Voting and youth movements

Girl guiding Scotland is currently trying to encourage it’s members to vote in the next general election with it’s #MyVoteMatters campain. With only 39% of women between 18 and 35 voting in the last election clearly something needs to be done.

Scottish Scouting has also been involved in politics by visiting the Scottish parliament recently.

The issue is politicians need to be involved and engage  the younger generation as they are the future of this country.

Nicola Sturgeon recently visited her old Brownie Pack to encourage the girls to aim high and be the best that they can.  I think this is a great start but more could be done . You never know asking your local MP etc to come and give a talk , visit a camp or even become an adult helper might help them realise the challenges young people face and help them engage with our counties future.


All Change

A couple of weeks ago scouting launched a new updated programme for youth members. The change includes new badges and others discontinued.

So why change other than to keep leaders like me on our toes.

Scouting and Guiding need to move with the times if we want to keep members. Badges that applied several years ago just don’t relate to today’s youth. There were badges in the past on bee keeping & tests on which was the correct way to fly the union flag . We now have badges on computing , geocaching  and being more involved in the local community

How young people learn has also changed I have found that sometimes even simple crafts can be a challenge as they don’t have the handskills to cope. Things that us older folk took for granted are no longer the norm including how to interact with each other instead of a computer. Scouting and guiding have recognized this and have continued to adapt to suit today’s youngsters.

The sense of achievement and pride though is still there when they are presented with thier badge and this is what we need to remember.

different handbooks
The changing face of handbooks


Hats are just as important

Hats are just as important

The humble hat during winter protects your head and ears from the cold weather.

There has been several experiments recently about how much heat is lost via your head but everyone agrees that any part of your body that is exposed the the elements means some amount of heat is lost from that particular area. So covering your head with a funky hat is a good idea.

Not only that hats can be a fashion statement and help you state your individuality.

I personally have a  wide range of hats depending on where i am going and if I need to stuff it into a pocket.

These below hats are great for camp as they are bright and warm and ideal for stuffing into a pocket.

Fuzz bomb hats

Also I found a nice article at

The importance of warm socks

I recently visited my parents and my mum was complaining about cold feet. No wonder I said your socks are just not suitable for this weather.

Tips for socks

1. The colder the weather the thicker your socks should be.

2. If your feet sweat then you need a sock that wicks away the moisture this will also prevent your feet feeling cold and blisters. Sometimes what is liner sock is useful here it acts as a extra layer between you and your main sock and cuts down on friction and wicks moisture away. A sock with a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres is ideal.

3. Watch out for those pesky stitches \ hems as these can rub if they are in the wrong place for you.

4. Make sure your footwear fits properly.

5. Nice underfoot cushioning either the whole foot or targeted areas is great if your on your feet for long periods of time.

6. Dry your feet at night if they get sweaty as this well help you feel warmer when your trying to get to sleep and change into dry socks if you need socks at night.

We have a small range of socks in store at



International Peace Light

I was lucky enough to see the International Peace Light what is the peace light you may ask.

peace light

In Rosyth district where this service took place the peace light is used to light a candle to represent each scout group in the district.

Taken from

Peace Message 2014 : “Sharing happiness will bring Peace”

Each year, a child from Upper Austria kindles a flame from the “Eternal Flame” from the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The light is then flown to Austria from where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who take it back, with a message of Peace, to their own countries for use at ecumenical services throughout the Continent. Scouts and Guides can then take the light on to other churches, hospitals, old people homes, prisons, and places of public, cultural and political importance – to anybody that appreciates the significance of the “gift”. In past years the light has been presented to Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Mikhail Gorbatshow, the former King Hussain of Jordan, EU President Romano Prodi and other member of the European parliament in Strazbourg, the UN Troops in Kosovo and continues to be taken to Ground Zero, New York.

Now in its 28th year, the Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company – ORF (Linz) – and was part of a large charitable relief mission – Light into Darkness, for children in need in Austria and abroad. Since 1986 there has been a great deal of co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe, such that the light is passed on to 30 European Countries and for the past few years, on to North America, Mexico and Canada .

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Scout Post and Small Business Saturday

Scout Post and Small Business Saturday

Every year Akela’s Den takes part in the local Scout Post as a post box for Inverkeithing. As scouter’s ourselves we see scout post as providing a service to the local community as well as a fundraising opportunity for the local scout groups.

How does it work?

Check the below notice to see that where you want the card delivered to is covered. Scout post is only .30p a card a great saving for those on a low income.

scoutpost 2014

Pop your card/s and payment to one of the post-boxes listed.

The post box and payments are regularly collected by members of the local scouts up until the deadline on the 10th of December.

The cards are then delivered to a scout sorting office , once sorted each group taking part will have routes and areas allocated to them and their cards given to them.

The cards are then hand delivered by members of the scout association between the 13th and 21st of December.

Money collected is split between the groups taking part as part of their fundraising.

Small Business Saturday

Akela’s  Den is also taking part in Small Business Saturday on the 6th of December. Small shops like ours provide diversity to local towns which is needed to make our towns unique.  Small community’s and towns need good local businesses to make people visit  and support the local economy and Small Business Saturday does this by encouraging consumers to shop local.


#SmallBizSatUk   #Scoutpost  #Akelasden



Gaining Badges and Beyond

Gaining Badges and Beyond

So you want to earn a badge?

Hopefully the below will detail the steps you can apply to earn any badge and the skills you learn can be applied to and project that you have.

You just need to believe in yourself and no matter how long it takes that you can do it.

Step 1

Identify the badge

Not always as easy as it sounds, there are lots of badges that you can achieve. Choose one the interests you! There is no point struggling to do a badge if it is something that you hate doing. Choose something that is a slight challenge and that you will be proud of achieving. Ask your leaders or parents for advice look at your handbook / badge book/websites see the links section for help.

I have chosen the cub map reader badge




Break it down

Yahoo you have chosen your badge. Most handbooks give you a list of things that you either have to do or options or even a mixture of both. Take this list break it down into even smaller.

For example for the cub map reader badge one requirement is to be able to use a six figure map reference number. Break it down. Get a map of your local area, locate your house, meeting place (this also counts as a requirement), learn the four figure reference number for these places and finally learn and use the six figure reference numbers for these places.  I played battleships with my cubs


Step 3

Identify what you need

Or in adult speak resource planning.

What equipment do you need?

No point wanting to do the dragon boat racing badge if you can’t access a dragon boat or bell boat

How long is it going to take?

This is more important for Duke of Edinburgh and badges that require specific time scales. Or you might want to cover a badge of the holidays or during a camp are you going to have the time to be able to do this?

What help are you going to need?

Do you need an adult to teach you new skills? Do you need to go to classes? Can you find help online?

Are you able to continue?

At this point you might decide that you are unable to the badge you want that is ok it is better that you find out now. Just go back to step 1 and try again. If you are confident you can continue fab step 4 here we come.

For example for the cub navigator badge

I needed maps of the local area

Ordnance survey symbol flash cards

A large training compass

How to read a map resource

Organise an outdoor activity using points of a compass and a map


Record what you did.

This is where your book comes in really handy.

Tick things off as you go along getting an adult to sign and date it. Take photos or even video ideal for your presentations for Duke of Edinburgh or even your for your leaders to see what you have been up to. I love seeing photos of what my cubs have been doing outside of the normal meeting and sometimes even put them up on our board in the hall.

Step 5


Yahoo you have done it!!

Some badges have special award presentations and some have normal presentations in your meeting place. Either way be proud of what you have achieved enjoy the moment. Get your badge on your uniform as soon as possible and wear it with pride.

This is me being presented  my Queens Scout Award.




For books for Beavers, Rainbows, Cubs, Brownies, Scouts, Guides, Explorers and Senior section


About Akela’s Den

Akela’s Den is a Scouting, Guiding and outdoor equipment independent retailer based in Fife. Akela’s Den, an independent retailer specialising in meeting the needs of Scouts, Guides and outdoor enthusiasts, continues to grow with new additions to their stock list arriving regularly .From fun badges to rucksacks there is plenty for everyone. There are big name brands in stock as well as access to all of scouting and guiding general sale products.