A significant event in the history of the Strathaven Scouts’ outdoor activities was the visit in the summer of 1958 by a party of eleven scouts and their leaders to the Shelter Stone in the heart of the Cairngorms . This was the highlight of their six days wild camping expedition during which they also climbed Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second highest mountain. The Shelter Stone is a large boulder reputed to weigh over 1400 tons on the western shore of Loch Avon which provides shelter for about ten people. Some of the Scouts slept under it overnight.
Return visits were organised to it by the Friends of Strathaven Scouts to celebrate the 40thand 50thanniversaries of the event.
The 60thanniversary was marked by a reunion of seven of the original eleven when they met together over a weekend at the beginning of July in Pitlochry.
Supported by one or two members of FOSS and Robert Manby, a staunch supporter of the Strathaven Scouts who was to act as their mountain guide, the aim was for as many as possible to try to replicate their youthful venture and re- visit the Stone. With all of the original Scouts now in their mid seventies and the leaders both over eighty this was perhaps an ambitious challenge and not surprisingly some of the party chose lesser challenging walks.
However Jim Begg and Iain Park, the leaders of the 1958 party and Jonathan Maillie, one of the Scouts, made it successfully to the Stone and back. It was a warm and sunny day but a light breeze made it ideal for the outing.
Jonathon had come over from his home in Vancouver for the occasion. He has been involved in Scouting in Canada for most of his time there.
Some of the party had not met each other since their days in the Scouts and there was much chat about these times and reminiscences about the Shelter Stone trip which had made a great impression on them all.
After the success of the various activities on the Saturday everyone met up in the evening for an excellent dinner at the Moulin Hotel.