will again take place in the grounds of Blair Castle over the last fortnight of July 2010. This is a great opportunity for our Scouts to experience an International camp. As this will be the first Blair Atholl camp since the Regions are set up, we are not certain how the allocations will work, but certainly in the next three to four months the information will be cascaded out to Groups.
Every Scout Troop and Explorer Unit should consider this activity. Yes, there are limited places and there may have to be a selection. But if your youngsters have the camping skills and are interested, please give them the opportunity to go meet with other Scouts the world o'er
Information on the 2008 camp is available ont he Jamborette web site at http://www.jamborette.org.uk/ and this will be updated for 2010 as the information becomes available.
22nd World Scout Jamboree - Sweden
The Jamboree is being held outside the town of Kristianstad in the very south of Sweden and the dates are 27th July through to 7th August.
The event is open to young people between the ages of 14 and 17. They must have been born between 25th July 1993 and 27th July 1997.
In this edition
District Development & Grants for District & Groups
Over the coming weeks, the five Districts will each be arranging a 'Development Day' so that the Leaders in the District develop a plan for the District. These are partially funded by a grant that the Region obtained.
Districts and Groups can also apply for Development grants form Scottish Headquarters and numerous other sources. Some details of these can be found on the Regional Web site Library. It is worth noting that the original condition of matching sums for SHQ Development grants has been dropped, however they do ask for details of other sources of income for the proposed project.
Also on the Library section of the Regional web site are links to other sources of grants and Fact Sheets of grants.
There are many other sources of grants such as the LLoyds TSB Foundation for Scotland. As an example, a Scout Group in Ayrshire East have had a grant towards tentage and cooking equipment from this source.
Scottish Headquarters and all of the Community Offices of the local councils have access to a database which can be used to locate potential grant sources based on the criteria that you provide.
Please consider applying for a grant from the SHQ Development Fund - the money is there and all it takes is carefully wording on your application to sell the idea, a copy of your current financial statement and the signature of the Assistant Regional Commissioner (Development). The application will not be accepted without this. Go On - Have a look at the opportunities on Development Resources page on the web site.
LATE NEWS ITEMS
for the Scout Section - Just in, information on this year's Lowland Adventure for the Scout Section. A flyer and application forms can be found in the Library section of the Regional Web site. Always a very successful and enjoyable event, best reserve your Troops place at the event which this year is being held South Queensferry.
For the Networkers - The Network Hub Camp - for members of the Network . This is an activity camp, with activities on Saturday and Sunday as well as activities/entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. The dates 27th February to 1st March and the venue Nethy Bridge. Further details on the Library Page.
REGIONAL BADGE COMPETITION
We are pleased announce that it has now been agreed that our members can now wear a Regional Badge on their uniform which would replace the former Area badges that we had.
We are therefore holding a competition that is open to all sections to design a badge for the Region, with a prize for the best from each Section and a special prize for the winner.
The finished badge will be of a similar size to your current District badge.
Drawings of suggested badges can be submitted on paper or as an electronic file and should contain the name, age, section and Group/Unit details of the individual submitting the entry. The size of the drawing or image can be any size up to A4 (8.26 inches by 11.69 inches)
Entries should be sent to your District Commissioner and the closing date for the competition will be 31st March 2009.
On 1st June Dumfriesshire were well represented at the Scottish Awards which were held at Dunfermline Abbey.
Congratulations to all.
Over the summer months 9 Explorers attended the Blair Atholl Jamborette (as part of the overall District contingent of 19), along with two Networkers and Keith Ainslie. Blair Atholl is the premier International Scouting event in Scotland and I would encourage more scout Groups to be involved in 2010.
A new Era
The Inaugural General Meeting of the District took place at the Queen Hotel, Lockerbie on the 17th April. After the Business was complete the DC cut a cake to celebrate a new era of Scouting in Scotland.
Cub Shore Walk
The Cubs held their Shore Walk on 15th June - picture on right.
District Groups celebrate their Centenary's
14th Dumfriesshire (Thornhill)
celebrated with displays from each section, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, showing what they did on a meeting night.
The 1st Annan Group celebrated with a Church Parade and a display of memorabilia in their Scout hall.
Craigshiels Challenge 2008
The day consisted of challenges which are marked on the basis of completion and time taken. The challenges included
You can imagine the fun some people had. Plus several other challenges
most of which were designed to get you into the muck or get you thinking
as a team.
We are still not sure who was more surprised us or our leaders.
The Beavers and Cubs from the Group took part in the BT Giant Sleepover on the 14th June.
Below, a picture of the Group
During the Group's AGM, Jon Mitchell was presented with his Silver Acorn by Duncan Riddell, Regional Commissioner.
Annandale & Eskdale Explorers are set for Yellowstone and Great Teton National Parks in July.
Our years events started with a snowy Brass Monkey camp in January. February saw a change of Scout leadership with Calum Heughan taking over as Scout leader with Sandy Heughan and Mike Braithwaite as assistants. April saw us taking the Cubs from Gretna and Eastriggs to Gilnockie Hall for a one night activity camp. After the summer we saw a big rise in numbers to over 25 Scouts on some nights which was a challenge at first.
The 20th Ayrshire are heading for Denmark in July, along with a number of the Jester Explorer Scout unit.
The event normally has the usual Danish activities include pioneering, cooking over an open fire, games etc but this year there will be a special focus on training. Because of this, activities offered will be grounded on the development of leadership, skill training, coaching and short courses that each individual person can use to improve the quality of her or his scout skills. But there will also be the opportunity to experience scouting from all over the world.
New Century Challenge
The 91st Ayrshire (St Joseph's) Scout Group braved minus 7°C temperatures, overnight, at the end of November in order to make a difference for homeless people. The activity, part of a scouting New Century Challenge, involved braving the elements with little more than a cardboard box for protection.
17 Members of the scout troop completed the overnight challenge while also raising £1,000 for Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Des Browne, the MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun accepted the cheque on behalf of Shelter.
"They could have undertaken this activity in the summer when the weather would not have been as challenging, but they chose to brave the full forces of the Scottish Elements." Commented Des Browne "The scouts now have a far better understanding of the hardships that face the people that Shelter strive to support 365 days a year"
This was the culminating event in a year of challenges towards the New Century Challenge Award. The name originating from this being the first year after the World Scout Association celebrated its Centenary. These challenges have included environmental issues, night hikes, community involvement, target rifle shooting,assisting at the Whithorn Pilgrimage, and participation at various district and scottish scout events and camps. Presenting the scouts with their awards, the District Commissioner Jack Leishman, commented that this was a wonderful example of an active and enthusiastic scout group and congratulated the leaders and scouts for the example that this group is setting for others to follow.
Kyle and Carrick
PL Training Camp
The District held a P.L. Training week-end in May around 24 Scouts and was supported by Explorer Scouts and leaders.
With a mix of camping skills and fun, the week-end was enjoyed by all.
Scout Archery Day
The Archery Taster day held at Troon was a resounding success to the extent that it gave the organisers a headache. Scouts just kept appearing and appearing and appearing. So successful, the event will be run again this year in two sessions, morning and afternoon.
Two leaders of the 28th Ayrshire (Troon) received the Medal of Merit recently.
Craig Smith joined the group back in 1987 as an ACSL and is now one of the CSL. He has been very active at International events including the WJ in Thailand and the Centenary WJ
District Challenge Hike
16 teams took part in the annual District Challenge Hike for Scouts and Explorer Scouts.
This year the event took place over the Carrick Hills, just south of Ayr. The teams were tasked with visiting as many checkpoints as they could - each checkpoint either having an orienteering stamp at it or an activity which was recorded on their card. A lunch time check point provided soup for the walkers.
LATE NEWS 1) Dailly
Scouts make SSN (http://www.scouts-scotland.org.uk/default.asp?page=1)
North Ayrshire and Arran
BEAVER FUNDAY - EGLINTON PARK KILWINNING - May 2008
This event started in the rain after a few days of really dry weather but by the time the first Beavers started arriving on the field it was drying up and by the end of the day the weather didn't matter as the smiles on all the participants faces were great! We had 80 Beavers on site with 20 bases for them to try out. There were also ongoing games of football, and North Ayrshire children's services came with the earth ball crazy golf and parachute games. Hot Dogs and Burgers were provided by the leaders of the 73rd Scout Group and enjoyed by all. After lunch we were entertained by Magic Malky who kept everyone involved and laughing. We were delighted to have the Isle of Arran Beavers with us for the day. My sincere thanks also to the 19th Ayrshire Group who put the marquee up for us. We look forward to running a similar event in 2009 and would love to see more Beavers there.
NORTH AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN DISTRICT - CUB SLEEPOVER 12th SEPTEMBER 2008
Approximately 60 cub scouts enjoyed a great weekend sleepover in Corrie Hall on Arran. The programme for the weekend was based around making great things to take home and all the cubs took home a walnut woggle, a magic shrinkart key ring, a piece of rope and a friendship bracelet … all made by the cubs themselves. They even managed to make the traybakes and goodies for supper! As if the weekend wasn't busy enough, we also managed to cover the Communicator Badge. We had a visit from the police from the island, we learned a bit of sign language, the phonetic alphabet and lots more. The District Quiz was held during the weekend, and the winners … for the second year running … were 52nd Ayrshire, who was presented with a brand new shield. Congratulations and well done to the 52nd. I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all, even the leaders. Thanks to all who helped.
KRYPTON SCOUT - ARDROSSAN SCOUT HALL - JUNE 2008
Although the attendance at this event was disappointing, those who attended had a good afternoon competing for a lovely new trophy. Building a tower out of paper, Blind folded golf, Giant Jennga were only a few of the bases. Refreshments were served half way through and it was great to see all groups mingling with each other. We finally were pleased to present the Trophy to 102nd Beith Group and look forward to them coming back to defend their title next year. Thanks to the Scout Leaders of the 19th Ayrshire who provided the programme and to the Ardrossan Group for the use of their hall.
ORIENTERRING COMPETITION - EGLINTON PARK - DECEMBER 2008
An orienteering competition was organised by the 71st Skelmorlie and 19th Kilwinning Scout Groups and the event was attended by 19th Kilwinning, 71st Skelmorlie, 73rd Bourtreehill and 52nd Saltcoats Scout Groups. The event was a great success and the young people that attended had a great day. Thanks to Margaret Fowler for providing hot drinks and snacks for the young people on what was a very cold, but dry day in December.
We had 2 courses 1 Easy, 1 slightly more difficult. 4 teams did the easy course and the winners were Steven Roberts and Jamie Sutherland from Kilwinning .
Young Leader Training Module A
A number of explorer scouts involved in the young leader scheme attended a Young Leader training day at Kilwinning Scout Hall to complete Module A the mandatory module for any young person who is helping at any of the sections. A huge thank you to Brenda McKeand ADC - LT for running the course and to Margaret Fowler DDC, for providing snacks and refreshments for the young people.
Young Leader Training - November 2008
A further young leader training event was held in November to allow those young people who were carrying out their service award within Scouting to complete enough modules to finish their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze or to add further modules for their Silver and Gold Levels. The event was attended by explorers from 102nd, The Bay Explorers and the 73rd Bourtreehill. The event was organised and run by Ewan Ross ADC - YLT with assistance from Brenda McKeand ADC - LT and again a thank you to Margaret Fowler DDC for providing snacks and drinks.
The boys and girls from the 71st Ayrshire Beaver group recently learned a little about St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. They are pictured in the shape of the saltire cross, waving some of the flags they created!
The 71st Ayrshire Beaver Group were treated to a fantastic bat walk recently, kindly taken by Eila Roberts of Wemyss Bay Woodlands Association. During the walk, the boys and girls learned more about bats and even got the chance to see a few flying overhead.
In October a group of 16 explorer scouts affiliated to the 102nd Beith Scout Group spent a week in Iceland during the school holiday week in October. The boys had a superb time in Iceland and took part in a whole number of activities from whale watching and a helicopter ride over Reykjavik to swimming in the Blue Lagoon and going on a hike on a glacier. Not even the financial situation in Iceland could dampen the boys spirits as they had a ball!!
Scouts and leaders from the District gained valuable hill craft and navigation skills during a weekend in the hills. The last picture in the sequence shows Eric Johns (Regional Activities Advisor) leading the way
The District Cub Camp at Kirkdale.
Stranraer Scouts with a French scout party who spent a week at Kirkdale.
The Minnigaff Scouts won a Sailing trip at Newcastle in a Scouting Magazine competition
The District Beavers had a day at Castle Douglas
The Explorers held their annual challenge - 20 tasks to complete including kidnapping the District Chairman, getting their photo taken in a police cell and travelling over 100 miles.
The winners - Gatehouse of Fleet.
The are also working hard raising funds for the Explorer Belt Expedition to Poland this summer.
They have also located some Polish people who work locally and are learning about the country they will be visiting.
Alastair Campbell - a Scout leader in the district is also promoting a challenge to kayak the length of Great Britain. In August 2009, they aim to do a charity event for a Team of 9 to 12 to canoe Lake Windermere, over 7 days to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research. The aim is to cover the distance of the length of the UK to help raise funds for the above. And that’s from Land's End at the south-eastern tip of England, on an 874-mile to John O'Groats in Scotland, all on Lake Windermere. Please support Alistair who's family has been touched by this disease. Visit their website Windermere 2009 and give them some support.
Around the Assistant Regional Commissioners and Advisers
|** Please remember that within the Region there are Specialist Advisers who are available to help you at any time. If you do not know how to contact them just let your DC know what assistance you require and they will make the contact for you. Currently our Advisers are : -|
Health & Safety - Alan Sidaway & Dennis Graham, Child Protection - Jane Calderwood.
Also in the pipeline are "Duke of Edinburgh Award" and "Faiths & Beliefs". **
Margaret Craik ARC (Training)
Hi, I'm Margaret Craik and I'm responsible for training across the region. We've been very active over the past 10 months and I'd like to let you know what has been happening.
The Training Team has been very busy since April 2008 when the region was formed. There is either an Assistant District Commissioner (ADC) for Adult Training or a training contact within every district and they are working well together to provide a range of training opportunities here in the South West. So what has happened so far?
It's up to every leader to make sure they do the training relevant to their appointment. If you're not sure what is involved then either get in touch with your ADC or myself and we'll chat you through it. Remember that with the new training you can do the module by attending a course or by doing a workbook or e learning package. The important thing is that you do the modules in the way that suits you.
If you want to see what courses are on then check out on the Training pages of the Regional website at http://www.scouts-southwestscotland.org.uk/index.htm and if you don't have access to the internet phone me on 01294 214733 and I'll post you out a copy of the training diary.
Remember, the training team are here to help you. There is a reminder below of the forthcoming courses. If you want to come please apply 4 weeks in advance. I hope you'll be able to come - it's great fun you know.
Craigshiels Outdoor Center
The lease on Craigshiels has been renewed with the Forestry Commissioner after a full Health and Safety check on the premises. This center is under used at the moment and for those of you not familiar with it, it is worth having a look at the location. It has limited camping facilities, but there are two buildings available.
Jane Calderwood - Child Protection Coordinator
Hi, my name is Jane Calderwood and I am Child Protection Coordinator for the Region.
Child Protection is not a subject to be frightened of. For adults aged 18 and over there is the Young People First. This gives the What Happens if? and a Code of Behaviour Do and Do Not.
For Young Leaders the is much the same. These cards give advice.
The Scout Information Centre has a variety of Fact Sheets from Eating Disorders to Procedures for District Commissioners and General Child Protection Information. If in doubt talk to someone. You can contact me anytime on 01292 315094 or email. A Happy New Year and safe Scouting to you all
John Kitson - International
It was good to hear of the participation from the Region at Blair Atholl last year and the friendships that have been formed which are resulting in trips to America this year. There was also a very successful group trip to Iceland.
2009 will see trips to America and also it is hoped Explorer Belt trips. If you would like further information on the Explorer Belt opportunities please let me know. There is also a large contingent (over 400) of Scottish scouts going to Denmark this year and the region is represented.
It is hoped to have a trip in 2010 to Malaysia to undertake a project to benefit local communities and if you would like more information on this please let me know. 2010 will also be a Blair Atholl year.
If you are organising a trip abroad please get in touch as soon as possible. The paperwork required is all explained in the folder 'VISIT ABROAD'. It is essential that planning and permission is obtained as early as possible so again please get in touch to discuss the requirements. An important change that was introduced last year is with the 'Scout Passport'; this used to be issued to the group but it is now a requirement to issue one to each individual travelling - both leaders and scouts; it is necessary for me to visit the group to issue the passports and they will only be valid for a specific period.
George Ling - Culzean Convener
Report on 2008 camping season at Culzean
The camp site received 30 bookings, from which 28 camps took place. Of these, 24 were for weekend camps that happened on 18 different weekends from March through to the end of September. The other 4 camps were of 5 or 6 nights duration taking place in June or July. Making use of the camp site we had groups of Explorers Scouts, Scouts, Cubs, and combinations of these including day visits from Beavers to Group camps. As well as the Scout campers, the site had bookings from Guide groups(5), BB Companies(1) and Woodcraft Folk(1). The Scout bookings were from Ayrshire(8), Glasgow(6), other Scottish(2), England(3) and Northern Ireland(1).
The good weather we had in May, June and the early part of July, lead to very successful camps for those that visited us during that period. But alas, then the rains started, and for those who came in the latter part of the season the site and activities on it became a bit restricted. However all managed to have an enjoyable time. It is so good to have the facilities of Culzean Castle and Country Park right on our "doorstep".
Back in the spring, a small band of volunteers, lead by our Regional Commissioner, Duncan Riddell, took on the job of planting out over 800 saplings, donated by the Woodland Trust as part of our Centenary. The planting took place over 3 weekends and mainly concentrated on renewing the hedging on the west side of the camp site. It is hoped that once they become established the hedging will screen that side from the adjacent access road into the Country Park.
Now that our lease has been extended, we hope to continue the development of the camp site with several projects of varying size in mind. Of course for this to happen 2 things are needed; the appropriate funding, and an increased band of volunteers who can be called upon to carry out the work. So if you can offer us some time, let us know and we'll match a project to what you can offer in terms of time and skills. To get in touch just email culzean.
For the coming season we have 4 summer camps booked, 2 in early July and 2 in early August. As yet no weekend bookings have been made, so pick your weekend in May or June and get in touch.
Bob McIntyre - Communications
It has been a busy nine months since I picked up the challenge with the new web site being created and supported and I have now got direct contact into all of the local papers in the Region. However we need to work on Communications and it would be idea if each District had a point of contact which I could exchange information with.
Ideally I would love to have a continual flow of information of the activities in the Districts and Groups and a regular flow of pictures from these activities that can be put on the website. Another useful feature would be paper news cuttings from the local papers. This would enable me to feedback to all the volume of publicity that Scouting is getting in the Region.
Pat Campbell - Explorers and Network
Pat has been out and about around the Region meeting Explorers and Networkers.
She has also had meetings with the SHQ Commissioner for Explore Scouts, Jenny Stevens and with the Community Development Officer in Dalry who is very willing to help develop the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in the Region.
Pat also attended Scottish Scout Network Council (SSNC) meeting which held in January. The region has three representatives on the SSNC.
There are a number of events coming up which will give us great opportunities for publicity.
Are any groups taking part in Comic Relief on Friday 13th March? Great opportunity for pictures - let me know as well!
It is anticipated that there is going to be a growth in numbers both of young people and Leaders- is this an opportunity for some pictures and stories in your local paper - let me know - I'll be watching the returns and may be in touch with you.
There will be announcement in late spring/early summer of the name of the New Chief Scout - another opportunity - it is hoped to have a media release within the Region inconjunction with this.
In July, there are a number of Explorer Scouts heading to Poland for around 2 weeks to take part in an Explorer Belt - let me know who they are and get stories into your local papers. Are there any Networkers going? I know of some that are interested.
The Blair Atholl Jamborette 2010 will be announced in a couple of months
The World Jamboree in Sweden in 2011
opportunities for older Scouts and Explorers to join in this fantastic event and for Leaders as part of a Troop contingent, or the International Support Team (IST).
It's good to talk
and of course you have all your own activities and events as well.