Face to face scouting has been suspended for the time being in order to keep our Leaders and young people safe and to limit non-essential journeys and contact.

This inevitably means that events and camps have been cancelled or are under review as Scouting across the Country is following the advice and instructions of the Government.  It is of course probably that the advice will change during the coming weeks and months and hopefully some events will be able to take place later during this year. Others will have to be put back to 2021. Please be assured that any monies paid by parents for cancelled events should be refunded.

Beaver Colonies, Cub Packs, Scout Groups and Explorer Units are still operating and communicating using a wide array of social media to provide activities to occupy and challenge young members and to help them work towards badges. We encourage parents to be included in all contact and to assist their children in completing the challenges, but not to do it for them!

Groups and Units are offering facilities to upload or share pictures and videos which is brilliant but we are aware that this risks crossing boundaries on safeguarding and therefore we ask parents to be explicit on consents, and to contact leaders immediately if they have any concerns or there are specific issues. All such groups on social media run by Leaders must be closed groups.

As of early April there seems to be a general view that schools will not reopen until September so we have another five months to learn to adapt to not meeting physically. Use the contact with Leaders and the resources provided by them,  www.scouting.org.uk  and any other website to get ideas. Our Leaders are keen to do what is possible to ensure the well-being of our members and their families so if you need help, or think you can help your Group, please contact your normal leader.

If you are NOT yet in scouting but want to join, it is clearly a difficult time to do so, but we are not closed, so contact the group nearest to you, or one that meets on a day that you can manage (in normal times) or email dceast@suttonscouting.org.uk to set ball rolling.

Many people have time on their hands and want to volunteer. It is more complicated to follow a process of appointment without face to face meetings, and it will be hard for any new adult to integrate as normally this is done by turning up week by week and learning by doing. However, the more adults we have, the more exciting events and activities we can offer, so get the ball rolling by contacting  a local group or by emailing  dceast@suttonscouting.org.uk

I cannot guarantee how quickly you will get a response, as we are all volunteers and working out how the new regime affects work and family life as much as you are, but you should expect an acknowledgement within 3-7 days.

David Thebridge

District Commissioner