We excited to be able to share the latest updates regarding face-to-face Scouting for Penistone Scouts.

UK Scouting, with the National Youth Agency (NYA), has been in dialogue with the UK Government throughout the pandemic. This information is based on their latest discussions.

From 29 March (today), we have moved to Amber, with members allowed to meet outdoors with a maximum of one section taking part (e.g. one Cub pack or one Scout troop)

From 12 April, both outdoors and indoors meetings are likely to be allowed. The maximum group sizes for an indoor programme have yet to be advised—the outside limit remaining as a single section attending.

These dates are at the earliest based on the Government roadmap.

What does this mean for Penistone Scouts?

We have planned a virtual programme through to the summer break. For all sections we will keep these up our sleeves to fall back on should any local restrictions be imposed.

In tandem, we’ve planned and prepared a face-to-face programme that will start after the Easter break. These are in place through to the summer break. Note for Beavers and Cubs, it will be a blended program, so that means some weeks will be on-line, and others will be outside / inside the building as possible.

How will it work?

Beavers will be issued their packs over the Easter holiday. In some cases, we may ask for particular contents to be brought to the face-to-face meetings.

Cubs will receive their packs (if they have requested one). These have been created with the virtual sessions in mind; where those items are needed at a face-to-face meeting, we will provide suitable contents for those who opted out of the virtual programme.

Scouts don’t currently have anything to be delivered to them. Our programme will either be face-to-face or, should we need to fall back to virtual Scouting, will make use of things the young people have at home.

Explorers, we are sure, will have an exciting programme too. Please look for messages from the central District team for these.

We will let you know as soon as possible, whether we are online or meeting in-person. We’ll also let you know where and the timings surrounding the sessions where we are meeting in-person.

Keeping everyone safe

Our top priorities are the safety and wellbeing of both the young people and our volunteers. It is essential our volunteers, the young people and the parents/guardians of the young people are comfortable we are safe.

Similar to the last lockdown easing, we will only be able to have young people attend face-to-face sessions where a suitable adult has given explicit written permission for their young person to take part. We achieve this through Online Scout Manager event invitations.

All our activities are thoroughly risk assessed, documented, and require Rob’s approval as the Group Scout Leader and then a District team representative. This has to be in place before any invitations are sent out.

Our adult volunteers, as a minimum, undertake safety and safeguarding training. They also either hold a valid first-aid certificate or, as new volunteers, are in the process of attaining one. No event or meeting can take place without a suitable number of first aiders present.

We have COVID specific measures for our meetings and suitable protections in place. Appropriate information is sent out before face-to-face meetings, so it’s both timely and relevant.