Operation Chameleon 2020

As we start to make our plans for later in the year, we’re pleased to announce that Operation Chameleon 2020 for Scouts, Explorers and Adults will take place on the 14th November and we’ll be going to…the Badlands, as always!

Bookings will open on 1st October and close on the 31st October.

Booking guidelines are available on the county website on the Operation Chameleon page.

We’ll be in touch again shortly with more information as it becomes available! Please don’t forget that while young person places are limited to Scouts & Explorers, spaces for adults (over 18) are unlimited, that includes leaders from other sections and parents, if you’re not sure how you can get involved then please contact us!

Two weeks in

It’s been (just) two weeks since we suspended face-to-face Scouting. I have been overwhelmed in that time by the positivity and resourcefulness of leaders who have found ways to keep our young people engaged with Scouting and the way that ideas, programme plans and resources have been shared. I’ve held several meetings using Google Meet with members of District and County teams over that time embracing the technology and the new reality and now have a better insight into their tastes in décor. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to each and every one of you for everything you have done and are doing, but also to remind you that it is most important that you look after yourselves and your own families first and foremost.


The current crisis has given rise to many new innovations and ways of doing things differently. At a County and District level we’ve challenged ourselves about how to support leaders to complete the mandatory training modules (Modules 1, 2, 3, safety, safeguarding and GDPR) using on-line and video methods. You may have seen yesterday’s website post about the new Book A Validator feature and I would ask that you all take 5 minutes to check on Compass if you have any outstanding modules and then head over to https://solihullscouts.org.uk/training/ for more information on how to get these signed off. Please keep checking back as more validator sessions will be opening up on a regular basis. I hope that I’ll be able to present some woodbadges when we come out the other side of this.


I’ve also been busy making some new appointments to my team and would like to announce the following changes:

  • Paul Webb – Deputy County Commissioner, working alongside Ian Carnell. Paul has stepped down from his ACC (Scouts) role (which I will hold vacant for the time being) but will still be running the events for which he is famous. Paul also continues to support me as Deputy District Commissioner for Blythe.
  • Lauren Evans – Assistant County Commissioner (Network). My thanks go to Spoff for his service in this role over the last few years. As you may know Lauren is a busy frontline nurse and will take up this new role as soon as she can.
  • Piers Bennett – Assistant County Commissioner (Activities). Piers is taking up this role alongside his current role as GSL at 1st Knowle. He can be contacted via piers.bennett@solihullscouts.org.uk.
  • Richard Budd and John Kidner (JK) – District Explorer Scout Commissioners. Richard and JK are taking up the DESC roles for Cole and Blythe Districts respectively. Richard has stepped down from his ACC (Explorers) role which I will hold vacant for the time being.

Shirley Brookes


(My post picture is from a public tweet from a group outside of Solihull)

Book a Validator – Now Live

To help you validate your training modules during any extended periods at home with extra time, we have launched our Book A Validator system.

To ‘Book a Validator’ please go to the training page on the county website or go directly to solihullscouts.org.uk/book-a-validator 

Training validators are making their diaries publicly available for you to see when they are available in 1 hour sessions to help you complete your training modules.

Simply select a time that you are available, complete the short form and you’ll be booked in for either a phone call or a voice conference!

Suspension of face-to-face activities

This page was updated on: 17 March 2020 at 10:00am

The Prime Minister has said that everyone in the UK should now avoid non-essential travel and contact with others.

Suspension of face-to-face activities

Given this guidance, all face-to-face Scout meetings, activities and events must be suspended from Tuesday, 17 March 2020. This suspension applies to young people and adults, and will be until further notice.

We will continue to follow official guidance; the safety of everyone involved in Scouts, both young people and adults, is our number one priority. That is always at the heart of our decision making.

Government advice

The Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is frequently updated as things develop, so please check it regularly at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.


Given the latest Government guidance, HQ are cancelling the following events:

  • Day of Celebration at Windsor
  • Beaver and Cub Fundays at Gilwell Park and Woodhouse Park
  • Gilwell 24

In Solihull we are currently postponeing the following activerties until further notice:

  • St Georges Parade
  • Beaver pack modling
  • Young leader training
  • Leader Training

We will be communicating to specific audiences about these event cancellations directly. We’d ask that you wait for this information to be sent out rather than contacting us immediately, due to the volume of enquiries we are currently receiving.

Event organisers

If you or your team are involved in organising any future Scout events, you will now need to review these plans and risk assessments given this new guidance.

Jamborees and other large events

If applicable, we suggest you regularly check the websites of relevant large-scale events, for example, Jamborees and camps, for specific updates from the organisers.

European Jamboree

The organisers of the European Jamboree 2020 in Poland have shared this update and continue to add to their frequently asked questions on the changing situation here. If applicable, please continue to monitor these updates.

Scout trips abroad

We asked the Government (the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) for clarity about youth groups travelling abroad, as the current advice only specifies school trips. We will let you know when we receive an update.

As well as the Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website has the latest information, guidance and travel advice, along with details of any restrictions – which must be followed.

Travel insurance

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation may have implications for your travel insurance. Check with your insurers directly about the levels of cover. If you have taken insurance through Unity, they have provided an update here.

Scout Information Centre

The Scout Information Centre will only be able to deal with emails and web chat until further notice. As you can imagine, we are experiencing an unprecedented level of enquiries at the moment, so please use the Government guidance as your primary reference where possible.

Scouting at home

We are planning to share activities for young people to do at home with their parents if families are faced with self-isolation. We will be communicating more about this soon.

A message from UK Chief Commissioner, Tim Kidd

I think we all agree that it’s in challenging times like these, that our Scout values matter most. We are talking to the Government and other community organisations to see how Scouts can support our country during this crisis. We must make sure that we do this in the safest possible way, and don’t put anyone at further risk. We will update you more on this over the coming weeks.

As always, I want to say a big thank you for everything you do for Scouts. By checking and following the latest Government advice and by taking a calm and measured approach, we can continue to ensure that young people and adults stay safe.

Thank you