Scouts Clean Up
SCOUTS from five groups teamed up on water and land to clean up their environment.
Volunteers from the 89th Falkirk, 5th Mount Gerald, 93rd Braes, 1st Falkirk and 27th Bonnybridge used kayaks and canoes to navigate the Forth and Clyde Canal, while their fellow scouts used litter pickers on the towpath to collect other people’s rubbish.
Starting at the Community Centre in Bonnybridge they negotiated their way down to the Falkirk Wheel and despite, at times, torrential rain, the 10 – 13-year-olds kept going.
They were working alongside staff from Scottish Canals, who manage the waterway and whose job it is to maintain the water and towpaths.
And after more than four hours of work and filling dozens of black bin bags they reached the Falkirk Wheel and a well earned break as well as points toward their Community Impact badge.
Falkirk District AGM
SCOUTING leaders from across the district took part in this year’s Annual General Meeting.
Representatives from the majority of the groups in Falkirk District met at Denny Scout Centre to discuss the many highs of the previous year.
In her report District Commissioner Ann Gilchrist spoke of the 2016 cub’s centenary celebrations and the expression it brought to the English language - DYB, DYB, DYB and the response DOB, DOB, DOB. In fact it stood for, Do your best which was said by Akela, with the response, We will do our best from the cubs.
The district also supported the Blair Atholl Jamborette, held every two years in the grounds of Blair Castle, by sending four patrols (24) of 14 – 18-year-olds.
Ann also had the pleasure of presenting one leader with a 50 year long service award; three with 40 years; two with 30 years; and three with 20 years.
She also congratulated the many adult and young leaders who completed their training.
Across the sections there was mention of the cub’s centenary; the beaver’s 30th anniversary; the scouts’ district flag competition at Barrwood and the Brass Monkey camp in January at Invertrossachs; explorers took part in the 70th Blair Atholl Jamborette and they joined scouts from France at Barrwood for a two week camp; members of the scout network, aimed at 18-25-year-olds has, took part in weekly indoor rock climbing as well as gorge walking, camping and water sports; and the most senior members in the Scout Active Support group held their annual after Christmas dinner at the Leapark Hotel in Grangemouth and in April joined the Seagull Trust for a cruise on the Union Canal.
The AGM rounded off with a trio of presentations describing young member’s travels to America, Africa, where a school and toilets were built, and Iceland where network members joined an international gathering for the 2017 Moot.
In his vote of thanks Honorary President Sandy Jack highlighted the many hours of voluntary service given every year to ensure sections across the district continue and that hundreds of children and young people grow and development through the movement.
THERE was scorching sun, there was thunderous rain, there were even elves and dwarves and through it all a group of hardy scouts competed to be the best.
The 10 to 14-year-olds took part in the Falkirk District Camping Competition at Barrwoodto try and win a place in the next round of the national event.
They had to pitch tents, make a camp fire, cook meals and create a series of gadgets and all without any adult help.
The competition tests the capabilities and leadership of the young people.
Adult leaders were always on site but their role was to judge, inspect and be there in case of emergencies.
The five patrols of five and six members from Stenhousemuir, Maddiston and Bonnybridge were named after Lord of the Rings characters so the battle was between the Goblins, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits and Uruk-Hai
Full uniform, including kilts or black trousers had to be worn for inspection and all kit had to be carried to the campsites, which were predetermined by the organisers, but after that it was up to the patrol leaders and their teams to decide where to pitch tents, dig a grease pit build a gateway and a flag pole and store their food.
And they had to stick to the menu they had previously created, so two breakfasts, two lunches and a three course dinner cooked over an open fire had to be served up on time and be edible.
They were tested on their knots, first aid, stretcher making, map work, patrol tent pitching and being able to keep their site clean and tidy.
After two days of intense competition first place went to the Goblins of the 93rd Braes, second place went to the Dwarves otherwise known as the 27th boys and 3rd place to the Uruk-Hai 27th girls.
Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts) Alan Wallace, said: “This was a tough test for them but we want them to realise how much they can do without leaders telling them.
“They all managed to cook their three course dinner over an open fire despite the pouring rain, which was a real achievement.
“I am very proud of all the scouts. I really hope they had a great time.”
BETWEEN them they have given nearly 100 years service to the Scout Movement.
But even after this marathon length of time, two have decided it is not time to retire and will continue working to help others in scouting.
Hamish and Fiona Scott, along with Robert Wilson have notched up 38, 25 and 36 years respectively working with young people across the district – with the majority of time spent at the 1st Falkirk group.
Hamish (63) joined the group as a wolf cub in 1963 when the family moved to Falkirk and moved through cubs, scouts and venture scouts.
He took on his first group appointment as assistant scout leader in 1975 later becoming scout leader.
From 1985 he held district appointments - three years as ADC Scouts and two years as District Commissioner. Between 1990 and 1994 he took a sabbatical from scouting to concentrate on part time studies at Stirling University. In 1994 he became GSL at 1st Falkirk.
He was also involved in the Blair Athol Jamborette as an assistant sub camp leader in 1976 and ‘78. In 1980 he joined the core team and in 1980, ’82 and ’84 was a sub camp leader.
Following a break in 1986 he returned to run the satellite camp in 1988 and ‘90. From 2009-2015 he served on the Scottish Board. He is a trustee for the Barrwood, and has been the chairman for the last five years.
Hamish was awarded the Medal of Merit 1998; Silver Acorn 2008; Bar to the Silver Acorn 2015.
Robert was a cub and scout at 1st Falkirk and then from 1972-1988 variously held the posts of assistant scout leader, scout leader and group scout leader.
Since 1995 the 69-year-old has been assistant cub scout leader.
Hamish said: “Robert was a considerable support to myself in the early years in my roles as his assistant scout leader and as GSL when I was the scout leader.
“In the last 20 years he has been exceptional support as Fiona's assistant.”
In 1984 Robert was awarded the Chief Scout's Commendation and the Medal of Merit in 1998.
Fiona Scott volunteered to take on a six week stint as cub scout leader and after 25 years in the role is moving on to pastures new.
In 2007 she was presented with the Award of Merit, with a bar added in 2015.
But her move into the scouts wasn’t her first volunteering role. She had already served 15 years with the Girl Guide Movement first as Brown Owl at the 2nd Camelon and then as assistant ranger leader at the Falkirk Unit in the Pleasance.
While Robert is retiring from scouting Fiona and Hamish will share the role ADC Adult Training in Falkirk District.