Longcraig Explorer Sea Scout Unit

Longcraig Explorer Sea Scout Unit

Welcome to the webpage of Longcraig Explorers!

Our focus is on complementing the programmes of Explorer Units across the Scout Regions of eastern-central Scotland, by offering new opportunities to Explorers interested in water activities, expeditions, developing their leadership and gaining more #SkillsForLife. 

Through a partnership with the Longcraig Scout Centre, we have access to an extensive fleet of kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, sailing dinghies, pulling boats and powerboats, enabling Unit members to develop their boating & paddlesport skills and extend their experience under the supervision of qualified Leaders and Instructors. 

Through their membership of the Longcraig Unit, Explorers can receive all their training, practice and support for Duke of Edinburgh or Platinum/Diamond/Queen’s Scout expeditions by canoe, canoe & kayak or possibly even sailing dinghy.  

Members are able to work towards achieving the water-based Scouting Activity Badges & Zodiac Challenges, Instructor badges and Personal Permits in a variety of craft along with Royal Yachting Association and/or British Canoeing qualifications. 

Members also have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in an Adventurous Activity context and gain credit for volunteering to support the Longcraig Scout Centre’s watersports activities with young people in Scouting from across Scotland. 

The Unit intends to host an annual waterside camp for Explorers to undertake challenging activities and further develop their Scouting and watersports skills.  Members can attend the National Regattas and participate in joint activities organised with other Units in eastern central Scotland and more widely across the UK.  

We are based at the Longcraig Scout Centre, on the shore of the Forth in Dalmeny near South Queensferry.

Our programme is organised to meet the interests of the member Explorers (who principally join us as their 2nd Unit), with events calendared on occasional Saturdays / Sundays and some weekday evenings throughout the year, enabling Explorers to maintain their commitment to their ‘home’ Unit and achieve what they want to do with the Longcraig Unit.  

There’s a range of Achievement Opportunities available for members of the Unit to undertake… 

Expeditions for DofE (Silver & Gold) or Top Awards (Diamond & Queen’s Scout) by canoe/kayak/paddleboard.

We cover all aspects of the Training Frameworks, including:

  • Knowledge development for expedition planning, navigation and staying safe
  • First aid
  • Paddling skills
  • Campcraft
  • Teambuilding

You’ll train and practice on a variety of local water bodies including stretches of the Union Canal, reservoirs in the Pentlands, lochs, the Forth from Longcraig, as well as in the pool!  Our Practice Expeditions take us further afield to locations such as Loch Lomond, lochs of the Trossachs, and the Tay Valley, as we work towards being ready for the Qualifying Expedition, which is supported by resources from Longcraig.  

Elements of the Volunteering, Skills & Physical sections for DofE (Bronze, Silver & Gold) or Top Awards (Platinum, Diamond & Queen’s Scout). 


You can become a Skills Instructor or get your Personal Permit in:

  • Powerboating
  • Sailing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Rafting

Activity Badges that can be achieved by members of the Unit include:

  • Water activities (powerboating)
  • Nautical skills
  • Paddlesport
  • Sailing
  • Hikes away (paddling journeys)
  • Lifesaver
  • Leadership
  • Activity Centre Service
  • Activity Plus
  • Instructor

Zodiac Award Camp Challenges you can do with the Unit include:

  • #6 With another Unit
  • #9 On a beach/waterside
  • #11 In a bothy (on an island!)
  • #18 As part of an expedition
  • #19 As part of a training experience
  • #23 On or above water
  • #24 Under sail
  • #25 On an island

Joining & becoming involved

Do I have to leave my existing Unit to join the Longcraig Unit?

No, you remain an active member of your existing Unit so that you benefit from the full Explorer programme.  The Longcraig Unit offers some specific Achievement Opportunities which are intended to add to or offer a water-based-alternative option to what your Unit provides, for example expeditions in canoes/kayaks. 

I see the Longcraig Unit is an Explorer Sea Scout Unit, but my Unit isn’t a Sea Explorer Unit and I wasn’t a Sea Scout, so can I still join?

Yes, absolutely.  The Longcraig Unit is open to any Explorer interested in the water-based Achievement Opportunities we’re offering. 

What Uniform do I need to wear?

You can choose to wear your existing Explorer uniform (your ‘home’ Unit) with the Longcraig Unit necker, or you can wear the blue Explorer Sea Scout uniform.  When needed, we have use of the Longcraig Scout Centre changing rooms so that we can change out of uniform and into clothes suitable for water activities. 

Do I get invested again?

Yes, we’ll have Investiture Ceremonies during the year, and will uphold the tradition of investitures being carried out in unusual and memorable places. 

I’m a Scout and would like to join Longcraig Explorers. Can I?

Once you are ready to move up to an Explorer Unit that suits you, that’s the time for you (with your folks-at-home and new Explorer Unit leaders) can get in touch with us to discuss what you want to achieve on the water by joining the Longcraig Unit. 

I’m nearly 18 and about to move on from Explorers, but I’d still like to achieve my Queen’s Scout Award and DofE Gold.  Can I do this at Longcraig?

Once you turn 18, if you move up to becoming a member of Scout Network, there’s the possibility of you achieving your Top Awards with fellow interested Network members through an association with Longcraig Unit.  You can also become an adult member of the Longcraig Active Support Unit to provide you with even more opportunity to support Scouting and achieve your goals. 

How many people can be Members of the Unit?

The number of Explorers working to achieve their goals with the Longcraig Unit at any one time is based on the fundamental principles of maintaining the safety of all involved, the availability of equipment & Leader/instructor support, and managing the progression of Explorers towards their target Achievement in groups/cohorts. 

I don’t have any experience on the water, but would like to learn and achieve something I can’t yet do, so can I still join?

Yes, absolutely.  The route to you achieving just needs some extra effort and commitment in the training stages for you to gain the experience and confidence. 


Do we meet every week on the same night?

No.  Each of the Achievement Opportunities will have a defined timetable of training, gaining experience and demonstrating accomplishments, using a combination of time at weekends and occasional evenings throughout the year.  OSM and a calendar on the Unit’s webpage will detail all of the times when your chosen Achievement Opportunities are taking place. 

Where does the Unit meet?

We’re based at the Longcraig Scout Centre in Dalmeny (near South Queensferry) where most activities will take place, but there may be other locations used for some activities (e.g. Union Canal, swimming pools, lochs), for joint activities with other Units, and any visits/trips we do that are related to the Achievement Opportunities you’re doing. 

Running the Unit

Who runs the Unit?

The Unit is run by a team of Leaders, led by an Explorer Scout Leader working with several Assistant Explorer Scout Leaders and Skills Instructors, who bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm for providing opportunities on the water in all of the different craft available, underpinned with the necessary Adventurous Activity Permits and/or licences to ensure activities are organised and run safely and well.  We work in close partnership with the Longcraig Scout Centre Manager and the Longcraig Active Support Unit. 

Can I get involved with planning some activities for the Unit?

Yes, of course! This is part of the Scouting method.  We’re delighted to support the interests of the Unit’s Explorers for doing some activities as part of, or alongside, the Achievement Opportunities available, including trips or joint-activities with your ‘home’ Units. 

Achievement Opportunities

Can I join Longcraig Explorers at any time?

You can become a Member of the Unit at any time, but you can only start on an Achievement Opportunity when a new group/cohort is set up and there are spaces available, as we may have waiting lists for some Achievement Opportunities (e.g. powerboating) where numbers taking part have to be kept small. 

Can I join an existing Achievement Opportunity after the training has already started?

You would only be able to join a group/cohort that’s already started if i) you can demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge, skills and experience to join after the training had already started, and ii) if there is a space.  Joining a group is at the discretion of the Leader/Instructor(s) responsible for the Achievement Opportunity group/cohort. 

Do I have to pay to do the activities?

Some Achievement Opportunities will have associated costs, just as they would if you were doing them in your ‘home’ unit, such as expeditions, but we’re offering as many things as we can at no extra cost.  Where there are regular costs incurred by the Longcraig Scout Centre for supporting the Unit and our activities, such as fuel for powerboating, it is reasonable to expect to contribute towards this.  Information on such costs will be highlighted for the relevant Achievement Opportunity when enrolling.

How do I choose what to do?

Have a think about whether you want to develop and achieve a higher level in something you do already, or if it’s something completely new to you that you achieve as a new skill.  Have a look at what Achievement Opportunities are available on our webpage to see what interests you most and when it’s starting.  Discuss your interests with your folks-at-home and your Explorer Leaders, and then get in touch with us.  It’s probably good to have a few things in mind, so that we can agree what’s best for you to get started. 

Do we get to go on camps?

Absolutely! Not only is camping an inherent part of the expedition training we provide, we also plan to have an annual waterside camp for the Unit so you put into practice what you’re achieved you and even try something new.  We can also easily organise camps with other Units. 

I really enjoyed sessions on the water at Longcraig. Can I help out with looking after the boats and helping with sessions?

Yes, you can get involved with helping out in a variety of ways to support the Longcraig Active Support Unit and keep the Centre and its equipment in tip top condition.


If you have any other questions, please email us at longcraig.explorers@yahoo.com

Coming soon.

We’ll post a calendar showing dates for all of the planned training and activities once available.

Steve Hankin
Explorer Scout Leader & DofE Leader / Assessor



Dave Roy
Assistant Explorer Scout Leader


Steve Bordwell
Assistant Explorer Scout Leader


Eilidh Sturgeon
Assistant Explorer Scout Leader


Ben Galloway
Assistant Explorer Scout Leader

Interested in joining?

Click on the link to our Register Interest Form, provide your details and we’ll get in touch with you.

If you have any questions or want to contact us, please email longcraig.explorers@yahoo.com