COVID-19 Information

Scout HQ have put in place a staged framework to give us a path back to face to face scouting. There are 4 stages: Red – no face to face scouting. Online only; Amber – Online and small groups face to face. No overnights; Yellow – Online and small groups face to face. Overnights allowed; Green – Full face to face scouting can return.

We are currently at Amber. You can check our current state of readiness here: scouts.org.uk/coronavirus

We have submitted risk assessments to our district and have been approved to restart face to face scouting OUTDOORS ONLY for the time being. We are working towards getting approval for indoor meetings, but outdoor meetings are still recommended by Scout HQ.

Each section has a plan in place for the half term up to October and their programme will be shared with you soon. Due to leader numbers and the maximum group size of 15 imposed by the framework, all sections will be splitting into smaller groups and meeting on a rota basis. Frequency will be dictated by the size of the section but expect to meet no more often than every other week.

There are some common sense rules which we must ask you to abide by. You must also confirm that you accept our current plan and rules as detailed above and on the following page: http://bartonscouts.co.uk/covid-plan-acceptance/.  You will not be allowed to return your child to face to face scouting until you have complete the form to confirm your understanding and acceptance of our rules and procedures. The brief summary of our rules is:

•No return without written consent

•It’s fine not to give consent

•Sessions may be shorter

•No car/lift sharing

•Minimise contact at pick-up/drop-off

•Don’t send your child if they are ill

•Stay in touch

We understand that there are valid reasons that you may be unable to accept our current plan/rules, some of which may be in our power to change, so please give feedback via the form if this is the case and we will do what we can to accommodate this.

It may also be the case that you have chosen not to return your child to scouting at all. Please pop this info in the form so we can look at freeing up space in the appropriate section. This will also stop you getting these long emails.

It is possible that we may move to a different level of readiness at any time on either a national or local basis. This will require you to give us updated permission, so we may be in touch to get you t repeat the completion of the form. We hope this small bit of admin on your part isn’t too much of a hassle, especially not when compared to the admin on our end!

  • COVID Readiness – Move from Green to Yellow

    Good afternoon

    It’s a while since I have had the misfortune of having to write a COVID update, but here I am again.

    As of 1300 today (December 2nd) HQ has moved scouting in England to the yellow readiness level having previously been at green for a number of months.

    For those of you who weren’t part of the group during the early days of the pandemic, Scout HQ has a four-stage colour-coded readiness plan for scouting in England which is based on guidance from the National Youth Agency. This ensures that we are aligned with other youth organisations across the country. The precise meaning of each level has been adjusted over time, but in this instance yellow means:

    • Changes to international travel and nights away guidance (this doesn’t affect us)
    • Anyone 11+ attending an indoor scouting activity must wear a mask unless exempt (this does)

    In practical terms this means most Scouts, all Explorers and all adults are required to wear a mask indoors unless exempt.

    This, and common sense around social distancing indoors while delivering our programme, means that we are likely to have to make some changes in the coming weeks, including tonight’s Beaver and Scout meetings. This could include changes to venue, a move to put some sessions online or cancellation. Your section leadership team will be in touch in due course to let you know of any changes.

    Please bear with us while we try to work out the best thing to do in the circumstances, and keep a close eye on your emails for updates from your section. Where sessions do go ahead, but you have COVID-related reservations about sending your child along, you will not be penalised or lose a place due to non-attendance.

    We hope this will be a brief stay at yellow, and we’ll be in touch if anything changes.

    As ever, please feel free to get in touch with me or your section leaders with any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions.

    Thanks

    Gavin

  • Returning to Face to Face Scouting

    Schools are starting to go back this week and we intend to get back to scouting on the following dates:

    Beavers/Scouts: Thursday 10th 2020

    SeptemberCubs: Monday 14th September 2020

    We’ve gone through a pretty arduous risk assessment process over the summer which is in the process of being approved by our scouting district. The current plan is to restart with a combination of online and…wait for it…face to face OUTDOOR activities.

    What we are able to do will vary from section to section and possibly from week to week, and there will be plans in place to keep all our participants and leaders safe. We’ll also need written consent from our parents before we can accept your children back in a face to face setting.

    With this in mind we plan to run a Zoom meeting for all parents on Monday 7th September during the usual Cub meeting time. We’ll explain the risk assessment process and the NYA alert levels and the plans for each section.

    Don’t worry if you can’t make the meeting. We will follow up with all the info by email afterwards.

    Bear with us while we get up and running. It’s possible that we need to stick to online for a couple of weeks while we get all the required permissions back from parents, but we’ll keep you informed as we go along.

    Feel free to get in touch with any questions, either here, via Messenger, by texting your section leader or emailing bartonscouts@gmail.com

    You should have already received an invitation to the Zoom meeting, but drop us a line if that’s missed you somehow.

    Thanks

    Gavin

  • Coronavirus Update – March 2020

    As of Tuesday March 17th, all face to face scouting has been suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

    We are constantly reviewing government guidance and information from Scouts HQ and we will be back as soon as we possibly can. In the meantime, here are a few things you should know:

    1. Subs will be reduced to £5 per month from April onwards for at least 3 months while our outgoings are slightly less. If you find yourself considering cancelling your direct debit for any reason, get in touch with us. We will happily waive subs payments rather than see you struggle finically.
    2. Marra Camp is postponed until next year. They will issue refunds as soon possible and at that point we’ll be in touch about getting refunds out to you. Bear with us while this is sorted.
    3. The Ypres trip did not get enough bookings to go ahead, and with the travel situation as it is in Europe we are not looking at alternatives this year. Hopefully we will sort this in the future. If you paid a deposit and didn’t give me bank details for a refund, please get in touch ASAP so we can return your money.

    A pause to face to face scouting does not mean that scouting has stopped altogether. We plan to run some virtual nights away during April, and will join with Northumberland Scouts on April 30th to try to set a world record for the biggest virtual camp!

    We’re also looking at getting some online sessions set up to keep you scouting. The first of these will happen tonight for Beavers, when Catherine will talk us through the Parent Portal part of Online Scout Manager where you can check on your badge progress, see what you need to do next and upload evidence so you can continue getting badges from home.

    We’ve finally moved into the 21st century and got ourselves on Facebook. More regular updates will appear there. Find us here: https://www.facebook.com/1stBartonScouts

    If you need to get into the parent portal, you can find it here: https://www.onlinescoutmanager.co.uk/features/parents.html Your login info is the same as when you first signed up to your DD. You can use this for badges online, DD changes and updating contact details.

    Stay safe and get in touch if you need anything.