Face to Face Scouting to restart
1st August 2020
Our plans for getting back together at Scouts safely
You may recall that at the beginning of July we shared the good news that a phased approach to restarting face to face meetings had been released; The Scouts (The Scout Association), in consultation with the UK Government via the National Youth Agency had begun to publish guidance and literature that forms the basis of how this would look. There are four Readiness Levels; we are moving from Red to Amber, which will allow a restricted restart of outdoor face to face meetings (indoor meetings are not yet permitted), taking into account five specific areas:
- New control measures will be in place for all activities
- Additional hygiene measures will be put in place
- Social distancing will be observed
- Group sizes will be limited
- Adjustments will be made for young people vulnerable or affected by COVID
Safety of our members, leaders and volunteers is at the heart of everything we do, and our Leaders and Group Executive have spent many hours and evenings working to develop a robust strategy that will allow our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to restart face to face meetings.
As part of the process we have had to submit detailed risk assessment plans to the Scout District. Which I am pleased to say have been approved and we have now been granted permission to hold face to face outdoor meetings for all sections (Beavers, Cubs and Scout).
At the start I need to emphasise that this will not be a full return to Scouting that we all knew back in March, before the pandemic. There will be a number of restrictions, new procedures and policies, that we will all need to get to grips with and embrace. Most of all this will only work with the full cooperation and support of you; our parents/carers and the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts themselves.
Each section will be writing to you separately to explain exactly how they will be operating, and the special procedures that you will need to follow. Our Section Leaders have been looking at how they can tailor their individual programs to best provide a range of activities and meetings that meet their section's needs, whilst taking full account of the additional safety requirements. Each section will have a different start date, and whilst some will be looking to meet for an hour each week, others will be looking to deliver longer bespoke sessions over the summer holidays.
We are all excited to be able get back to outdoor scouting, but please remember that our leadership teams are all volunteers. They all have family and work commitments that they rightly need to prioritise, and I know you will continue to give them your support, understanding and patience. Especially if there are a few teething problems at the beginning. Maybe if you can help at a meeting, or in preparing items for one, you could offer a few hours of your time; you never know you may actually enjoy being a helper or leader. Just email, message, or phone your child's section leader; they would be glad of the offer and can explain what help is needed.
If at any time, you have any questions or concerns regarding the restarting of face to face meetings please do not hesitate to contact your child's section leader, or myself.
Group Scout Leader
1st Foots Cray Scout Group