Scouts Scotland South West Region December 2009
Volume 1 Issue 3
South by Southwest

Published on behalf of and with the approval of South West Region Scout Council.
Registered as a Charity in Scotland - SCO11643

A Christmas Greeting from the Regional Commissioner.

Dates in the Future


Blair Atholl Jamborette

The Blair Atholl Jamborette will again take place in the grounds of Blair Castle starting on Monday 19th July until 30th July 2010.
I expect that most Districts have had their Selection Process and they have now received the demands for the deposit of £50 per head.

Information on the 2010 camp is available on the Jamborette web site at and this will be updated as the information becomes available.

There is a Satellite Camp at Blair Atholl which runs for cubs. Scouts and Explorer Scouts to visit the main camp for a week-end. Watch the web site for details on the week-end - spaces is very limited and one has to be very quick to make application and reserve the space. NOTE - This event is co-ordinated by a Satellite Camp committee and not the main Blair Atholl Jamborette team.

Highland Adventure 2010

This takes place at Insh Camp Site, Spean Bridge over 30th April - 3rd May. The event is open scouts (aged 11 and over at date of camp), but each camping unit should consist of a maximum of 3 members. Details are available in the Library section of the this web site or from the Highland Adventure web site.

Lapwing Highland Games 2010

This is a week-end activity run at Lapwing Lodge in West Region for patrols of 6 scouts. More details of this event as they become available.

Fordell Fast Forward

Held at Fordell Firs this event is open to Scottish Cubs and Scouts aged between 9.5 and 12 years (born between 23rd May 1998 and 21st November 2000). It promises to be a camp to remember, with lots of activities and chances to meet new friend. More details on the Fast Forward web page


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.

Region has been through the selection process and will be represented by Eleven Scouts/Explorer Scouts from across the Region - 2 from Ayrshire East, 3 from Dumfriesshire, 1 from Galloway, 2 from Kyle and Carrick and 3 from North Ayrshire and Arran.

Whilst the UK Contingent Team will have been selected by now, IST (International Service Team) will be selected shortly and there are a number of leaders from the Region that have applied.



In this edition

In Touch

Following a year long consultation process and six month trial in three Counties/Regions - of which we were one, we are delighted to inform you of the improvements to the Home Contact System.

The updated system is known as InTouch and replaces Home Contact within South West Region.

InTouch is designed to give much more flexibility to Leaders in putting together the most effective and useful system of communications for all events and activities you run, including recognising the different communication methods that are available.

The main difference is that there will no longer be a ‘Home Contact’ required to sit at home next to the phone for all events, although it is still possible to use a third party to manage communications if this is deemed the most sensible way by the Leader in charge

Full details of InTouch can be found at A useful pocket sized Emergency Procedures Card (Purple Card) is available from The Scout Information Centre - free of charge. The order code is "EMPC".

Duke of Edinburgh Info

The Region D of E Adviser , Gavin Ferguson, is now in place and keen to provide support at all levels of the award including leader assessment.   You can contact him at at any time. Please make use of his professional knowledge of The Award.

The D of E magazine for Leaders is published 3 times a year at the start of each academic term. It's packed full of news, updates and info to help you run your DofE group, it's a must-read for every Leader! Leaders qualify for a free postal copy - sign up here.
Register leaders gets a 20% discount card for Cotswold outdoors.

Points of Contact around the Region

Remember that there are specialist advisers in place to help you.
Please make use of their expertise.

Regional Commissioner .......... Duncan Riddell
Communications ..........Bob McIntyre Duke of Edinburgh Award . Gavin Ferguson
Development ............... Anne Aspeslagh Faith & Belief ...................Ruth Nicol
Explorers/Network ....... Pat Campbell International .....................John Kitson
Training .......................Margaret Craik Nights Away/Camping ......George Ling
Activities ..................... Eric Johns Safety Co-ordinators .......Alan Sidaway/Dennis Graham
Child Protection ..........Jane Calderwood Special Needs .................Lauren Hussain


Maxwellton Scouts celebrate

The 28th Dumfriesshire (Maxwelltown) Scouts recently invested seven new Scouts into the Troop, some from the Cub Pack and a number who have never been involved in scouting previously. This was the largest investiture that the Troop has had for many years.

District Skills Week-end.

The week-end was held at St Ann's campsite where back to basics and skills were demonstrated and put to use.

Groups Celebrate their Centenary

Two Groups have celebrated their Centenary year during September.

On 20th September the 2nd Dumfriesshire (Langholm) Celebrated their 100 years and on the 27th September it was the turn of the 3rd Dumfriesshire (Moffat).

Past leaders, various leaders from across the District & some Cubs and their leaders from the Moffat group.

Craigshiels Trophy 2009


A good turnout for this years event in the Forest of Ae where the teams tested their skills in various activities which included a crate climb, a first aid incident, transporting the radio active isotope, negotiating a mine field, pioneering and orienteering.

The winners were the 10th Dumfriesshire seen here with their trophy (a toilet seat) and the runners up were the 57th Dumfriesshire seen with their 'Wooden Spoon'.

Cubs Unihoc Competition

The Cubs held their annual Unihoc Competition, for the Fred Ivins Trophy, at the David Keswick Centre, Dumfries.

DC Jean Hawes with the three teams
Winners of the Fred Ivin Trophy, 57th Dumfriesshire
Runners up of the competition the 14th Dumfriesshire teamWinners of The Plate, the 8th Dumfriesshire with their leader.

Dumfries Snippets

  • The Riverside Explorers attended the GAP week-end in November at Auchengillian
  • We have an allocation of 2 patrols for Blair Atholl, 1 selection week-end was held in November and a second will be held in January
  • 8th Dumfriesshire Scouts (Noblehill) saw a 33% increase in numbers when 9 boys/girls were invested in November
  • The Cub Quiz was won by 57th and the runners up were the 8th
  • Coming events :- The Scout Brass Monkey Camp and the Cub Chefs Badge.


Galloway Explores head to Poland

Six of the District Explorers headed to Poland during the summer to take part in an Explorer Belt Expedition last nine days. The picture is of them at Edinburgh Airport just before departure.

Minnigaff Scouts host Irish group

The Minnigaff Scouts hosted a group of Scouts from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, for a weeks camp at Kirkdale Port during the summer. They have been invited across to Ballymena next year.

Beaver Fun Day

The District beavers held a Fun Day at Cream of Galloway earlier in the year.


Beaver Sleep-Over


The newly opened Beaver Colony at Dalbeattie held a Sleep-Over, although Alan reckons it was a Night Away as he stayed overnight and did not see a lot of sleeping taking place.

Evening meals were donated by the 5 carry-out premises in the town - chips and sausage were the favourite with the Beavers whilst the adults preferred the chicken and garlic from the Chinese.

Dalbeattie will be starting a Cub Pack in the new year with four new leaders.

Kyle and Carrick

Centenary Celebrations

The 14th Ayrshire (1st Prestwick) celebrated their centenary early this year when the Group help a week-end camp at Lochgoilhead.


For leaders, past and present, there was also a function attended by some 60 people including the son of the founder of the Group, Iain Foulds who was also Scoutmaster and GSL in later years. A birthday cake was cut jointly by Iain and formal Scout Willie Nicolson who joined the Troop in the 1930's.

Beaver Homecoming

The District beavers had a great day in Culzean with their own 'homecoming' event with loads of activities and their own 'piper' at the campfire at the end of the day.


Cub Hike

Some sixty cubs, parents and leaders took part in the annual Cub Hike, which was held at Straiton this year. The picture shows a number of the walking groups when the met on Monument Hill above the village.


Explorer Belt Presentation

Three members of the Phoenix ESU who took part in the Polish Explorer Belt Expedition last July made their presentation in September to a gathering of local Scouts, parents and friends



Communications is often raised as an issue in Scouting and the subject covers a wide range from within the section, group,district, region, nationally and not forgetting the community.
On the left is a selection of recent press cuttings in my local paper - how many of the you try to use your local papers? And how many are successful? I am now regularly asked by SHQ what sort of cover I get in local papers across the Region - not an easy question to answer of my own back as there are some 12 local newspapers in the Region, 4 local radio stations, not counting the BBC stations and of course we have Television.

By using these media outlets we can improve the profile of Scout in the Region - and yes I know some papers are more co-operative than others, but if you work with them and offer them material on a regularly you will win.

This applies not only from a section point of view but through Districts and Region if there is something big going down in Scouting. An example of this was Blair Atholl in 2008 which each of the local papers in the Region got pictures and a article, customised to their circulation area, from myself during the Blair Atholl Camp

The question remains - how many papers used it and here is where YOU can assist.

Any mention of Scouting in your local papers, could you cut it out and send it to me with details of which paper and the date of publication?

Hey, perhaps making the locals more aware of Scouting, you might pick up some new leaders - use an article to appeal for people to serve on the Group committees, as leaders etc. The example on the right produced an offer of help with the Group within a week.

Next - how do we communicate with each other? We talk, hopefully, within the section, Group Meetings, District Meetings and Regional meetings. We email each other - Yes I know we don't all have email addresses, but in actual fact would you believe out of the 434 email address on the membership database for the Region 25% of them are not current, or the mailboxes are full and will not accept any more messages. Approximately 33% of our leaders do not have a registered email address.

PLEASE, if you have registered with the membership database, and have changed your email address, login and correct it. If you have not registered, do so - it's easy, all you need is your membership number, pick a username and password and off you go - there is a wealth of information in the system, hundreds of programme ideas that are available once you register. And you will get emails from both Gilwell Park and SHQ - don't worry, your email address will not be circulated around as all these emails are send out 'Blind' - only your email address appears on the email.

There are regular emails from SHQ with information relating to Scouting in Scotland and advance information of events for the Sections.

Of course we must not forget those that do not have a computer or an email address? Are you one of these people? Have you thought about your local library when there is almost certainly an computer within an Internet connection that you could use - they will even show you how to use it - and it is easy to set up an email address on Google, Hotmail or the like - but remember to update you membership database entry with the information.

And of course, if you know that you have leaders that do not have Internet access, why not print a copy of the newsletter for them and display it on your notice board.

Ayrshire East

Crosshouse Hospital Scout / Guide Group Project

The District, along with the North Ayrshire Guides, have been having discussions with the Children's Paediatric Ward at Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock regarding the starting of a Group in the Hospital.

It has now been agreed between all parties that a new Group, the 22nd Ayrshire (Crosshouse Hospital) and the new Group will be registered on 22nd February 2010. The Group will meet on Tuesdays between 6 and 7 p.m. The first meeting of the Group will be held on Tuesday 2nd March 2010.

There will be a meeting of all interested parties, including Guiders, in mid January 2010. Would anyone interested in attending please let Jack Leishman know before 30th December 2009. Anyone attending will require to bring a copy of their Disclosure Scotland. Further details available in this sites Library section.


Possible project trip to Kenya in 2011

The plan is to travel to Kenya probably leaving during the last week of June 2011 and be away for approximately 14 days. While it is difficult to estimate precise costs until full details are known and of course uncertainty in airline fares it is considered the likely cost will be around £2,000.

The plan is to undertake a project at Makobe School in the Shimba Hills being under an hours drive from Mombassa. The school currently has around 20 pupils with mild disabilities, both physical and learning. There are some other 60 children that would benefit from attending but are unable to due to the lack of residential facilities and they live to far from the school to travel each day. The opportunities for us to undertake projects include:-

  • Basic buildings for dormitories
  • Basic buildings for classrooms
  • Construct a football and/or netball pitch
  • Construct a playground

The actual work that will be undertaken will be decided during an inspection visit that will allow plenty time for training the young folk in the required skills for the project.

After the project has been undertaken there will be two further opportunities offered;-
Either a climb on Mount Meru which is 4350 metres in the Kilimanjaro range
Or a safari and conservation experience
Or  a beach experience with water sports

It would be hoped everyone would meet up at the end of the activity for a 'farewell evening' prior to returning home.

We plan to set up an organising committee with a representative from each District so that we can move the project. If you know of anyone who might be interested in going on the trip and undertaking the project please let your DC or John Kitson know. Details are available in this sites Library Section.

Below, some pictures of Makobe School. If you click on the picture you can view a larger image.

The site before construction startedThe Aim and Motto of the SchoolThe main school buuilding
One of the classroomsThe second classrooma group picture

Late News Flash - Dumfriesshire Districts

Scouts create winter bird feeding station.

LANGHOLM Scouts gave up a Saturday to help create a winter feeding station for moorland birds.

A break in the weather allowed the group to complete the work and enjoy a cup of tea before the rain returned.

Bird feeders made from halved coconuts and pine cones, made by children at Langholm Playcare have been hung at the feeding station for the hungry birds, along with a couple of bird tables made by pupils at Langholm Academy.

Cat Barlow, moorland education officer, who led the day, said: “A huge thanks to everyone for turning out on a wet December day.

“We’ve made a real difference to the site and there are large numbers of birds using the feeding station already. Thank you also to Buccleuch Estates and Wellglen Shoot for allowing us to make use of the land. I hope to use the site for small groups so they can view the birds and visiting red squirrels at the feeders.”

The moorland education project is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish government and the European-funded Dumfries & Galloway LEADER 2007-2013 programme.