Volunteers Week #thankyou

Because of over 50 adults that volunteer with us, young people are learning to speak up, step forward and make their way in the world. Week in and week out, they’re learning the brilliant skills they need to succeed in life.

We asked Heather (Scout Leader), Lisa (Friday Beaver Leader) and Andy (Explorer Leader & AGSL) why they got involved…

Heather Wright
Scout Leader

Occupation
Chartered Accountant

Why I got involved
I joined the Scout movement aged 14 as an Explorer Scout in my hometown of Denny. You could say I fell in to it accidentally as myself and 5 of my female friends were jokingly asked to go along one night by some of our male friends who thought we wouldn’t like it or stick in, and here we are over 13 years later… I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the movement so after I turned 18 I decided to become an adult leader and give something back for all the amazing experiences I was privileged to have in the 4 short years I was a member. This is the reason I am still involved today. I had a short hiatus from the movement from 2014-2017 when I was taking my professional exams and living in Aberdeen. However upon moving to sunny East Renfrewshire in 2017 after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant I took on the role of Scout Leader with the 28th and there is never a dull moment!

My Best Moment
I would have to say my scouting highlight would be attending the Blair Atholl International Jamboree in 2012 as an adult leader. Getting to meet scouts and volunteers from all across the world is something I will never forget. 

Lisa Devlin
Friday Beaver Leader

Occupation
Housing with Care Manager

Why I got involved
I wanted to get involved as a volunteer as my children attend various clubs and groups that are run by volunteers.  I felt that getting involved in something for the children in my local community would be a real benefit as I see how much my own children gain and learn from these types of groups and settings. I chose Friday Beavers as I am keen to support the young people at the start of their scouting journey and join in with all their fun! And hopefully learn some cool things myself too!

My Best Moment
I have only recently become involved in the group and I am still going through some training.  Before “Lock Down” I had some experiences in the scout hall which I really enjoyed.  I liked to see the eager faces when they are working through activities with such determination. It has been great to learn from the other leaders in the group.   My favourite moment so far was being involved in the virtual camp. It was such a positive experience to be part of this event and to see everyone coming together showcasing all the amazing things they were doing at home.  I enjoyed the chat with Dwayne Fields and the virtual campfire! I can’t wait to be part of more great adventures both virtually and in real life too!

Andy Loudon
Explorer Leader & Assistant Group Scout Leader

Occupation
Engineer

Why I got involved
Like a lot of people, I’ve always been in Scouting. I was a Beaver, Cub, Scout and Explorer, then I turned 18 and decided to stick around as I had enjoyed my time immensely and (although it sounds like such a cliche) I wanted to give something back. I stay involved because it’s great fun – I get to spend a bit of time each week with a bunch of my mates, while we come up with more mad things for the Explorers to do! Who wouldn’t want to do that?!

My Best Moment
Hard to choose between a few to be honest… Taking Scouts and Explorers to Auchengillan Jamboree, meeting Bear Grylls, making lifelong friends, finally being awarded my Queens Scout Award… I think the absolute highlight is taking 40+ Explorers to Copenhagen on the first Mystery Trip.

An update from our Chair

Dear All,

First, I hope that you and your families are staying safe and well. It’s been fantastic to see our Young People adapting to Scouting At Home and I’d like to thank our volunteers who have taken the time to prepare online activities.

Face-to-face Scout meetings have now been suspended for close to three months. Clearly we don’t know yet when it is going to be possible to restart them. What is clear is that decisions on when (and in what format) meetings can restart will be informed initially by advice from The Scout Association and Scouts Scotland.

The Scottish Government is currently planning for schools in Scotland to go back on 11 August – but with physical distancing measures in place. There are clearly challenges involved in replicating such measures in the Scout Hall – so it is quite possible that section meetings won’t restart until some time after the schools go back.

The Section Leaders and Committee Members have discussed all these issues and agreed that:

  • We won’t be arranging a Registration Night until we are clear when face-to-face meetings will be restarting
  • Registration Nights (or an alternative) will take place during the week before meetings restart
  • When we can restart, we’ll be making sure to get things off to a flying start and to encourage as many young people as possible to re-join
  • We’ll be suspending progression arrangements in the meantime and working on the basis that young people will initially re-join the section they were in when meetings stopped.
  • Progression between sections and the recruitment of new Beavers will take place 6-8 weeks after meetings restart.

Group Scout Leader
Brian Martin, our Group Scout Leader (GSL), intimated some time ago that he’d be standing down from that role at the end of June. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Brian on behalf of the Group for all his help and support as GSL during the past 6 years. Although he is standing down as GSL, we will still be seeing him from time to time (eg at fundraising events) as he is joining the 28th’s Active Support Unit.

This means that we are currently looking for someone to take over the role of Group
Scout Leader
. The GSL role is essentially a management role. Prior experience of
Scouting is not necessary. What we need is someone who can provide some leadership, motivation and guidance to our other adult volunteers – and they will of course be supported by 2 very able Assistant Group Scout Leaders who handle much of the day- to-day work. If you think you could take on the GSL role – or if you know someone who might be interested – please let me know.

Kind Regards,
Peter Ritchie
Group Chairperson

Email: group.chair@giffnockscouts.org.uk

Coronavirus Update

Dear all,

As Scouts, wherever we go and whatever we do, we put our member’s safety and wellbeing first.

As you will be aware, the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, is an evolving situation and a difficult time for all of us and our families.
After listening to our volunteers, the decision has been taken to suspend all weekly section meetings for an indefinite period of time (from today, March 16th)

This includes Monday Beavers, The Group Camp meeting & Explorers which were scheduled for this evening.

We are not, at this stage, cancelling Group Camp. However we will continue to monitor the situation and give you an update as soon as possible.

We will continue to provide updates to parents, supporters & volunteers as the situation develops.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Many thanks,
Brian Martin (Group Scout Leader)
Peter Ritchie (Group Chair)
Andy Loudon (Assistant Group Scout Leader)
James Gallagher (Assistant Group Scout Leader)

Beaver Camp: The Debrief

Well done to all of the Beavers for getting stuck in to all of the activities over the weekend and for some, their first night away from home (not to mention that it was in a tent!)
Everyone was on their best behaviour and truly were a pleasure to have!

What we got up to!
Saturday
After saying farewell to parents, we watched the camp video again to jog our memory about the spy theme and to create a plan of how we’ll find and save Bertie Beaver!
Shortly after, we had our jackets and boots on and began our hike around Auchengillan.
On the hike we needed to use our skills in First Aid, Communication, Navigation & Espionage to earn tokens that at the end of the day, would unlock the maps to find Bertie!

The Beavers did very well on the hike, especially as the weather wasn’t ideal! We came back to the cabin for a short burst of lego building and a few games before dinner; yummy pasta, tomato sauce and meatballs.

After dinner we were back outside for bases consisting of Archery, ‘The floor is lava’ (using crates and planks), ‘Laser Beams’ (climbing through a web of string) and making fruit kebabs.

It was then time to find Bertie so after adding up our tokens earned during the hike, we unlocked the maps and ran up the path to rescue Bertie! “He’s a bit bigger than he was before”!

We finished off the day by using up the last of our energy running around outside before a campfire and supper (hot chocolate and a biscuit).

Once the excitement had worn off, the Beavers were sound asleep and the Leaders weren’t too far behind!


Sunday
It was a bit damp in the morning so after getting changed and packing bags in the tents, the Beavers came inside for some exercise and Breakfast.
After helping to clear up, we had some games indoors and even went on a run before parents joined us for our closing ceremony!

Do More. Share More. Be More.
Thank you to all of our volunteers who gave up their own time to plan, support and run the camp.
The group are urgently looking for new leaders to help out after summer. Volunteering is easier than you think. With full support and training, you can volunteer on a flexible basis.
Please get in touch with your section leader to find out more.