Three decades of Scouts service rewarded with Silver Acorn award

Posted: 12/06/2017 | Education, Child Care,

A volunteer Scout Cub leader for 32 years, Roseanne Allison’s duties have taken her as far as the Andes mountain range in South America.  

Now she has been presented with the prestigious Chief Scout’s Silver Acorn award by the Scottish Scouting Commission. 

Roseanne in the St George's Day celebration Roseanne was nominated by a Scouting colleague after decades of dedicated service.

As a recipient of the Silver Acorn, Roseanne was invited to the St George’s Day celebration in Windsor in April, attended by Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.

And she was officially presented with the Silver Acorn at a ceremony at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Sunday. 

Roseanne said: “I'm very pleased and proud to receive the Silver Acorn. The St George's Day celebration was an amazing experience. It was brilliant to see Winsdor filled with people in their uniforms. The ceremony itself was very moving, as Brendon Cox, husband of MP Jo Cox, delivered a touching speech.

“We gathered outside St George’s Chapel and listened to the service and all renewed our Scout’s Promise. It was a beautiful ceremony and a real honour.”

Roseanne, the Royal Blind School’s Care and After School Manager, signed up to be a Scout leader in 1984, aged 18, after spotting an advert in her local church bulletin.

“I had just finished my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and I was looking for something else to do. I’ve always been quite adventurous and when I saw the advert I thought it sounded great,” she said.

“Straight away I knew it was something that I was going to really enjoy. Over the years I have completed all the training you need to do to become a leader. I went down to Gilwell Park in England, which is a training camp near to the former home of Baden Powell who founded the Scouts.”

Roseanne has predominantly served as a Cub leader at the 11th Edinburgh North East Cub Scout Pack, helping hundreds of young Scouts achieve their awards and overseeing trips and excursions.

She was also instrumental in reinstating the 77th Braid Scout Group at the Royal Blind School.

For Roseanne, a highlight of her time as a Cub leader, was acting as an assistant unit leader for the World Scout Jamboree in Chile in 1998. The Jamboree saw more than 20,000 Scouts from across the world attending the meet-up for two weeks.

Roseanne took a group of 36 scouts on the expedition which required groups to camp and cook their own meals for the entirety of the trip. The group also undertook challenges including an overnight hike in the Andes.

Roseanne’s group represented their country by wearing tartan, serving up haggis for the other scouts – and even performing the bagpipes.

She said: “We were lucky to have some talented bagpipe players in the group. I think the other scouts were quite fascinated by them.

“The Jamboree was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. It took two years of preparation and it was quite amazing when we were finally there, meeting people from around the world, so far away from Scotland.”

But Roseanne's proudest moment in Scouting is receiving the Silver Acorn.

She added: “I didn’t expect it at all. Whilst it’s wonderful to be recognised for giving your time, I have to say the reward for me is getting to work with the young people and witnessing them grow and learn as part of the Scouts.

“It is a huge privilege to have witnessed so many children achieve so much – some of the young people have overcome huge personal challenges and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Scouts Scotland Chief Commissioner Graham Haddock said: “The Silver Acorn recognises specially distinguished service from our adult volunteers. Roseanne has been a Scout since she was a youth member and has always given her all, whichever role she has undertaken. These have been locally as a Cub Leader, in her District helping to run Scouting and as a Leader to the World Scout Jamboree in South America.

“She always does her best for the young people in Scouting, and this was evident in the key role she played re-establishing a Scout Group in the Royal Blind School. Currently one-third of the school's pupils are members of Scouting.

“Volunteers like Roseanne deliver Scouting every week, and there are currently 3,000 young people waiting to join. We have a volunteer role for everyone - if you would like to get involved please visit our website at”