Back to Scouting in CoVid
The form below is directly based on the last Scouting Ireland Roadmap. It is not a target for all groups but a guideline to assist with making local plans to return to Scouting. This roadmap should be read in conjunction with those documents, and any future public health announcement and Government advice in relation to COVID-19. This is Version 5 of the Roadmap 22nd September 2020, with the five levels as published in ROI included helping inform groups how we can continue to scout with Covid 19. This version outlines the currents status and guidance in Northern Ireland as advised by the NI Executive.
As we prepare for back to scouting here are a few topics to keep in mind for your programme. A big feature of scouting should be the outdoor programme. If you are using indoors, here are some things to keep in mind
How to create a patrol, venture crew, sixes and lodges
- With the new restrictions in place, you might need to look at creating your crew, patrols, sixes, and lodges in a different way.
- Scouts that socialise together outside of scouting, youth members who travel together, and scouts that are in the same class in school, where possible should be grouped together.
- This will minimise interactions between youth members.
- These groups should be as small as possible.
Good practice during meetings
- Good hand hygiene – wash hands often and sanitize regularly.
- Good respiratory hygiene – cover your mouth and nose, cough/sneeze into a tissue or your elbow/sleeve, dispose of tissue, do not cough into your hands, and avoid touching your face.
- Physical distancing – keep outside of others personal space
- Wear face coverings when possible.
- If possible try not share equipment between individuals.
- Where possible they should use their own equipment.
- Where possible youth members should practice good hand hygiene when handling equipment.
- When equipment must be shared, try not to mix equipment with other crews, patrols, sixes and lodges. This is to minimise contact between youth members.
- Clean equipment after it is used by the small groups.
Dealing with a suspected case of Covid 19
- Parents/guardians contacted immediately
- Isolate the person
- Bring to an isolated area (does not have to be a room – keep 2m apart)
- The person presenting with symptoms should be given a mask if they do not have one
- Assess whether they can go home/be brought home – contact their doctor (no public transport to be used) and they should self-isolate
- If unable to go home facilitate them calling their doctor
- This person should avoid touching surfaces
- If too unwell to go home contact 999 or 112 – inform them this person is suspected to have Covid
- Carry out an assessment of the incident for follow up
- Arrange for appropriate cleaning of the isolated area
- With on-going restrictions, regular weeknight meetings may not be possible and since we are heading into the winter months, Groups should look at sections meeting outdoors at the weekend instead.
- The Group Council should facilitate this and look at staggering times.
- It may also be necessary to split larger sections to comply with guidelines.
- Each Group or section needs to decide how best to approach uniforms. If uniforms are worn to meetings or activities, it should be advised that they are washed afterwards. Or, to ease the burden on families having to wash clothing, groups may decide for uniforms not to be worn or worn every second week etc.
- Many Groups have processes for uniforms to be handed on or sold, if you have those in place consider offering guidance around washing and handovers.
Members with underlying medical conditions and/or special needs
- Groups and sections will need to take a tailored approach to supporting members or volunteers with underlying medical conditions and/or special needs, every effort should be made to help them participate.
Chief Scout Award queries
If you have want to start or have already started your Chief Scout Award and are wondering how to adapt it to overcome the pandemic challenge then don’t fear. We can support you with this:
Special Interest Badges
These should be still achievable while in lockdown and can be worked on your own. If you need to change because of a social element to it then that is also possible. You can allow for the time that you have already put into it.
The main part of the badge is that is a challenge is to demonstrate an understanding of the skill and an ability to take responsibility as part of it. Up until stage 5 a Scouter can sign off on all.
You can use video calls to demonstrate this and be creative in what could be used, like minecraft or other virtual reality software
The main challenge here is to complete the distance. This can be done from within the radius limitations. You could use virtual journeys to demonstrate the distance that you cover.
Online allows us numerous possibilities to explore other cultures. Try to look at how to link with other cultures through events like JOTI or other international scouting. The next JOTI is coming in a few months so another opportunity to get involved. One World Week is also coming in November.
This is the most difficult part of the award. The advice we would give is to leave this element to last, where possible. Hopefully we will have a better idea of what do with residentials as the summer progresses. If you are already near completion then virtual camping should be considered. Seek advice from your CSA to make sure that the activity is at an appropriate challenge level.
There are numerous ways to run meetings with youth members and there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution so please talk to youth members and parents about the best solution for your group. Below are examples of what you can use and how to use them. Above all, please ensure that you only run virtual meetings that meet the safeguarding requirements