The last few weeks have been incredibly busy ones, which is partly why this Newsletter has ended up slipping off the end of July and into August. Although it’s now the ‘summer holidays’ for most of us, it’s rather different this year of course. No scout summer camps for one thing. Then there’s the significant preparation work already underway by those keen to resume some form of face-to-face Scouting for their section during the next month or so. And the advance preparation by others looking to start sessions in September.
Since the last Newsletter went out on 22nd June, much has changed and many briefings have been taking place. As most of you will already know, TSA, (in conjunction with the National Youth Agency) announced a shift from Red to Amber Readiness Level in England (apart from Leicestershire) on 6th July. https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/getting-everyone-back-together-safely/This gives sections the option to seek Approval (via the TSA Portal, and then forwarded to our District Approvers) for running socially distanced sessions outdoors for up to 15 in total, including adults, with various covid-secure measures in place.
In addition to the National briefing webinar on 2nd July (still useful to view the video recording of that if you missed it – LINK via the web page above) we held a District Briefing on the approvals process with GSLs and the District Team on Sunday 5th July (plus on 6th July there was also an E&H District Beaver Leaders meeting which covered the information from the perspective of the Beaver section). In addition, the E&H District Executive have met twice in the last month, the second being on 9th July specifically to agree our team of District Approvers and a team-approach to approvals, to ensure both consistency and timely decision making.
NB Visit the ‘Our District’ section for E&H specific guidance regarding applying to move to Amber.
In this month’s Newsletter
- Mandatory Training
- National Scout HQ Updates
- HQ Webinars
- Our District
- Submitting your Covid Risk Assessment
- Walter Davies Campsite
- District Beaver Leaders Meeting
- Around the Groups
- GLMW News
- Update on Race Across Europe Competition (Scout Section)
- District Diary Dates (including remote meetings, and links to remote training options)
We have highlighted this section with a red title to draw your attention to it. It appears that the subject of training is too often missed.
On Wednesday 15th July Ben sent a personalised email to every individual where their mandatory training (Module 1, GDPR, Safety or Safeguarding) was not complete or had expired. This email had a subject line of ‘ACTION REQUIRED – Scouts – Your Training’. Whilst I had some almost immediate responses it appears that over 30 adults still need to complete GDPR…an online course that takes 15-20 minutes. If you received one of these emails from Ben please find that timeslot in your diary and complete the required ASAP.
National Scout HQ
It appears that HQ have gone webinar crazy in the last few months, with what seems to be almost daily briefings. HQ will now be storing all these webinars for anyone to access on a common page. To access the recordings, go to https://vimeo.com/showcase/7353819
Submitting Your Covid Risk Assessment
The District Executive has approved a panel of approvers with a core of Heather, Ben and Jonathan, our District Chair. If you are ready to apply to move to Amber, or would like to know more about the process, please visit https://www.scouts.org.uk/volunteers/scouts-at-home/getting-everyone-back-together-safely/ where all the guidance exists. Once your Covid Risk Assessment and Action Plan is complete and checked by the Group Scout Leader/Exec or nominated parties, please email a copy of this to our dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org so we can precheck it. The Approval Panel will review the documents and once satisfied, ask you to submit it via the HQ process for formal approval. We will also tell you who to enter as the approver out of Heather and Ben…this will change depending on our links to specific groups or for workload balancing. We aim to complete the precheck within 7 days.
Note: Keep an eye on the templates as they have already changed and you need to use the current one.
Kathy Paddison, our new Appointments Secretary, is now in post and getting up to speed with taking over from Steve Douglas. She is contactable on email@example.com. Appointments Advisory Committee meetings will be resuming shortly.
Walter Davies Campsite
The campsite is still closed but we are starting the process of compiling our Covid Risk Assessment so we can hopefully reopen in September for day visits. We hope to run single day multi-activity sessions for Scouters. Thanks to Diogene from our Explorer Team for volunteering to lead the RA Process.
The working day on 4th July went really well – huge thanks to all who came and helped! Big progress was made with the team finishing building the bouldering wall and fence, rebuilding the top campfire seating, cutting the grass in the archery and rifle range, and more. Thank you so much for everyone that came…you were fantastic.
We are holding a second working day on Saturday 15th August. This is a very focussed day as we need to strengthen and repair some of the caving chambers. We need around 12 people to mix lots of concrete and dig out mud…it will be a hard day but if you can make it that will be great…parents also welcome. Please visit https://forms.gle/XxRASfd5r9ZRZ2sh8 to sign up.
Finally, in September we are restarting the process of applying for planning permission to build the maintenance sheds and are holding a public open day on Saturday 5th September. We will be inviting local residents and parish councillors along to view our plans in advance of a formal application. If you are a regular user of the campsite and would like to come along for two hours to talk about why it’s a great facility then please email DC@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk to ‘book’ a place. 3-5pm.
District Beaver Leaders Meeting (via Zoom) Eight leaders representing 7 of our 10 Beaver Colonies met via Zoom at the start of July to share what form of virtual scouting each had found worked for them, and to consider the possibility of face-to-face scouting. September is when most Leaders felt they would be looking to seek approval to run some sessions. The team also agreed to look into running one or more District virtual sessions (Webinars) for Beavers during the Autumn.
News from around the Groups – highlighting the terrific virtual scouting that’s going on…
Virtual Family Camps: 16th Ealing and 25th Ealing
By coincidence, both Groups ran virtual Family Camps over the same week-end (18th-19th July) Seventeen families with members from all 3 sections participated in the 25E one and competed in lots of challenges that were marked throughout (and afterwards). 16E had 15 families joining in, with 20 young people (both members and siblings) and many enthusiastic parents. Heather slept overnight in a hammock for the first time. Besides a range of camp craft activities (including making mini-rafts), 16E also enjoyed a drumming workshop via Zoom with an external provider, and their Saturday evening entertainment included a pre-prepared Beavers’ talent video, plus a virtual chorus version of Land of the Silver Birch – both skilfully put together by YL Andrew Woodward.
From 1st Ealing North – information on an Inter-patrol race Howard Branley has been leading at 1EN – JOGLE 2020. This is a virtual bike (predominantly) race from John O’Groats to Land’s End. The Scouts and parents have loved it, as it’s been getting people out cycling, walking, running and swimming!
PACCAR – Open for bookings by separate households. Our County campsite is now open for bookings by families with a link to Scouting. The info isn’t on their website, but can be viewed via Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/177459838935451/posts/3646106988737368/?d=n
– or Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Virtual Race Across Europe – Update on Scout competition
Howard has confirmed that there were 2 entries from our District – his own 1st Ealing North Scouts and also 7th Hanwell Scouts.
Howard reports that the launch has gone really well and the teams completed some very long distances in week 1- plus they are working in challenges along the way. One Scout and her Explorer sister have cycled 401 km from Ealing to Wales over 5 days! (Currently both E&H groups are doing really well in the competition overall) Here’s the badge that participants will receive. There will also be medals 🥇🥈🥉and a trophy for the winners.
GLMW Newsletter Lots of useful information on funding sources, Duke of Edinburgh, Jack Petchey etc in the last GLMW Newsletter – rather than copying and pasting it all here, please use the link to read the Newsletter here https://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/news/article/early-july-2020-mx-news
Yours in Scouting
Ben and Heather
DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell