(Heather is writing this) As some of you will be aware, I recently had to take some time away from scouting due to the serious illness and subsequent death of my father, Mervyn Douglas, (he passed away on 27th March, aged 89, and his funeral was on 14th April). Although my father’s illness was unrelated to Covid-19, that whole context has inevitably made things much more difficult and painful. A webcast gave remote access to the funeral service for many who were unable to attend – and having that sense of connection, near and far, brought great comfort to all of us.
Turning to the lockdown itself, I must confess I haven’t mastered Zoom yet, but I can see how valuable all sorts of links are proving to be because they help to keep us connected during this difficult time of lockdown – be it hi-tech live-streamed virtual conference meetings or YouTube videos, or OSM Badges at Home, or just emails and ordinary phone calls (not to mention the odd letter or card through the post, or even a friendly wave from a safe distance). I’ve also become very conscious of the importance of tapping in to fun stuff – in particular for me that includes getting a lift from scouting (one of the best things I did recently was tune in for a virtual campfire the other night – I definitely inherited my love of campfire songs from my Dad!)
In this month’s Newsletter –
- Update from National HQ
- St George’s Day
- The Great Indoors –
- Mental health; looking after ourselves and each other
- Nights Away clarification by HQ
- Hike to the Moon
- GLMW 20 in 20 adapted to ‘lockdown’
- District Diary Dates (including remote meetings)
Update from National HQ
(Copied from recent email sent to all adult members): Important all members’ online meeting: COVID-19 and its impact on the Scout movement.
All parts of the Scout movement, locally and nationally, are being adversely affected by COVID-19. To help you understand more about this serious and developing situation, we’d like to brief you on how it’s impacting Scouts in a special all members online meeting next week. Please click here (https://join-emea.broadcast.skype.com/scouts.org.uk/2cc7faeda0324a9ab0d0683c6c8e0624/en-US/) to join us on 29 April from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. This call replaces the one originally scheduled for 12 May. Importantly, we will be explaining the financial impact, locally and nationally, and how we’re supporting young people and communities most in need. As we will be discussing strictly confidential information we will not be able to share the recording of this meeting, so please do join us live.
St George’s Day 2020 – Renewal of Promises, Sunday 26th April
In addition to a big ‘in person’ District event of some kind later in the year, once that’s feasible, at this point we want to encourage as many of you as possible (including your youth members) to join in representing our District in a co-ordinated Renewal of Promises on Sunday 26th April at 12 noon via the GLMW Scout County’s facebook page. (Other national initiatives to mark St George’s Day and the Renewal of Scout Promise are also being made available – such as Scoutadelic and 1st Youtube Scout Group, so there are a number of options to choose from; and some are happening today – on 23rd itself – rather than on Sunday.)
The Great Indoors
Mental health – looking after ourselves and each other
First and foremost – this is not a competition. We all have different circumstances and challenges that we are facing. Everyone is coping as best they can. As a scouting community, we are bound to have a whole spectrum of experiences among our number during this lockdown (and its eventual aftermath)- from the truly tragic to the tedious to the terrific. IF you can offer some scout-related activities to others at the moment, great! But if you can’t, that’s ok too. If you yourself need support – emotional or practical – please don’t hesitate to reach out.
So, with the above caveat in mind, we want to encourage all those in a position to do so to continue to offer Scouting to the young people in your sections – and their families – in any way you can.
Nights Away clarification We now have confirmation that Home-based camping (in a youth member’s garden, or even in a tent or den inside the house) can indeed be officially counted for Night Away badges. https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/activities-and-badges-to-do-at-home/adapting-the-programme-during-coronavirus-crisis/nights-away-at-home/
Scouts Hike to the Moon full information available here https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/scouts-helping-others/hike-to-the-moon/
Participation is not restricted to Thursday 23rd (although that’s the main focus since it’s linked to the Big Night In appeal)
GLMW 20 in 20 – adapted for ‘lockdown’
The 20in20 Challenge is a really flexible award that enables many variations of each of the challenges. The County team have put together a ‘Coronavirus Lockdown Version’ of 20in20 to help keep everyone in touch with ideas for completing as many of the challenges and participating in Scouting from home. They (and we) hope that you enjoy still being able to complete the 20in20 Challenge.
As mentioned in the last DC Newsletter, updating mandatory training is something we’d like to encourage you to do during this time away from face-to-face scouting. The GLMW website now has a dedicated page on Remote Training options, so please do have a look https://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/training/remote-training
Finally, we hope to share more about what you’ve all been doing in next month’s DC Newsletter. So do please send us your news – we’d love to hear about the various kinds of Scouting at Home that you and your Groups have managed to offer.
Yours in Scouting
Ben and Heather
DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell