September is the start of a new scouting year, and while it is always a delight to see all our young people again, this year will be extra special, as we will be meeting face to face for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown started in March.
We are carefully following Scout Association guidance on getting everyone back together safely as lockdown restrictions start to ease. The Scouts, working with other youth sector partners and government agencies, have identified the types of activity that can be safely carried out at four different readiness levels. Last term, under “Red” conditions, no face to face activities were allowed. Like most of England, our region is now at “Amber” readiness level, so we can cautiously return to limited outdoor and even indoor activities.
If you’re a parent, you will notice some significant changes in the way the group operates, and we hope you will be patient and understanding as we put these new procedures in place.
- Most meetings will be conducted outdoors, where we can remain socially distanced in the fresh air.
- Our Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers will meet in groups of no more than 15 young people, with up to five adult volunteers. At outdoor meetings, there may be two or more separate groups, which will be kept at least 25 meters apart at all times. Indoor activities will be limited to a single group of 15 at a time.
- We will be asking parents to confirm attendance in advance for every meeting and keeping a register of who attends.
- Pick-up and drop-off arrangements will be changed to allow groups to be kept separate.
To ensure safety, and in line with Scout Association requirements, our Leaders have prepared written risk assessments for the group and for each section, which have been reviewed by our Executive Committee and approved at District level. Any changes in plans or activities that carry specific risks will need to be similarly assessed before they can be carried out. We have made changes to arrangements for cleaning, hand sanitising, first aid, toilet facilities and so on.
Full details of these new arrangements will be communicated to parents by Section Leaders. You can read our risk assessment documents on this website.