March 2020 Newsletter from the DC Team

Date: 22nd Mar 2020 Author: Ben Pearson

Well, this is a very strange District Newsletter to write.  I was watching the PM’s daily update on Friday and suggested to my wife that we should play a game of “unprecedented” bingo, marking our card every time that word was mentioned, and these certainly are unprecedented times.  Coronavirus is changing what we perceive to be the norm, changing our everyday routines and habits for an unknown duration.  I, Ben, have been lucky enough to be a leader for over 20 years and cannot think of a single occasion where I missed two consecutive weeks of Scouting…outside of school holidays and now I don’t know when I will next be running a normal meeting.

Heather is currently busy dealing with her very unwell father so I’m going solo on this News so any mistakes or typos are mine alone.  Unless it’s critically important that you contact Heather directly it would be helpful if you could refer any DC queries to me for the next few weeks.

We thank you for everything you can do during these challenging times to keep Scouting going.

Ben

Here’s our Newsletter – see below for a quick contents list. 

  • Suspension of Scouting
  • Keeping Scouting Going
  • Technology
  • St George’s Day
  • Totem
  • Training
  • News around the District 
  • District Diary Dates

 

Suspension of Scouting

Tim Kidd, UK Chief Commissioner, announced that, with effect from Tuesday 17th March, ALL face-to-face Scouting meetings, activities and events must be suspended.  This applies to young people and adults.  There is currently no end date on this suspension.  If you have not already done so, please update your groups regarding this.

Keeping Scouting Going.

We want to encourage you and your teams to continue Scouting in any way you can, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the previous paragraph.

    • Young People – The Scouts have released their Great Indoors programme.  This includes over 100 activities that the young people can do from the safety of their own home.  Please review them and look to keep your section running where possible and where applicable, award the badge.  Use technology (see later on) where that’s an option.  There are loads of examples appearing on Scout Facebook groups of great things happening.
      The link is https://www.scouts.org.uk/the-great-indoors/

      Also, whilst there are no restrictions on us being outside this is a fantastic time to encourage our young people AND their families to get outside and celebrate the activities that underpin Scouting; bike rides, countryside walks, etc…as long as the social distancing rules can be maintained and, where applicable, self-isolating.

 

  • Adults – Please continue to hold your Execs, Sectional and other meetings using the technology we have available to us (see later on).  HQ have passed an amendment to POR allowing online/electronic meetings as below:

 

    • Electronic voting (such as email) is allowed for decision making of the County/District/Group Executive Committee and its sub-Committees when deemed appropriate by the Chair. In such instances at least 75% of committee members must approve the decision.
    • The County/District/Group Executive Committee & its sub-Committees can meet by telephone conference, video conference as well as face to face in order to discharge its responsibilities when agreed by the appropriate Chair.

Technology

Modern technology allows us to keep Scouting going in a way that wouldn’t have been possible 10-15 years ago.  If your group has moved to an email system based on either Google Suite, as the District has, or Microsoft Office 365 then you have either Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams to hold multiple participant video conferences.  There is also a video conferencing product Zoom that appears to be popular with Scouting.  Zoom has a free version that allows 100 participants per meeting.  Visit https://zoom.us/ to learn more.

Important – Normal safeguarding rules apply when holding online meetings.  There must be two Scouting DBS’ed adults present and no leader must be alone with a young person.

If you have Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams and need assistance using them then please do get in touch.

St George’s Day 2020 

We have taken the decision to postpone St George’s Day and will look to hold some version of it once normality has returned.  Thank you to the organising committee and the groups that have been making flags in preparation.

Totem

We have also taken the decision to postpone Totem Camp.  Whilst it’s 6 weeks away so there is, of course, the small chance that the suspension may have been lifted that would leave the participants with limited time to prepare.  Stuart and his team will review the calendar once normality returns to see if this can be fitted in.

We have not currently cancelled any District events beyond Totem (start of May) but will be reviewing this on a regular basis.

Training

We talked about the importance of mandatory training and risk assessments last month and this suspension of normal activities gives us a fantastic opportunity to get on top of those tasks that never quite make it to the top of the list.

GLMW have cancelled all training courses until 31st May when they will review the situation.

NEWS AROUND THE DISTRICT

Our final two District events just squeezed in before the suspension.  There were:

Cub Monopoly Run – Sunday 15th March.  Words by Nisha Patel, ADC (Cubs)

The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the 60 odd Cubs that turned up for our first ever District Monopoly Run!  25E won the prize, but a fab time was had by all!  Massive shout out to Martin Truss who has spent hours putting together the route, spreadsheet and thinking through how it would work logistically!

District Cross Country – Sunday 1st March.  Words by Stuart Flaye, ADC (Scouts)

The District Cross Country event took place on 1st March.  We had a decent turn-out with 37 Beavers, 41 Cubs, 20 Scouts, and 12 Explorers and Parents taking on the course.  Well done to everybody who took part in the event and gave it a go.  Thank you to all those who stood and marshalled the course; and to Mandy from 5th Hanwell for running the refreshments.  All your help was very much appreciated.

A summary of the results are as follows: 

Beavers – Individual

1st – Jack, 7th Hanwell

2nd – Samuel, 8th Hanwell

3rd – Mikel, 6th Ealing

 

Beavers – Team

1st – 1st Ealing North

2nd – 16th Ealing

3rd – 6th Ealing

 

Cubs – Individual

1st – Hal, 16th Ealing

2nd – Alexander, 1st Ealing North (SB)

3rd – Luke, 1st Ealing North (SP)

 

Cubs – Team

1st – 16th Ealing

2nd – 1st Ealing North (SB)

3rd – 1st Ealing North (SP)

 

Scouts Under 12 – Individual

1st – Alex, 7th Hanwell

2nd – Sam, 16th Ealing

3rd – Lukas, 1st Ealing North

 

Scouts Under 12 – Team

1st – 16th Ealing

2nd – 7th Hanwell

3rd – 1st Ealing North

 

Scouts 12 and Over – Individual

1st – Fraser, 16th Ealing

2nd – Elliot, 5th Hanwell

3rd – Joseph, 16th Ealing

 

Scouts 12 and Over – Team

1st – 16th Ealing

2nd – 5th Hanwell

3rd – 1st Ealing North

 

Well done to the 16th Ealing who retain the Scouts trophy overall.

 

Explorers/Open

1st – David, 1st Ealing North

2nd – Simon, 5th Hanwell

3rd – Ralph, 1st Ealing North

 

 

Yours in Scouting

Ben and Heather

DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell  

dc@ealingandhanwellscouts.org.uk

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Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls