Here’s our annual report for 2019-2020.
It’s been a year like no other! Since Scouts were started in 1907 there has never been a summer where no young people were out on camp – even during the wars!
Our AGM was postponed from its usual June slot, and will now take place by Zoom on Monday 7th September at 7pm – all parents have been emailed the zoom link, and all families are invited to attend.
Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers should wear uniform.
There will be a very short business meeting followed by a wee family quiz that you can stay for.
At the end of my 2019-20 report I said ‘all the best for 2020’ unaware of the new word COVID -19 .
We’re pleased to report that 2019-2020 was a brilliant year for Granton Scouts – but the end was a wee bit different!
We had 11 and a half months of brilliant Scouting – as always – and then…….
Scouting Under Lockdown
16th March 2020 – 8.00am: young people across Granton headed off to school, knowing that they had adventures to look forward to this week as Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. Scouts were excited to be heading with the rest of the Troop to Bonaly Outdoor centre for an evening on the High Ropes. 70 other young people were equally excited and looking forward to this week’s Scouting activities – Cubs were planning their Artists Badge, Explorers were having an archery night and the Beavers would be having a fun-filled hour learning all about fruit and veg.
Looking back on the leader Whatsapp chats for that day, there were rumblings and rumours of schools closing because of the virus – what would that mean for Scouts?
Then at 5pm – just an hour before the 23 Cubs were due to gather at the Scout Hut, The Prime Minister announced that there should be no non-essential social gatherings.
The leaders quickly decided that the activities had to be cancelled – got in touch with all parents and went to the Scout Hut in case anyone hadn’t heard the news.
“Face to face Scouting was finished – and no-one knew when it would start again.”
This was the picture up and down the country – an instant stop on Scouting as we know it for the organisation’s 450,000 young members.
Springtime usually sees us getting the ‘out’ in Scouting as more and more young people head for the great outdoors. But this year things were different. #thegreatindoors started trending on Scouting social media, and very quickly ideas were flowing to keep Scouting going during lockdown.
So since then Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers across the country – and the world – have been Scouting differently. Scouts held weekly meetings by Zoom – including quizzes, Escape Rooms and even a Murder Mystery evening set in a Guide camp! Beavers and Cubs have been rising to their weekly challenges, and Explorers have been meeting online.
Highlights of the lockdown were April’s Great South East Scotland Sleepout – #SESSleepOut, and May’s Virtual Really Big Camp – #vrbc2020 – where a huge number of our young people either camped out in tents in their gardens or built dens in their houses for a couple of nights lockdown sleep. Over the first weekend in May, 850 Scouts from the area were due to be having a “Really Big Camp” at Fordell Firs in Fife. Instead there was a ‘virtual’ camp with a couple of challenges.
Have a look at the 87th Craigalmond Neckie Challenge video on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPa9R8UzZDIChY-pvwmi_vw
When will we return to Face to Face Scouting?
This is the big question! There are 4 phases – or ‘readiness levels’ that we are working under.This is similar to most youth work in Scotland. For many weeks we were in the Red phase which meant there could be no face to face Scouting – only digital. We are now in the Amber phase which means that we can meet in groups of up to 15 including leaders, outdoors, as long as we have a Risk Assessment approved by the Scouts HQ. All sections are now busy creating their Risk Assessments and planning for getting together in small groups outside and we hope to start these very soon. When we move to the Yellow phase we’ll be able to have small groups meeting indoors as well as outdoors, then once we reach the Green phase things wil be back to some sort of normality.
The Leader Team
We have a dedicated leadership team who provide great opportunities for our young people to enjoy new adventures; to experience the outdoors; interact with others, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The team continue to do training to help them do the job effectively. Katy gained her permit that’s needed to run residential events such as camps and pack holidays – she was to take the lead in this year’s Scout Summer Camp – hopefully next year.
We were delighted to welcome 5 new leaders to the Group over the year – Nicola and Fraser as new Beaver Scout Leaders, Emma as Section Assistant in the Scouts, and Caroline and Lukas as new Explorer Scout Leaders. They are all now going through the induction and training needed to become fully up to speed in their new roles.
The team at the moment are: Anne, Scott, Nicola and Fraser leading the Beaver Section, helped by Katie and Chloe as Young Leaders, Leisha and Dylan leading the Cub Section assisted by Euan and Kyle as Section Assistants and Erin and John as Young Leaders. Collette is still in Ireland studying outdoor activities and we hope to have her back on the team soon. Paul, Carrie, Katy, Derek and Roy lead the Scouts, with Grant and Emma as Section Assistants. And finally, Stuart, David (Smithy), Luana, Caroline and Lukas leading Explorers.
Active Support Unit and Group Executive Committee
We have been planning for a while on starting an Active Support Unit (ASU) to support the Group and leaders in practical ways. I’m pleased to say that David has now taken on the role of ASU Manager and he’ll be building the team over the coming months. (David also continues as Assistant Scout Leader as well). If you can offer any skills (even holding a paintbrush or washing second hand uniforms) please get in touch with myself or David (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
If administration and committee work is more your bag then we are looking for parents and supporters to join the Group Executive Committee – the management committee of the Group. It would be good to have some additional parents to represent Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. Interested? Email email@example.com.
I’m sure that you’ll agree when you read the Section reports that every section has had an adventurous, varied and fun programme over the year.
Finally, on behalf of all the leaders we’d like to express our grateful thanks to all the adult team ‘behind the scenes’ – Andy the Group Chairman, Alan the Treasurer, Natalie who looks after hall bookings, and other parents and committee members.
87th Craigalmond Beavers Annual Report 2019/2020
We have 21 enthusiastic Beaver Scouts at the moment. A few members transferred to Cubs in January and quite a few more are waiting to be ‘pulled up’ to Cubs when sections restart, hopefully in a few weeks time. This has been a challenging year for everyone and the celebrations at the end of our academic year have not happened as we envisaged.
Beaver Scouts always get to choose the programme themes at the start of each term. We have enjoyed face to face programmes from August till February which included musical instruments, cartoons and various food related themes. In February, we rehearsed and performed (and videoed) the “Enormous Turnip” which was great fun and parents came to watch the video the next week. In November, we started a series of nights about explorers through the ages from Marco Polo to Captain Scott and also found out that there are still places left to discover like outer space and the deepest oceans. We have all made or renewed our Beaver Scout Promise which was on the same night we made our own pancakes. Our last evening all together was a fish theme and we got to make a fishing line and then tuna sandwiches.
From the 17th March we were in lockdown and we tried to keep to the programme as much as possible and used Facebook, E-mail, our website and zoom to keep in touch. Chas (thank you) put all the activities on our website so there is still a chance to use the ideas. Our ‘Really Big Camp’ was cancelled in May but many Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Leaders camped out either in their garden, under a table or on the sofa. We had a Teddy Bears Picnic zoom meeting and also one where we introduced our pets the other Beaver Scouts.
Magic Gareth entertained us using zoom with various tricks and jokes. The Beaver Scouts loved it – and the Leaders were a bit bemused as to how he did some of the tricks. He knew the Beaver Scouts names (from Zoom login) and it was a very interactive show.
We have been very lucky this session to have Chloe and Katie who are Explorers join us as Young Leaders. Also, Nicola and Fraser have started training to become Beaver Scout Leaders bringing lots of talents with them. They are all indispensable to our section.
We also rely on all of the other Group leaders and adult helpers for occasional support. And finally – a big thank you to all parents for their continued encouragement that they give to the Beavers and Leaders – especially during lockdown where many have been actively involved.
Anne, Scott, Nicola, Fraser, Chloe and Katie.
87th Beaver Leaders
We currently have 21 Cubs, some who are ready to move on to Scouts once all sections have returned. We are ready to welcome some Beavers at this time which will take us back to having a full pack.
Last year started off well with 6 of our Cubs taking part in a District event to celebrate Longcraigs 50th Birthday. This included them taking part in Canoeing, Speed boating, Sailing and Power Boating.
Molly achieved her Silver award before moving on to Scouts.
Cubs were involved in the planning of their programme and which badges they would like to work towards. We had a busy few months which included Team building games, Learning home skills, Road Safety, Den Building, Climbing wall and curling.
Our annual Halloween party was great fun, lots of mess and a great effort made with all the fancy dress. Christmas time we had Magic Gareth along to the Scout Hut to entertain us all with his magic and nonsense!
Unfortunately as you all know in March we were forced to stop all face to face meetings, was great to see some Cubs involved in the events via the fb page such as the virtual sleep outs and neckerchief hunt. We haven’t had any zoom meetings but a few Cubs have still been busy working towards badges at home. Which we will look to complete when we return.
We have a great leadership team of Dylan, Kyle and Euan. We are also lucky to have John, one of the explorers as a young leader. All of them bring great energy and ideas to the pack.
Finally a big Thank you to all the other section leaders who have helped us out when needed and to all the parents for your continued support.
Scouts are currently sitting healthy with 23 members – some of which are due to move up to Explorers but will be backfilled by a new wave of Cubs! We’re just waiting for the right time to make the transition with the current challenges of minimal face-to-face meetings.
The leadership team is still strong with: Paul; Carrie; David; Derek; Emma; Grant; Katy & Roy. Unfortunately not all leaders can commit to every week due to work commitments and other things – but we use the nights with the better leader numbers to run the bigger activities.
Our programme over the past year has seen us doing some badge work, firelighting, boating & water safety, a Santa Walk up Corstorphine Hill, and trampolining at Ryze. Since early 2020 we’ve been running a number of virtual troop nights on Zoom including the infamous quizzes, murder mystery and escape rooms!
We unfortunately had to cancel summer camp this year but all going well we’ll have our normal trip to Sandy Island next year and will also have The Really Big Camp to look forward to as well.
Congratulations to Katy who successfully got her Nights Away permit this year meaning she’ll be able to helm next year’s summer camp!
Explorers normally meet at Granton Parish Church on a Monday evening 7:30 – 9:15pm..
Hopefully our numbers will be boosted shortly with some Scouts due to come up to Explorers.
Our leadership team consists of Stuart Young, David Smith, Luana Carrechio and Caroline Burden.
We are currently planning a return to outdoor Face to Face meetings. It is hoped we will also be permitted to hold indoor meetings shortly.
Some of our activities over the last year have been :
Euro-Hockey, Climbing Arthur Seat, Burns Night, Crate Building, Pancake making, Ten-pin bowling, 3 course meal for 3 pounds,
Power Boating, Knots Challenge, Swimming, Film Night, Halloween Hike, Outdoor cooking on open fire, Italian themed night,
Kebab Shop Challenge, First Aid, Ready Steady Cook, Archery & Rifle Shooting.
We had a very successful weekend camp at the Scout Outdoor centre in Lochgoilhead in January this year. Unfortunately there was no summer camp due to Cofid-19 restrictions.
Hopefully there will be a return to overnight camps in the near future.
Teamwork is at the heart of Scouting, we build it in young people, and it takes teams of adults to make it happen.
This year we are planning on having absolutely loads of fun and to make it one of our best years ever!
To make the most of all the opportunities in the Group we want as many children and parents as possible to take part.
If you can help the group, please let us know how you could support our events and camps, or maintain our kit and building, by ticking some of the boxes below
(By the way – none of these roles are paid!! They are all voluntary in the same way as Leaders are volunteers).