Whilst scouting has had to adapt very quickly to the realities of a global pandemic there are lots of great resources available. Some are about virtual or remote opportunities, whilst others are about COVID secure face to face when circumstances permit. Why not take a look….

We are changing young peoples lives at a time when they need us most, and have an opportunity to grow numbers even more as restrictions are eased in the months ahead. It is exciting to see that planning has taken place to allow for returning to socially distanced face to face scouting, when leadership teams are ready to do so, and especially to think longer term about being able to return to the nights away that we have all no doubt missed so much.

The following provide a range of virtual and face to face inspiration as we move forward, and for many a “mix and match” will be needed for some time.

Initially any social distancing and number limits may need even more creative thinking for face to face scouting so here’s some ideas based on what people tried last time it was possible:

  • for larger sections split them up and :
    • run back to back sessions (with a gap to avoid cross over) over the course of a morning or afternoon at a weekend, using the same programme
    • rotate small groups over regular meeting times over a period of weeks. For example in week 1 Group A enjoy some virtual cooking at home, Group B meet face to face for individual fire making in a local campsite whilst Group C enjoy a scavenger hunt in a local nature reserve or park. Repeat and rotate until all 3 groups have completed all 3 activities
    • split into 2 groups (including adults) and rotate over two weeks, so one are virtual and one face to face.
  • Groups / Units with suitable outside space might not need them every evening and weekend. Using the support of Active Support Units and other volunteers perhaps some backwoods skills sessions, spread out on site, could see small groups of other young people using fire pits / cooking stoves or learning knife skills.
  • Get together (virtually or face to face) with other sections, this could be in your own District or further afield. This could be as leaders to share programme and resources through to the practicalities of working directly with the young people.
  • Reach out to those who perhaps don’t normally deliver programme every week, but have a wealth of experience and skills (or “just” an extra pair of hands) they would be happy to help out with. This could be parents or carers, members of a District or County Active Support Unit through to District or County Team members. #TogetherWeCanDoThis
  • Schools, and other normal meeting places, might not (yet) be available. Think outside the box and use village greens,  seek permission to use a field owned by a friendly farmer or other landowner or approach local sports groups etc. If asked for Public Liability insurance and / or to sign anything you will need to contact Unity Insurance – who can check things through for you. Worried about the weather and don’t think waterproofs will solve the problem due to the activity? Use suitable marquees / shelters etc – or use those scouting skills to construct something suitable.

Worth noting that when planning activities one of the largest logistical challenges can be about social distancing when arriving or leaving,  access to things like toilets as well as cleaning “touch points” (such as gate / door handles and taps for example) – all basics for the risk assessment required.

As day visits and activities are permitted why not take a look at some of the ones across Cambridgeshire (once re-open!) you might want to consider.

Challenge 21

On St George’s Day (23rd April) we will be launching your new County Commissioners Challenge – but as that is a bit of a mouthful it will be known as “Challenge 21” ! 

Details were emailed to all Cambridgeshire Scouts adult members on 22nd April 2021

Regional Programme

” The Programme teams from across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk have been working hard to bring you this easy to use Programme resource for use during and after the pandemic – so why not take a look!

Programme Hub

To access (and add to) programme ideas go to our new website, and take a look at this brief video introducing the programme hub

You can put your own programme together you can select specific activities using a programme search engine to find exactly what you’re looking for.

The hub is packed with great online, home assignment and socially distanced programme ideas for you to choose from.”

Programme page and Active Support Units

Outside the pandemic don’t forget this programme page has lots of useful links, including the multiple Scout Active Support Units that cover the county. So as you start to plan ahead, and face to face restrictions gradually ease, have a rummage to see what opportunities might appeal to your young people. You can also reach out the the Active Support Units for advice – from gaining your own activity permits to running activities. There is also a separate page with information about the Queen’s Scout Award.

General “finding resources”

News item 26th Feb 2021

COVID -19 Safe Programme ideas

Sticking at it online. Giving it a go outside. Asking the big questions indoors.  We’re Scouts and even during a pandemic we have a plan B (and C) up our sleeve. We’ve put together some ideas to keep you going, whoever you are, and wherever your meetings, activities, and adventures are happening – content for all sections.

Press-play-and-go!

Delivering the programme over Zoom can be hard work, so The Scouts have put together videos to help you – covering a range of activities.

Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing

The pandemic can have impacted on the mental health and well being of our volunteers and young people alike. Mental health can sometimes feel like a complex and intimidating subject. However, any one can experience a mental ill health, so being able to talk about it is important to us all. And you don’t need to be an expert on mental health.  

Bereavement Support

Sadly it may be that there has been a bereavement in your section, perhaps due to the death of a volunteer or of a young person – and maybe since you last all met face-to-face. The Scouts have produced some guidance that may offer support for dealing with such scenarios.

National Facebook Groups

The closed 1st Virtual Facebook Group was set up at the beginning of the covid-19 crisis to allow scouting to continue without face to face meetings. Once you have joined you can easily search for topics, and can search the files for a theme – there are activities, entire meeting plans through to everything you need for a virtual camp or sleepover.
All the other relevant closed Facebook Groups remain too , and again have some great ideas (although not limited to the virtual world) – Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Network and 1st Facebook Scout Group

County Calendar

The calendar not only has some great events for you to consider as part of your programme going forward, but themed ones also have some suggested activities and links to relevant badges. February was all about the heart, March was all about science and May is all about mental health and well being linked to the great outdoors. Even if you don’t use them in that month they may be useful as you look ahead too.

Mentally Healthy

Find out more about these hour long sessions, available for any section, from your County Team.

Get excited about jamborees in 2022

As well as planning your own Nights Away events why not take a look at the various jamborees taking place in 2022 (more than normal due to pandemic forcing some to move), and involve your Scouts and Explorers in working out which ones your Troop or Unit might like to attend. For all adult volunteers (in any role) these jamborees also provide a great way to join in as a member of staff too, even if not taking a contingent. That way when bookings open in the coming months you are all ready for that first step!

Who will be going to Korea?

The 25th World Scout Jamboree will take place in Korea in 2023. It might seem a long way off but actually for young people or adults planning to attend things will start to happen in the coming months, with applications opening for adults and young people (we will let you know once applications are open). Why not have chat with young people who will be in the right age range, and perhaps show them this great video one Explorer Scout put together of just some of their experiences at the last one – that way you will know who might be interested and can be ready to support them through the application process.

Durham Scouts

Introducing the Camp@Home Activity Database! They have kindly pulled together all the great resources and activities from their past 5 events into one easy to access database – there’s even some videos too!

Scout-A-Delic

Looking for some more ideas of activities to take part in at home? Scout-A-Delic publishes regular #ScoutingAtHome videos containing fun activities that anyone can take part in.

Scout Radio

With a mix of music, scouting news, activity ideas and entertainment, Scout Radio provides regular programming that can keep you entertained while you’re scouting from home. You can listen live when they are on air, and playback Scoutcast when they are not.

Online Scout Manager

For those who use this software there are a huge number of suitable activities, whether virtual or COVID secure all ready for you to select and add to your programme.

So, what have you been up to?

We want to see what you’re getting up to with your scouting at home, or as you return to face to face. Why don’t you (or a parent/guardian if you’re not quite old enough just yet) show us on social media (tag us on Facebook and Twitter at @CambsScouts) or submit a news story. We’re looking forward to seeing all the pictures of the amazing scouting you’re getting up to! Here’s some of our recent news items.

Get Involved!

#SkillsForLife