Recently Ben and Heather had several opportunities to catch up (virtually) with the myriad ways people are continuing to offer scouting within our District during these difficult times. One such opportunity was during our virtual Core Team meeting, with section ADCs and other key members of the District Team, and another was at our GSLs & Group representatives meeting, with all 10 Groups involved. Both of these virtual gatherings provided a very heartening picture (as did the Virtual District Beaver Leaders meeting which Heather also attended in her role as a BSL).
Different leaders/sections/groups have clearly found different options that work for them – be that regular zoom sessions or Facebook page updates or emails to parents. There’s a great desire to keep in touch with all our wonderful young people and their parents, and to keep things going really positively until we are able to resume face-to-face scouting, whenever that may be. We know that uptake can vary (some parents have too much on their plate to respond to extra scouting suggestions), but overall the response has been fantastic. Scouting has clearly been offering something hugely valuable to many, many young people in our District during this long period of separation. The social aspect of Zoom meetings for children unable to see their friends has been mentioned in particular.
We remain very conscious that some of our adult members are having an extremely tough time – and we want to ensure that scouting doesn’t feel like an unwelcome pressure. Perhaps, however, there are other approaches that might be appropriate and appreciated? We know that a number of section leaders have key-worker or caring responsibilities that leave them feeling they have no time, energy or appetite for virtual scouting. In such cases, there’s certainly scope for others in the same Group both to support that adult leader and to avoid losing contact with the young people in the section when the usual leader can’t do it – perhaps through flexible team-working across other sections. Let’s all keep checking in. We don’t want any of our young people to drift away through lack of contact so it’s absolutely critical that we maintain contact…but it doesn’t have to be every week or the normal section leader.
In this month’s Newsletter
- Virtual Scouting continues
- Handy resources for Zoom Sessions (or similar) via Facebook
- Our District
- District-wide Live Event – Monday 8th June, 8pm (recognising our amazing adults)
- District Zoom accounts
- GLMW initiatives and opportunities
- Care for Care Homes
- Jack Petchey Awards
- Other helpful updates from Scout HQ
- District Diary Dates (including remote meetings)
Virtual Scouting continues
Despite the slight easing of lock-down rules by the Government, and confirmation of a very limited return to school for some pupils after half-term, it remains very unlikely that face-to-face scouting will be possible any time soon. We must await the go-ahead from Scout HQ before ANY face-to-face scouting can happen. As well as ordinary weekly meetings – indoor or outdoors – many of us are left wondering about summer camps – again, we are holding on to the slim hope, but recognising that the balance of probability is that such activities won’t be authorised until September at the very earliest. Note: the ban on face-to-face scouting does not mean that you can’t visit your HQ to make sure it is safe or perhaps visit an older member of your Scouting community to make sure they are safe (whilst maintaining social distance).
Handy Resources for Zoom sessions (or similar) via Facebook
Lots of handy ready-made programme material designed for Zoom meetings is available via the 1st Virtual Scout Group on Facebook. Many files have been uploaded there. It is a Private Group – you will need a Facebook identity and then just request to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/208981546868424
District-wide Live Event – Monday 8th June, 8pm:
Celebration of Achievements by Adult Members
Large gatherings in person aren’t going to be an option for quite some time, and we therefore want to try a District-wide virtual event to bring us all together, albeit via screens. You are all invited! This will be a Celebration of Achievements by many of our Adult Members. It will include the announcement – and in some cases ‘virtual’ presentation – of various Long Service Awards, prestigious Good Service Awards and a number of hard-earned Wood Badges. All of these had been due to be presented during our St George’s Day District Parade in April. We don’t want to hang on to them, waiting for face-to-face scouting to resume – since that would delay these important recognitions and thank yous for far too long. And we wanted to make it a bit special, rather than just sending everything in the post unannounced. (the physical items will, however, still need to be sent by post – which will follow straight AFTER the announcements on 8th June). Parents, Leaders, GSLs, Groups Executive members – we want all of you to join us please. The log-in details will be made available in due course. Please note that there will be a recording available afterwards, for anyone unable to attend ‘live’. A list of all the announced Awards and Wood Badges will also be posted on the District Website the day after the live event.
Having a recording available should help with sharing relevant short extracts of the live event with our younger sections. Young people from our older sections are also very welcome to attend the live event.
Please note that Chief Scout Awards that have already been presented to Beavers, Cubs or Scouts within their groups over the past year won’t be read out. We will check with GLMW whether their planned event specifically for all such top award recipients is going to go ahead in the autumn – subject to the resumption of face-to-face scouting. If not, we will organise a separate virtual event for the top award recipients in our District instead.
District Zoom Accounts
The District has decided to fund two Zoom licenses, so that all 10 Groups can use them if they wish. The National arrangement has still not gone live. Once it does, it may not be as limited in number as we had at first thought – but we were keen to provide this option in any case, due to the continuing delay, and will happily continue to fund them once the free accounts are supplied, subject to usage. The log in details for the two District Zooms have been provided to all GSLs. We will review and increase the number if these two are not sufficient to meet the demand.
GLMW initiatives and Support
Upcoming GLMW Events (virtual and themed activity suggestions, linked with the 20in20 Challenge badge)
25th-31st May – 20in20 Reducing Pollution.
8th-14th June – 20in20 Being Inclusive
Sunday 21st June – Critters Go Crazy – Beaverama and Cub Day Online This will run from the GLMW Facebook page where you can meet some of our favourite animals including alpacas and birds of prey, take part in live question and answer sessions as well as trying out some of our animal themed activities with the PACCAR crew.
22nd-28th June – 20in20 Connecting with the World
GLMW Programme support for Beavers
The ACC for Beavers, Sarah Appleby, has been sending out regular emails with ready-to-use activity sheets attached. These are being forwarded to all our Beaver leaders by Laura, our ADC Beavers. Most recently Sarah sent out a really handy activity sheet linked to the Climbing Higher section of the GLMW 20in20 Challenge.
Care for Care Homes – National Scouting campaign
Join us in reducing the loneliness and improving the wellbeing of people in care homes as we collectively carry out 10,000 acts of kindness.
Care homes have been hit incredibly hard by the current global pandemic, from residents falling ill to being separated from their loved ones. Our young people have told us that they usually help care homes throughout the year and that the current crisis shouldn’t stop that from happening.
That’s why over the next few weeks we’re asking our young people to collectively carry out 10,000 acts of kindness to help residents in their local care home, become kindness champions and show that they ‘care for care homes’. From crafts to letters, videos to swapping skills, our young people will help care home residents to feel less lonely and more connected during the current health crisis. You can find more information and ideas of how to show you care here.
Jack Petchey Awards
Even though our young people aren’t taking part in face to face Scouting, they are still doing amazing things. The Jack Petchey award scheme continues to run through the current situation and you should carry on nominating young people who are overcoming challenges, thinking of others or just being exceptional. Here is further detail from our District’s Jack Petchey co-ordinator, Kate Paddison. Contact via email@example.com
“The next round of JP nominations is open – if you would like to nominate a member of your scout or explorers group please email me and include the following information:
their dob / a brief supporting statement / what you plan to spend the award money on
/ relevant Group/District sort code and bank account number. Ealing and Hanwell can submit three nominations; first come, first served. Just to refresh your memories: nominations can be accepted for young adults aged 11 – 25. They must have demonstrated a significant contribution to their scout or explorer group’. The winners will receive £250 for their group to spend on a specific activity or item and will be invited to an award ceremony to celebrate their achievement – date to be confirmed due to covid-19. I’d be grateful if you could send me your nominations by the end of this month, 31st May.”
More information from Scout HQ
- Extension of First Aid
“We know that there’ll be a backlog of volunteers requiring first aid training once face-to-face Scouting returns and so in order to reduce the impact of this, we’re giving volunteers an extension to their existing first aid training expiry date. It will be extended for six months from when face-to-face Scouting resumes.”
- Safety and Safeguarding
“Regular email reminders are being sent directly to all members who have outstanding mandatory ongoing safety and safeguarding training on Compass, and outstanding Module 1 or Module 1 EX learning. We’re also sending an email to line managers to let them know who we’ve asked to undertake their training. We’re providing this link to members so that they can see why the training is required.” ….”In June 2020, we’ll be updating our online Safeguarding training. This will incorporate the latest advice, and the training itself will work better on mobiles and other devices. It’ll become easier for learners to complete their training.” Also – due to be ready for early autumn – “Changing the renewal timescale of safety and safeguarding ongoing learning from five years to three years. Fixing bugs and access to reports within Compass to provide training roles access and to provide more accurate data.”
- Online briefings and support – information via Scout UK website
Scoutcast Tue 26th May Add to calendar This is a locally organised, weekly radio show for Beavers and Cubs. It’s aiming to help these sections continue to do badge work while we aren’t meeting face to face, especially if leaders are unable to run Scouts virtually. Find out more and listen to previous episodes here: scout.radio/play.
How to structure and deliver an online programme session Wed 27th May 6pm-7.30pm If you’re not sure how to get started, or would like some more inspiration and technical advice about running your programme online – join us on Wednesday 27 May at 6pm for support. You’ll hear from other volunteers about how you can deliver activities using online technology and get the chance to ask any questions you may have (You need to register for this) https://www.scouts.org.uk/events/the-great-indoors/#
Group Scout Leader Essentials – Pre-recorded Webinar on Role of the Group Scout Leader – To access the recording of this webinar – run by Regional Services – just click on the ‘Register here’ box on this page https://www.scouts.org.uk/events/group-scout-leader-essentials/
All Members National briefing – 24 June meeting 2020 at 7pm At the last online meeting in April, we said we’d host another online meeting in June to discuss our thoughts on the future of our movement. We’d encourage you to attend if you can. We’ll share more details on the content and how to join the call in future members’ emails. This page will also feature instructions on how to join. https://www.scouts.org.uk/events/all-members-online-meeting/
Yours in Scouting
Ben and Heather
DC Team, Ealing & Hanwell