Date: 18th August 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you to the very few parents that joined us online last night, and a big thank you to everyone that messaged us before and afterward with their thoughts, and comments – they have been really useful in supporting our plans to get back to face to face Scouting. Also, the questionnaire is still open if you haven’t yet responded: Getting Everyone Back Together Safely – Questionnaire   

As we said in the meeting, the go-to webpage for everyone to visit before any meetings from next term is live and up and running. It only has basic information at the moment and will grow as we get closer to getting back together, but please do familiarise yourself with it –

If you have anything you think could be added, please email us.As a control measure in our risk assessment, making sure you all know all the details for each meeting such as arrival/departure plans, etc. will help to make everything that much safer. As these details are specific to each venue, weather condition, and section, we feel the OSM & webpage is best placed to make sure everyone can access that information as easily as possible.

Just because we can go back to a limited form of face to face Scouting, it is just that – limited and with a lot of restrictions. As we have said all along, we will only do what is safe for all – members and volunteers – and everyone is comfortable with. That may mean shorter sessions, a blended approach of face to face and virtual meetings or may just stick to virtual for a little longer. This will all be on a section by section basis, so just because one section is back meeting together, another may not. This is all done to keep everyone safe and I’m sure everyone involved with the Group will appreciate and understand the rationale. As we are looking at a small group (or ‘bubble’ for want of a better description) approach, we’ll also be looking for parental support for supervision with some of the sections/bubbles. We leave that thought to ‘mature’, but section leaders will be in touch early September with specifics about what they may need.

What’s going to happen now is that section leaders will be carefully looking at what/how/if they can safely run a programme from September and completing their section specific risk assessments. We’ll then all communicate our plans in plenty of time and update the web page/OSM. Regardless of what we do, we will have some form of Scouting for all sections from September. It will either be face to face meetings outdoors following the risk assessments, Microsoft Teams meetings, or a blended approach to make sure everyone gets something.

Finally, just wanted to say a Thank You to everyone in our amazing group – Leaders, Young People, and Executive Members, dedication and encouragement you have shared since this whole saga began back on 16th March (this is when we had to stop face to face Scouting!). It seems an eternity ago, but we been so impressed with all the activities and engagement and the way most have adapted to this new form of Scouting.

As always, thank you for your continued support, patience, and reassurance – we have really appreciated all the feedback.

Best wishes,  

Denise Bloomfield (GSL) / Stuart Parker (AGSL)