Please let me tell you about our plans to resume for the new scouting year in the Group in the coming weeks. From the time that we closed the doors to the Scout Den in early March until late June, we continued to offer virtual scouting for many members but now we believe it is time to get back to the real thing!
COVID-19 will bring a number of challenges that we haven’t faced before and we are working to overcome these so that we can continue to provide a safe scouting experience for all of our members.
At all times we will be cognisant of the evolving public health advice, guidance from Scouting Ireland and learnings from other re-openings in society, particularly the primary and secondary schools. There will be new procedures and protocols that will have to be followed as a result and we will bring you details about them in the coming weeks.
For now we would like to confirm whether or not your family member(s) intend to return to scouting with the group. In order to confirm this, I would ask you to please fill out this short form by Wednesday 16th September. This will help us to finalise our plans for reopening by knowing the numbers of youth members we have coming back.
A few points that should be noted about our reopening are:
- We are not immediately taking in any new members (this includes siblings who you may have thought were due to join this September). We are reviewing this decision regularly to determine when we will take in new members and will be in regular contact with anyone on the waiting list.
- All members will return to the section that they were in during the last scouting year. This is to facilitate completion of previous activities and the LINK process which prepares members for the move between sections. We anticipate this will be for a period of 4-6 weeks and will communicate with everyone due to move sections in due course.
- It is hoped that based on the numbers of youth members and adults volunteers that all of the sections that we operated in the past will re-open but we need to assess the numbers of members returning before we can confirm that.
- It is hoped that the nights of meetings will not change but again this needs to be confirmed. We expect that people will fill out the form based on their current availability and we understand there may be an impact on some members if there is a change to any meeting nights.
- The start times of our meetings may need to be altered as well as the duration of the meetings. We will communicate any changes as applicable.
- Youth Sector specific advice, as of today, is that 15 people can meet indoors (including adult volunteers). We will continue to monitor this advice but this may result in a situation where children do not attend their section every week but possibly every second or third week. We are looking at other options in respect of this including running multiple shortened meetings on the one night with breaks in between. Until we have more certainty on the numbers returning we are not in a position to decide this.
As you can see from the above we are working hard to get back to scouting in our Scout Den. Without wanting to sound too repetitive, our planning relies heavily on confirming the numbers returning. For this reason can you please complete this form as soon as possible and in any event no later than Wednesday 16th September so that we can move forward with our plans. It is important that you complete the form whether or not your family plans to return.
Many thanks and we look forward to welcoming your family back to the Scout Den soon.