Bear pays flying visit to Scouts in Northern Ireland and Scotland


Thousands of Scouts, eleven events, two countries, two days; this weekend Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, took to the skies in the fifth instalment of ‘Bear in the Air’, his mission to meet as many Scouts as possible during his five years as UK Chief Scout.

In his first visit of 2012 Bear visited Scouts in Northern Ireland, before jetting across the Irish Sea to Scotland.

On your marks

Bear’s first stop at just before 10am was the Clandeboye Estate in County Down, where excited Explorer Scouts, who had just taken part in an overnight survival exercise, took the opportunity to show the adventurer a thing or two about bushcraft. The Chief Scout was definitely impressed with their skills, especially the natural shelters they’d created and then slept in overnight – not a tent in sight!

So much to Pack in

After dropping in to say hello to Cubs at the Ulster Transport Museum, where they were running market stalls to raise funds for Scout Community Week, Bear checked in at one of the newest additions to the Scout Activity Centre family – Crawfordsburn, just outside of Belfast. He spent time there chatting with members of both the youngest and oldest of the Scout sections – Beaver Scouts and Scout Network.

Support Scout Community Week

Bear sampled the activities and spoke to the local media about how much he was enjoying the weekend. He told them, ‘I am super excited to be back in Northern Ireland where I grew up. It’s great to see so many Scouts out in the sunshine today having a brilliant time.’

Celtic neighbours

After spending Saturday morning in Northern Ireland, Bear touched down in Rozelle Park in Ayr, where Beavers, Cubs and Scouts had turned out in force to greet him. A quick hop, skip and a jump later and Bear was at Lapwing Lodge near Paisley, joining Scouts in a range of adventurous activities including the activity centre’s climbing wall.

The action continued at Auchengillan Outdoor Centre near Glasgow where Bear saw Scouts compete in a camping competition before heading over to Lochgoilhead National Scout Activity Centre, ending a busy day by visiting a Regional camp near Loch Ness.

A weekend to remember

Bear’s time in Scotland on Sunday took him to Turriff and Templars’ Park before arriving at Tannadice Scout Activity Centre for a Cub Scout Camp and multi District Scout Patrol Competition.

His tour then took him to Fordell Firs National Scout Activity Centre where Bear took on the King Swing before heading to a gathering of over 2,000 people at Barrwood Campsite. His weekend finished at Longcraigs Scout Centre near South Queensferry where Scouts were competing in a powerboat and sailing regatta. 

It was a weekend of inspiration all round, as Bear reflected on an exciting and hectic 48 hours: ‘Weekends like this remind me of everything I love about Scouting. It’s all about adventure, camaraderie and having pride in what you do. Thousands of kids having fun, doing their adventures together in the sunshine. It’s always a privilege and an inspiration to see.’


You can view a round-up of Bear’s weekend on our Facebook page and on Twitter, searching hashtag #bearintheair.

If you’ve been inspired to join Scouting by Bear in the Air, tell us about it. Join the adventure by visiting our join pages.

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