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Scout Active Support

Scout Active Support allows people to give their time to Scouting on a flexible basis. People can still be involved in Scouting without the full-time commitment of being a leader.

News & Blogs

We caught up with Scott Smith who went through the sections with 1st Portsoy and Fordyce Scout Group as a Beaver through to Network on how Scouts helped him become an award winning silversmith. See the full interview below.
Scott is now finishing his silversmithing and jewellery degree at the world famous Glasgow School of Art. Scott won the 2D Silversmith of Year award at what is regarded as the jewellery Oscars in consecutive years, 2020 and 2021, now presents his “Boorachie” collection.
Using carving skills which he learned in the Scouts, and learning to appreciate the abundance of natural material available in rural Aberdeenshire, his jewellery pieces reflect the practices traditionally favoured by the ancient Scottish craftspeople who lived along the coast line.
Q)When and how did you first get involved with Scouts?
A) I joined Portsoy Beavers at age 6 as soon as I could with my friend Steven George. I wanted to spend more time with him outside of school and was very interested in how much outdoor activities Portsoy Beavers offered. I wasn’t a sporty guy so Scouts seemed like a great opportunity for play. After joining in 2004, I never left and am still involved today!
Q) What is your most memorable experience with Scouts and why is it that one?
A) My fondest memories of Scouting are participating in the Blair Atholl Jamborettes. These two-week long camps in the heart of Perthshire provided me the most fun, social and activity-packed weeks of my teenage years and continue to be the highlight of my summer holidays. I made many lifelong friends at these camps and spent hours building lasting relationships in the Scottish outdoors under the fantastic leadership of engaged volunteers. After turning 18, I continue to return to Blair Atholl Jamborette as a Leader and run a ‘Make a Silver Ring’ workshop for the participants to introduce them to traditional jewellery making techniques.
Q) How did Scouts prepare you for your studying/career in Silversmithing?
A) Scouting continues to inform my work ethos and investigation mentality in my design career. As a Scout, I was encouraged to explore a problem from a variety of viewpoints and develop creative problem skills that were transferable across day-to-day life. The challenged we faced in teambuilding exercises or survival skills continue to inspire me to push the boundaries of my thinking and build my own solution to a hurdle. Scouting also gave me the social skills and confidence to emerge myself in any group of people and make friends instantly, making moving to Glasgow and starting a new course and job in the city a breeze.
Q) Which skills/qualities learned in Scouts do you still use today in your Silversmithing?
A) As well as Scouting giving me the confidence to use a plethora of tools, the importance of organising my workshop and how to approach new equipment safely, I also learnt the process of Wood Carving at Portsoy Scouts. Our leaders taught us how to use a range of wood whittling tools to carve tent pegs, cooking utensils and ultimately: a spoon. I later revisited Spoon Carving during the first national lockdown after moving back home to Portsoy due to the COVID-19 pandemic and fell back in love with this meditative process. Spoon Carving allowed to me engage with the abundance of natural material surrounding my childhood farm and reconnect with the area I call Home through this Scouting Skill. The repetitive process of removing wood chips one motion at a time was something I found comforting and reminiscent of my time in Scouting and evolved into a crucial process informing me Degree Collection.
Q) Did your experience Scouts have a role to play in you receiving your awards and if so why?
A) Scouting gave me my confidence for public speaking and the skills needed for networking in a creative context. I continue to use these skills when speaking to important members of the industry or liaisons with potential clients.
Q) What difference have volunteers made on you personally, throughout your time with the Scouts? 
A) Volunteering has informed the way I look at my design practise and where I belong in the creative community.  Through the confidence and social skills I have developed or the creative problem solving and practical solution finding through exploration and experimentation, Scouting has and continues to play a crucial role in my development. I do not know where I would be without the skills learnt at Portsoy Scouts or the personal attributes volunteering has played in my development and graduating year.
Q) What difference have volunteers made on you personally, throughout your time with the Scouts? 
A) The volunteers at Portsoy developed my communication skills, confidence and ability to overcome problems with their dedicated and unwavering attention to progression. The time and energy that the volunteers gave to all of us continues to inspire me to this day and I am forever grateful for all their hard work. It is because of their passion for Scouting and interest in the development of young people that I had such a positive time at Portsoy and grateful for all the practical and personal skills they taught me.
To see more of Scott's work check out: https://gsashowcase.net/scott-smith/
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The new District Commissioner for Kincardineshire is Janine Sydenham.

We are delighted to let you know that our new District Commissioner for Kincardineshire is Janine Sydenham.
Janine has a wealth of experience in both voluntary and professional settings having a background in both Scouting and Girlguiding. Janine is a Human Resources and Project Management Professional outside of Scouting for a reputable company, making her an excellent appointment to drive forward Kincardineshire and give more young people the #SkillsForLife.
Janine is a passionate volunteer and outdoors person enjoying her time with the local coastal rowing crew, using her paddleboard and scuba diving with the British Sub Aqua Club.
Janine said on her new appointment: "After seeing my daughter enjoy Cubs for several years, I knew I wanted to give something back. I am an active "outdoors person" and camping nut, I am happiest away camping and being active, whether it's with our coastal rowing crew, wobbling on my stand up paddleboard or off scuba diving with the British Sub Aqua Club. I'm passionate on allowing young people to experience the outdoors in a safe environment and keen to enable leaders to deliver exciting programmes to their young people, equipping them with #skillsforlife whilst having a huge amount of fun, creating memories and lifelong friends, too. Volunteering enables me to pass on my skills, knowledge and experience to others.  As an HR and project management professional, there's loads I want to bring to the DC role, but also, volunteering is an excellent way to feel good about yourself.  Scouts are supportive - there is an excellent team backing you all the way, and I have learnt so much from fellow Scouters in the last 4 years.  I have had excellent training and support, and there is always someone to talk to if you want help or support. It really is #GoodForYou."
Regional Commissioner Dougie Simmers commented: "District Commissioners are the cornerstone for all Scouting with a District, they oversee the complete management of Scouting from the program of our youth members to all the background functions of a district to ensuring our more local operational effectiveness, this makes it one of the most crucial roles in our organisations. Janine brings in new skills and has fresh ideas as a seasoned Human Resources and Project Management Professional with a reputable company, on how Kincardineshire Scouts will develop and grow as we come out of the pandemic restrictions and most importantly ensuring that we continue to deliver the #SkillsForLife to as many young people in the area of Kincardineshire as possible. I am very excited to be able to announce Janine taking on this role and joining my team of District Commissioners, who do so much for the youth in the North East of Scotland."
Looking forward, Janine cannot wait to get all around the District (as per restrictions), meet volunteers and young people, listen to your feedback on where you would like the district to go and plan for a great future for the district. 
Please add your congratulations to the social media posts and if you are ready for a bigger role with the district team, now is a fantastic time to step forward and drive forward Kincardineshire's success.
To contact Janine please contact her on janine.sydenham@kincardineshirescouts.org.uk


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Open to all sections, from Beavers to Network across NEScouts.
Is it an igloo? Is it a plane? Is it a snowman? Well, be creative with your idea, build it and send in your picture for your chance to win some cool prizes as part of our NEScouts snow sculpture competition!
Leaders: We would also be delighted if this could count towards a badge with your section. Please let us know if you do!
How to enter:
1) Build an interesting snow sculpture and place a necker on it.
2) Take a photo and upload it via our form (it would be great to see the snow sculpture maker as well, but no problem either way!
3) Give the NEScouts Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page a like or follow!
Entry Judging: Our panel of three from the #NEScouts team will vote and announce the winners on the 21st of February.
Prizes: There's £25, £15 and £10 Amazon Vouchers for first place, second and third place! (We can convert this to the same cash value for another provider like iTunes etc.
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From 12pm (17 July) we are moving to the Amber readiness level in Scotland. 
So we can begin to deliver face to face activities you must complete your risk assessments and get all the relevant approval by your line manager. 
This means for most Scouts in the North East of Scotland you can now organise COVID-19 safe face-to-face activities outdoors only with a maximum group size of 15, including Leaders.
Make sure you read all of the guidance and steps that must be taken before any face-to-face activity can begin: https://www.scouts.scot/…/change-to-the-covid-19-readiness…/
Should you require your DC's contacts check out the 'Meet the Teamsection. 
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Young people have missed out on all kinds of things this year so to give them something really special, Scouts are holding (cue big, boomy voice) The Great Indoors Weekender! 
Join the UK’s biggest digital summer camp from your home on 11–12 July. With surprise celebrity guests, cooking, crafts, music and more, young people (6+) will get the chance to have fun while learning skills like giving stuff a go, thinking for themselves, and playing their part. 
To get involved, you’ll need to build a base camp (whether it’s a tent under the stars or a duvet dragged under the stairs), connect with Scouts online, and you’re all set. 
You can take part as an individual, family or Group, and dip in and out of the weekend as much as you like. There’s activities you can complete in your own time as well as live
events, including a UK-wide campfire. 
Take a look at the programme and sign up here: scouts.org.uk/the-great-indoors/the-great-indoors-weekender/
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