Forest Canopy Tour, Karkloof, South Africa
Forest Canopy Tour, Karkloof, South Africa
 

Recent activities

Here are some of our highlight activities from 2017 and earlier years.

2017: a capital year!

The group at the National World War 2 Memorial

Washington DC

 

Our Explorer Scouts spent a week in the capital of the USA following their two-week stay in Florida.

 

A visit to the National Mall took in the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War memorial and (left) the National WW2 memorial

An arresting stop at the FBI headquarters!

Other visits included the National Air and Space Museum, Museum of American History, the Capitol Building, White House and a quick photo opportunity outside the FBI headquarters.

 

We also had time to visit the National Zoo (the only day it rained and wasn't at least 30c) and, of course, we had time for shopping day in one of the city's massive malls.

Lord Amory sits in shadow of new tower blocks

London

 

More than 30 Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Leaders spent the first week of the October 2017 school holidays discovering the UK capital city.

 

Staying on board The Lord Amory at the Dockland Scout Project, the group had a busy week of trips and visits, including The London Eye, open-top bus tour around London, the Science Museum, Hamleys, M&M World and a full day in Chessington World of Adventures theme park.

 

We also managed to walk through Trafalgar Square, down The Mall for  photos outside Buckingham Palace and travel all round London on lots of tube lines!

Explorer Scout camps ...

Breakfast!

Invertrossachs - September 2018

 

Latest in a series of one-night events which have included Fordell Firs and a number of camp sites around the east central belt area.

 

Clip and Climb at EICC Ratho

Super Hero Weekend - January 2018

 

A weekend camp in the new Sir Garth Morrison building at Fordell Firs saw a whole range of activities with a super hero theme.

 

Highlight was the clip and climb at the EICC at Ratho, where the explorers were able to use their "Spidey" skills to climb the various walls!

The team pose with the completed platform

Camping two metres ABOVE the ground

 

To achieve this challenge, the intrepid aerial campers built a tent platform. This was a pretty significant pioneering project in its own right - and not something that you can complete on arrival at a campsite in the evening. This took most of an afternoon to complete!

The group at the Nineacres Totem Pole

Camping on an island

 

A night Nineacres Memorial Campsite at Crook-of-Devon (in the photo) during March 2017. Islands are great fun - except for that constant running water sound all night!

 

In April 2017,  a night in bothy accommodation at The Craigs, near Bathgate.

Looking down into the caves

Camping in caves

 

The Explorer Scouts spent a night in the artificial caving complex at Fordell Firs.

 

This completed the October challenge for some of our Explorers - although sleeping with those hard hats on was an even bigger challenge!

Beavers and Cubs head to Dundee

Sand and lights to create different landscapes

Our Beaver and Cub Big Day Out in May 2017 saw 50 youngsters and adults head for Dundee.

 

First came Camperdown Park Animal Centre, followed by adventure play and lunch (in torrential rain!).

 

Then it was on to the Dundee Science Centre for the rest of the day, carrying out important experiments!!

Beaver Scouts back in the Old West!

The youngsters display their native American handcrafts!

March 2017 saw more than 20 Beaver Scouts taking part in a one-night sleepover at Fordell Firs - travelling back in time to the American Old West.

 

They tried out Native American and rancher activities including rope work, costumes, snap guns and tomahawks.

 

Then, on Saturday morning, they were able to try out real archery and make tribal totem poles.

Winter Weekend camps for all Sections

Yes, the secret's out. Scouts do know how to vacuum a bedroom!

Around 100 youngsters took part in our two indoor camps over the winter of 2016-17. In November, Beavers and Cubs stayed in the Scout Hall and at Fordell and came together at Fordell on the Saturday for a packed programme of festive-themed activities.

 

In January, our Scout and Explorers enjoyed a winter adventure programme, including sessions on the aerial challenge course at the EICC at Ratho, air rifle shooting at Cluny Clays and outdoor activities at Lochore Meadows.

 

Both camps had a range of activities on-site at Fordell Firs, including Jacobs Ladder, archery and 3-G swing.

 

Thanks to ASDA St Leonards shoppers

We were delighted to win the support of ASDA customers who voted for us in the months running up to Christmas 2016.

 

Thanks to your "green tokens" we collected our cheque for £500 which we'll put to good use in the Scout Centre fund.

 

Here you can see some of our young people collecting the cheque in store.

Discovering York

The group ready to climb the steps to the castle!

Our final one-week camp of 2016 saw a group of Cubs, Scouts and Explorers discovering the attractions of York and the surrounding area.

 

Travelling by minibus and staying at the York International Youth Hostel, the group visited:

  • National Railway Museum
  • Yorkshire Air Museum
  • York Castle (in photo)
  • York Museum

and in case that was all too much culture, we had a whole day in Flamingo Land theme park!

 

 

Big Day Out to Glasgow Science Centre

This looks "armless"!

Around 80 youngsters and Leaders spent a day in the amazing Glasgow Science Centre.

 

There are so many hands-on science activities to try out, the youngsters are never bored! Keeping track of them is the real challenge as they run between displys and activites!

 

We also enjoyed a movie in the Planetarium and, of course, the visit to the shop!

Circus Camp!

Watching the fire swingers in action!

Our end-of-holidays weekend camp 2016 took place at Fordell Firs, for 32 Scouts and Explorers.

 

In true Scottish summer style, Friday evening was wet, windy and dismal, but with Saturday and Sunday improving! On Saturday morning, fires were built and lunch cooked, then an afternoon walk to Dalgety Bay beach and a shopping stop in ASDA!

 

Our evening entertainment was a visit to the circus! A training circus, based at Fordell for the week, put on it's end-of-week show. It was really good - and very different from our usual campfire! Sunday morning site activities then time to strike camp and head home.

 

Summer Camp and Royal Visit

The Cubs are ready for their canoeing session!

Our 2016 Summer Adventure Camp took place at The Lochgoilhead Centre. 24 Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and 6 Leaders took part in a packed programme of sailing, canoeing, kayaking, abseiling, climbing, high ropes, backwoods activities, archery and more - including learning how to avoid the midgies!! 

 

We were also very excited to be part of a visit to the centre by HRH The Earl of Wessex. This was part of the celebrations for the 60th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

 

Our Explorers took part in a raft race against other youth organisations (coming in 3rd place) and, along with some Scouts and Leaders, were able to chat with the Earl.

Expeditions Month

Journey end - overlooking the Forth Bridge

This year, we decided to make sure our young people had an opportunity to complete the expedition element of their Chief Scout's Gold and Platinum Awards. From the end of May through to the end of June around 15 youngsters, supported by a team of adults, completed a series of expeditions and hikes .

 

The Scouts completed a Coastal Path walk to Fordell Firs for their Gold Award and Explorers completed two weekend activities - a practice two-day hike along the Coastal Path with an overnight at Fordell Firs, then a qualifying two-day event in the Pentland Hills, using Bonaly camp site as their base.

 

We're pleased to say that this led to completion of the award by Marco, Craig and Emily. Well done to them - and more to follow!

Big Day Out at Landmark

Honestly, we didn't mean to get wet!

More than 60 young people and adults took part in our first Big Day Out of 2016, with a trip to Landmark Forest Adventure Park at Carrbridge.

 

It's quite a long bus trip to get there - more than two hours - but once there, everyone made the most of the day with all sorts of activities from climbing and rope trails to the roller coaster, water slides, mazes and, of course, shops!

Hiking's "snow" joke in Scotland!

Snow surrounds the group on the Lomond Hills

A Lomond Hills day hike in late April is not where you expect to be crunching through three foot snow drifts, but that's just what happened to this group of Explorers.

 

The snow thinned out a little to allow this photo to be taken, but there were areas where it was quite deep - and it hailed during the day, just to remind us winter hadn't quite gone.

 

Yet, by the next weekend, the snow had gone, but it was good for the youngsters to get some experience of winter walking!

Easter Camp in Dublin

Photocall at the Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin

24 Scouts, Explorers and Leaders spent a week exploring the Irish capital, Dublin. The group were based at the Larch Hill International Scout & Guide Centre. Two full days were spent exploring the city, including Dublin Zoo and the open-top bus tour.

 

The young people were given time to explore the city in smaller groups and other visits included Dublinia and sites from the Easter Rising, which took place 100 years ago to the month. Shopping was also high on the must-do list, including many souvenir shops and the Scout Shop!

 

The Scout Centre provided a day of activities including geocaching, archery, grass sledging and high ropes. An excellent visit which we hope to run again at some time.

Zodiac Awards Challenge

A damp morning greets the campers at Fordell Firs

We've run the Zodiac Award Challenge throughout winter, starting last September at The Craigs camp site in West Lothian then followed by regular monthly events right through to March.

 

There were a few below zero nights with some light snow and frost, but mostly the youngsters had to contend with damp, muddy and cold conditions but this hasn't stopped an average of 24 youngsters taking part each month.

 

They're certainly keen to get the award and improve their camping skills. We hope to continue the activity through to September this year.

Game of Thrones

A patrol returns behind the safety of The Wall!

Our Scout and Explorer Wintercamp2016 had a new-look with lots of new activities introduced to keep our older members active all weekend and introduce them to the intrigue of power games and plotting to take their place on the Iron Throne!

 

More than 30 Scouts and Explorers took part in the weekend, which included a Zodiac Sleepout option.

 

The Game of Thrones challenge took place over the two days, involving around eight team challenges and culminated in the final, brutal paperclip showdown to win the right to sit on the Iron Throne.

 

We also included caving, climbing, challenge course, hiking, Jacob's Ladder and the 3-G swing in a very busy programme.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Trying out motorbikes for size!

Our 2015 Winter Weekend Camp for Beavers and Cubs took place at Fordell Firs. Around 50 youngsters took part with activities themed around methods of transport - cars, planes, ships, rockets, trains, bikes and helicopters.

 

These included slot-car racing, making a railway safety video, water-pressure rockets, bike safety, gliders and remote-control helicopters.

 

We even had some really cool motor bikes for the youngsters to try out for size and find out more about. On Sunday, Campsite activities for the Cubs included caving, archery and crate-climbing. The weekend also included a railways challenge event, campfire, visit to the Fordell shop and a movie.

Alton Towers trip

Nemesis - will we or will we not?

We didn't manage to fill this trip, but that was offset by great weather and a fairly quiet day in the park which allowed our thrill-seekers to really make the most of the day.

 

We also had a smart new coach from Docherty’s - our regular transport provider. All in all, one of our best days out to Alton Towers! 

West Lothian weekend at The Craigs

Self-select lunch!

18 Scouts and Explorers took part in a traditional camping weekend at this excellent site owned by West Lothian Scouts.

 

Sleeping in smaller hike tents instead of the larger group tents, the young people took part in firelighting, open-fire cooking, preparing and cooking all of the weekend’s meals, pioneering, wide games, a campfire with local Scouts and visits to the Cairnpapple Hill prehistoric burial mound and Beecraigs Park.

 

Better than expected weather helped to make this an excellent end-of-season weekend camp and kicked off our Zodiac Award all-year camping challenge.

Beavers and Cubs at M&Ds 

Where did I put my money?

Nearly 40 of our Beaver Scouts and Cubs had a wild day out in M&Ds theme park!

 

Excellent weather helped a great deal as the youngsters enjoyed most of the rides in the park.

 

Some were too small for the big rides, but made up for that by going on the other rides as often as they could!

East Fortune Airshow Visit

In the shadow of the Phantom!

A group of Cubs and Scouts went to the Scottish Airshow at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune. The weather was bright and sunny and great for watching the various flying displays - including a superb show by the Red Arrows.

 

We had the chance to visit various stalls and check out various parts of the Museum, including Concorde.

Explorer Scout Hiking Weekend

Overlooking Edinburgh

A group of Explorer Scouts completed two days hiking in the Pentland Hills. Although it rained quite heavily in the evenings and during the night, it remained dry throughout the "walking times".

 

This was good experience for them - allowing them to continue building up a log-book of hiking experience and for more challenging activities in future.

Alpine Adventure to celebrate 50 years!

Jumping in to crystal clear alpine water!

Our Anniversary Summer Camp was in Italy and Germany! Alpine Adventure included white water rafting, kayaking, high ropes course, climbing, abseiling and gorge walking - all in the shadow of the Alps!

 

We then headed to Germany for a two-night stay in Bonn and a visit to Phantasialand - one of Germany's top theme parks.

Blair Drummond Safari Park 

65 youngsters, along with 18 adults and Young Leaders, visited the safari park on a fairly wet and cool June Saturday. Despite the disappointing weather, the group had a very busy day, trying to fit in as many attractions and activities as possible and, as usual, leaving the visit to the shop to the last minute, resulting in a mad rush to buy souvenirs and sweets! 

50th Anniversary Camp

The campers gather in front of the Party Tent!

More than 100 youngsters took part in our 50th Anniversary Camp at Fordell Firs. Everyone camped (the Beavers slept in pop-up tents in the wet weather hall!), stretching our tent stock to the limits. Friday night wide games were organised and Saturday and Sunday mornings saw everyone taking part in campsite activities - from caving and climbing to archery  and Jacob's Ladder.

 

Everyone took part in the Party in the Tent on Saturday afternoon and a campfire on Saturday evening. The weather wasn't so good on Sunday and strong winds limited the closing activities - but this did not diminish the overall success of the camp.

 

Thanks to all the adults who gave us time over the weekend and before and after and to the youngsters for their enthusiastic participation.

The Party in the Tent

Cutting the cake!

Our 100 campers were joined by around 200 family, friends and previous Scout Group members for a three-hour Party in the Tent.

 

Inside a massive marquee, we organised a Scout Group history display, art and crafts, home baking, tuck shop, music, two inflatables, Fordell souvenir shop, hot food, activity equipment, a 1960's campsite and a Zoo to You from the Five Sisters Zoo.

 

Outside we had a lorry from Collier Haulage and two fire engines from the Scottish Fire Service. It was a great success, with warm, sunny weather and lots to see and do - and even a cake to cut!

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