So barely a year after I had my first tattoo, I decided to have another one! Well, it started as an idea for one, but it ended up becoming two separate ones… Another great job by Sara Stella Tattoo at Mystical bodies!
So on the left calf I have a slightly improved version of the world scout emblem. I wanted it to look a bit more natural than the usual WOSM ‘logo’, but since the lily flower the fleur-de lis is based on actually rarely looks like the heraldic symbol, I decided to draw inspiration from one of those classic metal scout hat badges instead.
On the right calf the I have the clan crest of the Clan MacLaren, a clan very closely connected to the scout movement since its early days, and therefore ‘my’ clan, of which I proudly wear the tartan… The lion is a bit more lifelike than is usual in heraldic depictions. I also had a subtle reference to my favourite Scottish city—Glasgow—included in the design: the clan motto (Creag an Tuirc) is in a typeface based on one designed for the Willow Tearooms by famous Glaswegian architect, designer, and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
MacLaren and scouting?
So what is that connection between scouting and the clan MacLaren then? Let me just copy-paste here what I posted a couple of years ago already:
Firstly, Major Kenneth MacLaren was a friend of Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scout movement, and assisted him in 1907 at the Brownsea Island Scout camp, considered to be the beginning of scouting as we know it today. After that camp, Kenneth MacLaren also became the first secretary of the Scout Association.
A couple of years later, in 1919, William F. de Bois MacLaren, a scout commissioner from Rosneath, near Glasgow, financed the purchase of Gilwell Park, thereby giving the Scout Association the leader training facility they were still lacking at the time. To this day, when leaders successfully complete their Wood Badge training — anywhere in the world — they receive a neckerchief with a patch of MacLaren tartan, put there as a little thank you for the generous gift of William de Bois MacLaren.
Supposedly, this same William de Bois MacLaren, after noticing some bullying of Scottish scouts who didn’t have a kilt to wear with their uniform because their family didn’t have a tartan, invited all tartanless scouts to wear the MacLaren tartan. After all, scouting is a brotherhood, making all scouts his family.
However, I’ve failed to find any reliable sources for this story, and I can’t even find back the forum where I read it! If anyone knows more about it, please let me know!
In case you missed it: my first tattoo is a very beer inspired one, but with a Scottish link as well. This tattoo on my right triceps is a nice composition of two-row barley, hops, and water. In the middle of those beer ingredients, a great interpretation of the old BrewDog logo: their iconic dog on a shield…
Am I really such a BrewDog fanboy? A little bit, yes, but most importantly: it was that specific Scottish brewery, and their bars and beers, that really introduced me to the world of modern craft beer.