News and Blogs

News Search:


Top Story

Blog | Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit
29/11/2021 By Website Admin

NEScout welcomed The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Climate change skills workshop and then headed to COP26

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined a lucky group of Scouts in Glasgow before COP26, where they learned skills about sustainable transport, planet friendly cooking and rewilding with the young people. This involved refurbishing bikes to provide a low carbon option for local commuters, cooking plant based food and making seed bombs. Among those Scouts present at the workshop, was 12-year-old Lewis Howe, a member of 1st Laurencekirk Scout Group from the North East of Scotland. Lewis was chosen as a #OneStepGreener Ambassador after using the skills learned in Scouts to raise awareness of food wastage in schools.

In the lead up to becoming a #OneStepAmbassador, Lewis emailed all schools in Scotland suggesting an action plan to not only reduce food waste but use surplus food to create meals for those in need. He is now working with his scout leaders, local MSP's and his school to push his idea forward and challenge all Scottish schools to put their food waste to better use. Lewis has asked Aberdeenshire Council to consider piloting the scheme at his own school, Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk and is waiting to hear back. In the meantime, Lewis is starting to fundraise to buy equipment needed for the pilot.

Lewis, 12, said “I met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who were really interested in my project and asked lots of questions.  They knew I had cycled 5k for 50days during lockdown to raise money to put towards an end of lockdown activity so we talked about that. They asked me what badge was the hardest to earn and I said it was my environmental. We made seed bombs and spread them in the grass. It was great to meet them, they were very nice and it was a fun afternoon”.

Guiding the Royal’s visit in Glasgow, Scout volunteer Eddie O'Rourke said “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Scouts taking part in our #PromiseToThePlanet campaign. They were a real inspiration to all the Scouts that are working hard to make changes to protect the planet. It’s great to see the Duke and Duchess work with our young people and recognise that everyone is capable of helping and everyone’s effort is important in the fight against climate change.”

On top of meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lewis attended the COP26 conference in Glasgow to showcase his idea and learn more about what others are doing to help climate change. Lewis met Scouts from all over the world as well as members of the Scouts Community Impact Group.  He also met personally with Alister Jack, Secretary of State for Scotland to discuss his idea.

On his time at COP26, Lewis said “It was good to meet all the other Scouts at COP26, they were really friendly and wanted to hear about what I had been doing.  There was lots to see and do at the green zone and I was really interested in visiting the space4climate exhibition and learning about how space is helping climate change, now and in the future. I would encourage people to make their #promisetotheplanet – if they have an idea put it out there.

Lewis’s Leader Paul Quigley, 1st has been supporting Lewis since the beginning of his project and said “The fact that Lewis has taken on this challenge with mainly his personal initiative shows that he is keen and passionate about climate change and reducing food waste. We are proud within our role as leaders. Lewis is a true role model for youths and even us leader to keep learning and improving the world around us by our actions.”

The Scout’s #PromiseToThePlanet” encourages 57 million Scouts from nearly every country in the world to take a stand and work towards a better world by taking action to reduce climate change. The initiative covers four key areas: recover, recycle, reduce and rethink Scouts in India have been replanting forests, in Ivory Coast clearing plastics from beaches and solar water disinfection in Mexico.

North East Scotland Scouts commented, "Lewis has worked exceptionally hard to drive his initiative through from an idea right through to clear actions on his part. Using the skills learned during his time with Laurencekirk Scouts, Lewis is a shining example of what it means to live by our organisation's values and how we as an organisation, help young people to do more, be more and share more by giving them the skills needed for life."

From tackling climate change to learning about morse code, Scouts offer over 200 adventurous activities and the chance for people of all ages to be more, do more and share more. Scouts gives people of all ages to learn the skills needed for life and to have one in a lifetime opportunities, both at home and abroad. You can enrol your young person or join as an adult volunteer by checking out today and filling an application.

Read full story

News & Blogs

Scout from the North East of Scotland picked as One Step Greener Ambassador for COP26

  • The final six ‘One Step Greener’ Ambassadors have been chosen by the British public ahead of COP26 Summit in November and are leading the One Step Greener chain, a social media movement to encourage and inspire others to go #OneStepGreener for the environment. Hundreds of entries from across the UK were submitted and the final six announced earlier last week include Cam Whitnall (CBBC presenter), Simone Giampaolo (award-winning animator) and Lewis Howe (Scottish Scout)
  • Lewis Howe, 12, a member of 1st Laurencekirk Scout Group from the North East of Scotland was chosen to take part after using the skills learned in Scouts to raise awareness of food wastage in schools. He suggested schools across Scotland repackage unused food and give to those in need.  Lewis has asked Aberdeenshire Council to consider piloting the scheme at his own school, Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk.
  • Lewis attended 10 Downing Street on Thursday night to meet the rest of the 26 #OneStepGreener Ambassadors at an event hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston, ahead of the COP26 summit taking place in Glasgow.


Last week the British public chose the final six ‘One Step Greener’ Ambassadors from across the UK, people who are going above and beyond to tackle climate change. They will join the existing 20 Ambassadors, making 26 for COP26.

One of the people selected was Lewis Howe 12, a young person from North East of Scotland. Lewis is a member of 1st Laurencekirk Scout Group and during his time with the group, he was inspired to take positive action on the environmental issues that matter most to him. Lewis struggled with the confinement of lockdown, so he threw himself into his online programme with Scouts, which he says helped him through the pandemic by giving him something to focus on.

Lewis emailed all schools in Scotland suggesting an action plan to not only reduce food waste but use surplus food to create meals for those in need, he is now working with his leaders, local MSP's and his school to push his idea forward and challenge all Scottish schools to put their food waste to better use as available meals for others.

Regarding the Ambassadors, COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: “From schools to businesses and employees, to thousands of individuals across the country, we all have a part to play in going one step greener. That is why I am extremely proud to see the final six One Step Greener Ambassadors announced today. I look forward to seeing the stories of these inspirational individuals from all over the UK showcased at COP26.”

As well as attending 10 Downing Street ahead of the summit last Thursday with the other #OneStepGreener Ambassadors, Lewis will travel to Glasgow to share his idea with delegates. Lewis believes young people should have their voices heard – they have fresh ideas and understand the challenges Scotland and the world are facing.  Simple ideas like Lewis’s impact those involved as well as everyone else as together they contribute positively to climate change. 

This is why Lewis is proud to be a #OneStepGreener Ambassador – to promote these issues and encourage others with ideas to put them out there. Lewis feels that being a Scout has given him the confidence and initiative to take on this project and the resilience to challenge others and see things through.  These skills have come from his time in the Scouts.

Lewis, 12, said “Scouts gave me the opportunity to come up with a simple idea that could have a big impact and act on it.  I had the support of my leaders, and it gave me the confidence to not give up and keep going once I started getting positive responses from schools. I was surprised to be invited to 10 Downing Street, but I was excited. It is a day I will never forget, and I met some really cool people who wanted to hear about my environmental project and what I get up to with Scouts.

Lewis continued "It was interesting being in number 10. I met lots of people including MP Bim Afolami who was really interested in hearing about my project, what I do at Scouts and how I earned all my badges. He talked to me all about number 10 and the gardens. My idea is to reduce waste and see schools using leftover food by packaging it up and handing it out to food banks or people collecting it from schools. I emailed all schools in Scotland and I'm working to get a pilot up and running then I will go back to all the schools with more than just an idea. I am going to start fundraising to buy a fridge and environmental friendly packaging for the pilot. I came up with the idea for my environment project for my wold challenge badge."

Lewis urges everyone to consider what they could tdo to help the planet, "If you have an idea, put it out there - all the little changes add up and together we can have a positive impact on climate change”. As part of the Scout's #PromiseToThePlanet campaign from June to November this year, 57 million Scouts from across the world will take a stand and work towards a better world by taking action to reduce climate change. They’ll get hands-on to make a difference wherever they live, use their voices to inspire decision makers, and record their actions for the planet.

Dougie Simmers, Regional Commissioner for North East Scotland Scouts commented: “As Scouts we prepare young people with the skills for life and that includes learning about and taking action on social issues in the world. Our movement is about helping others and that’s how we started and it’s still the exact same today. Lewis is a great example of a young person taking initiative and through his time with the Scouts, has really highlighted the issue of food wastage in certain settings. Lewis has a great future in front of him and is a massive credit to our whole movement”

From tackling climate change to learning about morse code, Scouts offer over 200 adventurous activities and the chance for people of all ages to be more, do more and share more. Scouts gives people of all ages to learn the skills needed for life and to have one in a lifetime opportunity both at home and abroad. You can enrol your young person or join as an adult volunteer by checking out today and filling an application.

The full list of ‘One Step Greener’ Ambassadors from across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England includes:

Cam Whitnall (CBBC presenter), Simone Giampaolo (award-winning animator), Lewis Howe (Scout), Jamie Quince Starkey (Down to Earth), Sabeha Miah (Cycle Sisters), James Owen Thomas (Tree Council Ambassador), Aamir Khan (eco-conscious business owner), Maria Antonieta Nestor (A Toy’s Life and Beyond), Melissa Wilson (GB rower), Clare Every (vegan food blogger), Waimi, Mbetmi and Yimi Fongue (clean champions), Siobhan McKenna (ReJean Denim), Cathy Yitong Li (youth activist), Dame Jackie Daniel (NHS), Alice Powell (Envision Virgin Racing), Hugo Chambers (Sainsbury’s), Jasmine Allen (SSE), Toby McCartney (MacRebur), Sara Thomson (The Leith Collective), James Lloyd-Jones (Jones Food Company), Emer Rafferty (youth environmentalist), Ade Adepitan (Paralympic medalist and TV presenter), Max La Manna (low-waste chef), Rob Thompson (Odyssey Innovation), Ash Dykes (adventurer and extreme athlete) and Buffy Boroughs (Green Gathering Festival).

Read full story

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


Read full story
Blog | ReQuest 2021 - Adventure of a Lifetime
22/09/2021 By Website Admin
A team of ten Scouts officially launched their Antarctic Research Project – ReQuest2021 – in London on board the 100-year-old Thames barge called the Lady Daphne. Sam Payne, one of the expedition participants is from Inverurie, Aberdeenshire and will be representing Scotland as one of the two original Scottish Scouts who sailed with Shackleton on the original Shackleton-Rowlett ‘Quest’ expedition. Sam will be following in the footsteps of James Marr, also a Scout from the North East, who assisted Ernest Shackleton on his trip to the South Pole, 100 years ago.
The Lady Daphne was part of a flotilla of half-a-dozen Scout boats that made their way from Greenwich and then under Tower Bridge – which opened its famous bridge spans – into the Pool of London to mark the launch of the Scout’s ReQuest2021, Antarctica Project.
The team of Scouts on board Lady Daphne were hand-picked for their personal research projects on topics spanning climate change, the arts and science.
One experiment the team will undertake is to study the Krill population of the region which is a basic component of the Antarctic food chain. To do this the team has using the same style of Nansen Nets as originally used by Marr in his the experiments conducted 100 years ago. The data collected in 2021 will be compared to the data collected in 1921 and real time information will be gained on the health of the Antarctic waters.
Launching ReQuest2021 the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton, said:
“I am enormously impressed by the attitude, dedication and attention to detail that these ten members of Scouting have shown. It will be a truly life-changing experience for each and every one of them. I am very much looking forward to learning more about their individual projects and how we can work together to educate more people around the world about the need to protect our fragile polar ecosystem.”
The 23-day expedition will begin on 30th December 2021 with the 2000km+ voyage on board Bark Europa from Ushuaia, Argentina, crossing the infamous Drake Passage, to the Antarctic Peninsula which the Scouts will be exploring for two weeks.
Whilst in Antarctica, as well as working on their projects, the team will get to help crew the tall ship and to visit the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust base of Port Lockroy. They will also make a number of landings to study wildlife and carry out some ice trekking through dramatic scenery.
Dougie Simmers, Regional Commissioner for North East Scotland Scouts commented:
“ReQuest 2021 shows how far a Scout can go in the movement; Antarctica is truly the ultimate adventure, where Sam will put the skills for life learned with Scouts into practice at every turn. Antarctica is a destination, a select few people ever get to experience first-hand in their lives and now Sam will be one of them following his time as a Scout in the North East of Scotland.
Dwayne Fields – Naturalist and Polar Explorer added:
"Recreating expeditions like Shackleton’s classic 1921 journey gives Scouts from 2021 a real way to experience what those Polar pioneers must have experienced 100 years ago. Being inspired by Shackleton and some of the other greats from our past as well as sharing some of the same experiences that Shackleton’s team did back in 1921 helps shine a modern light on climate change issues which is the greatest challenge of our times. It’s important to see the Scouts doing their bit to tackle this issue."
To support Sam on his amazing adventure, consider donating towards his fundrasing page or purchase:
ReQuest2021 Tea-Towel here.
Christmas cards, pack of 10 £4 plus p&p here.
Wrist bands £5 plus p&p here.
Sew on badges £2 plus p&p here.


Read full story
Announcing Squirrels for 4–5 year olds: inspiring a new generation with skills for life
We couldn’t be prouder to announce Squirrels: our new programme for 4 and 5 year olds. It’s also a historic milestone for the Scout movement as this is the first time Scouts have lowered the age range in 35 years. We’re helping young people gain skills for life where and when it matters most.
Following two years of pilots and pioneering work in Northern Ireland, 9 Squirrel Drey’s are planned in Scotland. We’re prioritising communities most affected by the pandemic, and supporting families and young people who’ve fallen behind. There will be groups in: Dundee, Dunfermline, Kelty, Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir, Fordbank, Greenock, Craigalmond and Bridge of Allan, and currently two planned in the North East of Scotland in Early 2022.
We’re particularly proud to welcome those young people from underrepresented communities, including those who haven’t tried Scouts before.
Promoting key skills when it matters
Research from Ofsted tells us that children hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are lacking basic skills and learning. We know that what happens in these critical early years, when vital connections are being made in the brain will fundamentally shape their future.
Our programme’s therefore designed to support informal learning and help 4–5-year-olds catch up. It’s about promoting key skills like working together, communication, and language, as well as creativity and community awareness.
Squirrels get active, explore nature and have fun learning with friends, all while earning badges – just like other Scouts. New badges include Feel Good, Be Active, Explore Outdoors, Brilliant Builder and Exciting Experiments.
It’s a positive, safe environment for young children to develop essential skills for life, starting them on a journey to become the active citizens and leaders of the future.
To support the roll out of Squirrels, we’re now calling for adults, including parents and carers to step forward as part of our #GoodForYou campaign, designed to recruit over 5,000 new volunteers. We’re showing adults how volunteering for Scouts not only helps young people, but is good for them too, supporting wellbeing and building skills for employment and education.
Dougie Simmers, Regional Commissioner commented:“Squirrels is part of our commitment to help young people, families and communities come back stronger from the pandemic. If you’re four, you’ve spent a third of your life in lockdowns. Our mission at Scouts is to equip young people with skills for life, and we know how important early years is in terms of developing these skills. We are planning to rollout Squirrels gradually across the North East of Scotland with two units already confirmed for Early 2022, if you would like to register your interest in a Squirrels section near you contact your nearest group via our website."
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, is helping launch the new age range: ‘I'm so glad that younger children now have the chance to join our family of Scouts,’ he said, ‘and develop skills for life.
‘We know from our pilot programme that 4–5-year-olds can really benefit from the activities that we offer. We believe that by offering opportunities at this early age, inspiring a sense of wonder, fun and curiosity, we can have a long-lasting, positive impact on young people’s lives.’
Growing in confidence
Charmaine, the mother of Alexia, a 5-year-old in an early years’ pilot group, shared the positive impact being in Scouts has had.
‘Alexia has loved coming to the meetings. She’s learnt so many skills, like confidence, independence, and learning to tidy up after herself. During lockdown, she set up a tent in the living room and camped there for two nights. The socialising has also helped her. She doesn’t go to school with the children here, so it’s good for her to meet other children.’
She agrees that parents and carers get actively involved too: ‘If the children are making something then the parents can make something as well, so they know how to do similar activities at home. The leaders are very encouraging and very child focused.
During lockdown they kept in touch and dropped off packs of activities for Alexia to do.  The best thing coming to Scouts is the skills they learn, the discipline it gives them, and the chance to get outside, play and interact with other children.’ – Charmaine
If you’d like to volunteer, find our more, or support the roll out of Squirrels, we’d love to hear from you. Join us as we start this exciting new journey, on the newest branch on Scouts’ family tree. Find out more here.
Read full story
1 2 3 4 5  ... Next 
Facebook Facebook
Visit our Facebook page to see more stories.

Visit our page
Twitter Twitter
Visit our Twitter page to see more stories.

Visit our page
YouTube YouTube
Watch our fun videos.

Watch now!