Markinch scout leader retires after half a century of service

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A final salute has been given to a scout leader who has retired following more than 50 years of service.

Isabel Mackie (73) has served the 25th Markinch Scout Troop for more than half a decade, and retired as group scout leader on Friday.

A surprise celebration was held in her honour, with members of the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, as well as former leaders, coming together to say thanks to Isabel.

Isabel started as an assistant cub scout leader in August 1967.

Two of the scout leaders were getting married, leaving the troop short of leaders, and so Isabel stepped in.

Isabel says she has noticed many changes over the years, but that many of the traditions remain the same.

“There have been lots of changes but the kids keep coming along,” she told the Gazette.

“There’s been little change to the basics – it remains fun and challenging.

“But the safety aspect has changed quite a bit.”

Serving the troop for half a decade, Isabel has taken part in all sorts of challenges.

She said: “I’ve done things through scouting that I would have never had the chance to do.

“That includes skiing, barge holidays with the adventure scouts, two badge holidays, camping – up to four years ago.

“If I hadn’t had enjoyed it I wouldn’t have stayed as long. And you always hope that you have given them something.”

The celebration was a complete surprise to Isabel, who was presented with a certificate and a cake.

Throughout the event many members and parents thanked Isabel for her help and support over the years.

Tributes also came from current and former leaders.

Alison Milne, committee chair, thanked Isabel for her years of service to the 25th Markinch Scout Troop.

She told the Gazette: “Isabel is a truly remarkable lady who has dedicated 50 years of service to scouting.

“As group scout leader with Fife 25th Markinch Scout Troop, Isabel has been a real inspiration to us all.

“The Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers wanted to hold a party to celebrate and thanked Isabel for all her hard work over the years.

“We wish Isabel all the best in her retirement and will remember her wise words for many years to come.”

More details about the Markinch troop can be found at