The Scottish Highlands had a special place in Juliette Low’s heart. As a young married woman she lived in Blair Atholl. Later she returned often to Meggernie Castle, where she rented a home called “Lochs” on the grounds of the Meggernie estate.
Today, both of these places are centers of Scouting activity.
Blair Atholl is where a U.K. Scouting Jamborette is held every other year. A Jamborette is smaller than a World Jamboree, and happens every two years (in the non-Jamboree years). The first Blair Atholl Jamborette was held just after World War II on a part of the Blair Atholl estate called “America Park.” (That name itself is amazing!) The Jamborette was the idea of Jack Stewart, the International Scouting Commissioner for Scotland at the time. His goal was “international friendship and understanding,” the precise purpose to which Juliette Low dedicated herself in her last decade. That such a cause is still underway–through Scouting–in a place she lived and loved is extraordinary.
Though Lochs is gone now, the Meggernie estate still contains Kerrowmore Farmhouse, which the Scottish Scouting association rents for all sorts of endeavors. Scouts who stay at Kerrowmore and camp on Meggernie grounds today hike the same paths Daisy did. Every time a new visitor arrived she used to take them for a hike to show off the beautiful Glen Lyon views which comforted and inspired her.
In the fall of 1911 her guest was Robert Baden-Powell. While the two of them were traversing those Highland hills, they came up with the idea of bringing Girl Guiding to the United States.
Juliette Low adored Scotland and the Scots. Is it truly just coincidence that two of her homes are now synonymous with Scouting? I have been in touch with the kind manager of the Meggernie Outdoor Centre, and she does not know of any specific connection to Juliette Low. If there is one, I can’t document it. If you know about it, please comment or email me and let me know.
Of all the places in Scotland for Scouting to thrive today! Blair Atholl and Meggernie!
Is it serendipity? Coincidence? Or is there a connection? I’m looking for assistance and confirmation from you Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts out there, because I’ve gone as far down these two bunny trails as I can go at the moment!