The spirit of adventure

Scottish Chief Commissioner Elaine tells us all about how girl experience and adventure has continued after the closing of Netherurd.


Our mission at Girlguiding Scotland is to empower all girls to find their voice and discover their best self. One of the ways we strive to do this is through adventure. Adventure has been at the heart of what we do for over 100 years and, unsurprisingly, the way we adventure has evolved over the years.

For a long time, our adventurous side was supported through the owning of Netherurd, an outdoor activity centre in Peeblesshire. It was a hub where girls could be themselves, make new friends and have fun. I enjoyed attending Netherurd for trainings and meetings over the years, but a particular highlight for me was Caledonia, the centenary celebration camp in 2010. I have a lasting memory of the field full of tents and marquees and all the campers standing in front of Netherurd House and singing. In 2020 Girlguiding Scotland had to make the difficult decision to close Netherurd. But the adventure has never stopped!

It has been wonderful to see all the girls getting back into in person events the past 2 years having and lots of fun, unique experiences. There’s been days out for Wander the World at Blair Drummond Safari Park and weekends away like Dart to Dublin. I know there has also been so many wonderful county events and camps over the summer that girls have enjoyed too!



In September of this year Midlothian County held their County Guide Event at Foxlake Adventures, giving the girls an opportunity to test their bravery on ropes courses and water obstacles. There were over 100 Guides in attendance from 8 units. This experience was made possible by money from the Friends of Netherurd Fund. Friends of Netherurd raised and donated funds helping girls to have unforgettable experiences at Netherurd. After the closure money raised by Friends of Netherurd was split between each county to contribute towards creating memorable experiences for girls. In this case Stacey, Midlothian County Commissioner, used the last of their money to reduce the attendance fee for every girl helping the event to be accessible for all Guides.

During the day at Foxlake the girls enjoyed pushing their limits on the aqua park jumping from inflatable towers into the cold water below and clambering over all sorts of obstacles. Foxfall was chance to show off their strength using ropes, tarzan swings and monkey bars to get across the course above the water – finishing with a zip line straight down into the water! The Guides spent their free time crafting with sea glass and playing group games testing their team working skills. After an adrenaline filled morning the girls and volunteers headed to Alison Cargill House (owned by East Lothian) to play games and have a well deserved BBQ!



Looking into the future I know we are planning so many exciting events for girls around Scotland and Internationally. I can’t wait to see all of the unique opportunities girls and volunteers will have in the next few years. The Netherurd legacy will ensure we can provide and support adventure throughout Scotland, as well as empower our volunteers with training to enhance their skills. Adventure comes in many forms and is at the heart of Girlguiding Scotland.

Keep tagging us on social media @GirlguidingScot and sharing all of the amazing adventures you are having!


Elaine Rough,

Scottish Chief Commissioner.

Netherurd Heritage Fund

Read more about what has happened since the closure of Netherurd and our Netherurd Heritage Fund.