September 2021 Newsletter from the DC & DDC Team

Date: 13th Sep 2021 Author: Heather Jones

Since our last Newsletter in July, we’ve packed in quite a lot! We had a hugely successful Camporee. We followed up our Archery Permit training in July with Air Rifles training in August. The District ran a promotional stall at the Hanwell Carnival. A few Groups managed to get back to a bit of camping in August or early September. Many of us enjoyed following Jonathan and Brett’s progress as they cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for 7th Hanwell’s refurbishment project.  And of course the England state of readiness eventually moved to Green.

Looking ahead as we start the Autumn term, we certainly have lots to look forward to – including (for most) regular face to face sessions for our young people, quite a few more Group and Section week-end camps in the next few weeks, and a number of District events – including our District AGM and – very excitingly – the Jamboree Roadshow for our area, which we want all eligible Scouts and Explorers to attend!

But while we relish all that this term has in store, we must recognise that things still have to be a bit different. We have included a section to help you consider what is meant by Readiness Level Green. Graeme Hamilton has updated his previous phrase ‘just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should’ – see more below.

Here’s a summary of this month’s Newsletter:

  • District AGM (with presentation of awards)

  • Recent District events (Camporee, Permit training, Hanwell Carnival)

  • News from the Groups (7H fund-raising, 16E camp, 5H camp)

  • Coming Up: Jamboree Roadshow, Totem, Beaver Hike, Cub Monopoly Run

  • District Waiting List

  • Covid: Guidance on current Scouting’s rules for England

  • Activity Notifications and Nights Away Notifications

District AGM, with presentation of Awards – 22nd September, 8pm

(UPDATE: Since the Newsletter was circulated, the AGM was switched to a being a Virtual event)

Thank you to all who responded to the recent consultation. We are aiming to go ahead with an ‘in person’ meeting* and have opted for a much larger indoor space than Leighton Hall, to increase the social distancing. The District AGM will therefore take place at St Barnabas Church on Pitshanger Lane. Besides a socially distanced layout, other measures will be in place – including asking everyone to wear face coverings. The link to register will be sent to all with the AGM invitation in the next few days. (if you don’t receive this, just get in touch and we will forward it) The link will give you 3 options:1.  attendance in person; 2. Remote viewing option (ie following the proceedings via zoom or similar – technology permitting and not guaranteed – but we will do our best to provide this) 3. send your apologies. When using the link, please read the full details of the covid-safety measures being put in place before you choose which option will be appropriate for you.

*AGM to be in person, subject to any last minute significant change in circumstances. We reserve the option to switch the AGM to a fully virtual event IF that should become necessary at any point between now and 22nd September. Any such change would of course be fully publicised and all those registered to attend in person would be alerted with as much notice as possible..

Recent District events

  • Camporee  What a fantastic event this was! Held at Walter Davies in July, 75 cubs took part in this much loved annual event. Martin writes: “This year each pack attended for two days, taking part in a range of activities, including Air Rifle, Archery, Bouldering, Backwoods Cooking, Blind String Trail and Mini Rafts. In the evenings we had a campfire, as well as a brilliant wide game run by our young leaders. The Cubs also learnt valuable skills for life, learning how to light fires, cook their own dinner and of course how to do the washing up! The highlight of the event was the inflatable Assault Course and Zorb Football which despite the wet weather were thoroughly enjoyed! As well as having a super time, all the Cubs achieved their Adventure Challenge Award. Well Done Cubs!”  Huge thanks to Martin and the whole team for organising everything so brilliantly. 

  • Air Rifles course  Seven out of the twelve spaces on this course were filled by E&H. Many thanks to Cliff for arranging for the course to run at Walter Davies. As with the Archery course, the District provided funding for our Leaders (one funded place per Group/Explorer Section & 2 WD crew) We are delighted that all succeeded in gaining the qualification and that we now have additional leaders who will be able to help give more of our young people the chance to participate in this  sport, particularly when using the range at Walter Davies.

  • Hanwell Carnival We took a different approach to our annual recruitment event this time round and put on some skills sessions to attract passers-by. The rain certainly didn’t dampen the spirit and we had some really great engagement. Thank you to the leaders who gave up their Saturday to help us with this – an important tool to raise visibility in the community and key for the future growth strategy for the District.

News from the Groups

  • 7th Hanwell – Jonathan’s Cycle Ride You may know that 7th Hanwell have been raising money for some time to renovate The Warren. That fund-raising has had a £10,000+ boost – thanks to one of their Scouts, Jonathan Slater. The 14 year old cycled from Land’s End to John O Groats with the mission of raising funds for the refurbishment. And he achieved his mission and target! Read his blog or donate by clicking on the links.

  • 16th Ealing – Scout Camp at PACCAR (with thanks to Nigel for this report) 16th Ealing Scouts went ahead with our Troop Summer Camp in early August.  Keeping with the brief from HQ to keep things local, we hastily rearranged our campsite from Biblins near Ross on Wye to Paccar.  Despite on-camp lateral flow testing and extra tents to keep occupancy levels down, a fantastic week in the great outdoors was had by the 19 Scouts and 6 Leaders.  We followed a back to basics theme relearning the skills for open fire cooking, gadget building, pioneering and navigation.  Thanks to Paccars onsite activities and their great service crew, we did High Ropes, Tomahawk Throwing and some Hammock Camping.  A couple of groups completed their Expedition Challenge and we managed a kayaking session on the Grand Union Canal near Harefield.  It was good to be back doing what Scouts do and gives us all hope for the new term ahead. 

  • 5th Hanwell – Camp at SAC  40 Scouts and Cubs attended a two night camp at the end of the school holidays. It was challenging working within restrictions (e.g. ⅔ occupancy in tents/dorms), but the weekend was great fun with young people enjoying: Climbing, Archery, Riffles, Pioneering and Kayaking. The Cubs also did Community Impact work by clearing litter from the banks of the canal, whilst Scouts focused on honing campcraft skills. For many young people this was their first camp, following such a long period without these sorts of events.

To share YOUR activity experiences in our next newsletter- email

Coming up

  • District AGM & Awards  – Wednesday 22nd September, 8pm. (See details above: please register to attend)

  • Jamboree Roadshow Tuesday 28th September at 1st Hanwell HQ. The Jamboree in 2023 in South Korea will be an amazing experience and we hope that several young people from this District will be there as part of the GLMW contingent. The Jamboree Roadshow on 28th September  is for Explorers and Scouts (and their parents) to find out more and help inspire you to apply for either the Jamboree itself ,or the Jamborette (also in 2023). Contact your Scout Leader or Explorer leader now for further details and to book a Roadshow place on 28th Sept. NB There will also be two virtual road shows on offer on 12th and 21st October if you can’t attend on 28th September. But the closing date for young people to apply to GLMW  is 31st October, so the sooner you can get the information you need, the better! The selection process will take place in November. To be eligible to attend the Jamboree in 2023,  the young person must have been born between 22 July 2005 and 31 July 2009 – no exceptions. More information about Jamboree 2023 (South Korea) available on the main Scout Website:

  • Totem 2nd-3rd October. Stuart and team are planning a Totem Skills event for Scouts at our Walter Davies site. Full details to follow very shortly.

  • Beaver Hike  Saturday 9th October. This is being organised by Sarah Mercan – details to follow soon. And a reminder that there’ll be a District Beaver Leaders meeting on Monday 27th September.

  • Cubs Monopoly Run  Sunday 10th October. Back by popular demand! The Cub Monopoly Run will take place on Sunday 10th October 2021 from 2pm to 4.30pm at 25th Ealing’s HQ.  Teams of up to 6 Cubs will compete against each other to try and visit as many locations around Ealing as they can in 2 hours. Participants will earn the Navigator Stage 2 and Local Knowledge badges. There will be a prize for the winning team. Entry £2 per Cub. Team entries to be in by 1st October. For further details contact Martin Truss.

Covid: Guidance on current Scouting rules for England
We are now at Green. Certainly there is easing and flexibility compared to last term, but Green clearly doesn’t mean ‘back to normal’, given the ongoing risks of covid infection. Leaders are expected to continue to apply good hygiene and covid-safe approaches to all our scouting activities

In the Readiness level for England it says at the top: “As with all Scouts activities you need to have a risk assessment and be clear on how you are managing the transmission of COVID”.

Also, in the England at Green section, it still says “all activities must be able to safely manage the risk of transmission of COVID and, if this is not possible, they must not take place”.

Graeme Hamilton has updated his previous well known phrase as follows:”Just because there is no legal requirement…..[it doesn’t mean you should stop being careful] please do rigorously risk assess your events and trips and make sure to keep yourselves and all young people safe. Remember, just because you can [stop taking certain measures], doesn’t mean you have to, and things like space, hand washing and face coverings will still be good safe things to do.’

We have highlighted three aspects of the new rules below, but please do look at the full guidance: Readiness Level for England and Protecting ourselves and others . Also useful is Planning a Safe and Enjoyable Programme 

  1. Social Distancing

“Social distancing is still encouraged when in poorly ventilated spaces (note: any requirements by facilities and external providers must be followed).”

This is a minimum – not a ban on using social distancing when it would be a sensible measure to help you to manage the risk of infection.  But certainly we are no longer required in England to enforce 2m distancing between all our young people when running activities outdoors or in a large well ventilated hall. (Adapted activities with a degree of social distancing may however still be helpful as part of our approach to covid safety: you can filter for socially distant activities  on the Activity Finder)

  1. Face Coverings

“Face coverings are required to be worn by certain people participating in Scouts activities indoors: when direct physical contact is a requirement of the activity; when physical contact is required in response to an incident ; in poorly ventilated spaces

If face coverings are appropriate this applies to Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Scout Network and Adults.”

Again, this is a minimum TSA standard for England – we recommend that you consider local circumstances and exercise judgement on whether to use/encourage the use of face coverings at other times and in other circumstances than those listed.

  1. Residential activities

Finally, one other recent change is the lifting of the absolute limit of 6 per tent/indoor room for residential activities. The recommendation to carry out lateral flow testing (age 11 and above) remains in place however (but with one minor modification for those recently recovered from covid to avoid a false positive). Please read Planning COVID-safe Nights Away in full for all the details if you wish to organise a camp or sleepover.

To reiterate: your written Risk Assessments – required anyway for all your sessions  and activities – should  include your updated covid-safety measures for this term (to update old covid RAs, by all means simply annotate your originally approved Covid RA, deleting anything you won’t now be insisting upon and highlighting the measures you will be taking to manage the transmission of COVID). DC approval is still needed for Camp RAs (including covid aspects), but otherwise – in line with other RAs –  Covid RAs should now be agreed at Group level. There is no longer any TSA submission portal for covid RAs. Please make sure you communicate your RAs to everyone who needs to administer and/or follow them.

Activity Notifications and Nights Away Notifications

The DC’s responsibility for all activities (under POR 9.1b)  is mostly delegated to GSLs; but you need to seek DC level approval (as well as your GSL being happy) in the following cases. Section leaders need to provide an Activity Notification to the DC in advance of any session held away from your usual HQ. Please also use the same Activity Notification to seek DC approval for any Adventurous Permit Activity or Shooting activity, regardless of location (if in doubt whether your planned activity requires DC approval, please just check informally).

DC approval is also needed for all residential activities through the Nights Away Notification system. (Please note that Leaders MUST liaise with their GSL and have their explicit support for the event as planned prior to seeking DC approval.) We prefer that everyone uses the NAN form on the E&H website to submit the required details. Remember that you MUST also provide a full Risk Assessment (covering both the general and covid-safety aspects of the camp). It is helpful if GSLs/Leaders can let the DC know informally (by email) about any planned camp well ahead of the actual NAN and RA submission as this makes it much easier to support you and iron out any problems which might otherwise prevent approval.

 Please note: we will be aiming to send the Newsletter earlier in the month from now on. Previously it was 18th, this month it’s 13th, but in future we will aim for the 10th of each month.

Yours in Scouting

Heather, Nisha & Mandy

DC & DDC Team, Ealing & Hanwell



Thurs 9th – District Executive Committee

Tues 21st – AAC Panel

Wed 22nd – District AGM

Monday 27th – District Beaver Leaders meeting

Tuesday 28th – Jamboree roadshow


Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd – Totem Skills event for Scouts

Sat 9th – E&H Beaver Hike

Sun 10th – E&H Cub Monopoly Run

Tue 12th – Core Team meeting

Tue 12th – GLMW Virtual Jamboree Roadshow

Tues 19th – AAC Panel

Thurs 21st – GLMW Virtual Jamboree Roadshow

Wed 20th – GSLs meeting


Sun 14th – Remembrance Sunday Parade

Tues 16th – AAC Panel

Thurs 25th – District Executive

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