It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog – that’s not because I didn’t have anything to say, more that everything kept changing and I am sure it was as unsettling for you as it was for me. When I last wrote at the end of July we had moved to Amber with the rest of the country and was full of excitement for the restart of face to face meetings. Whilst some started immediately for many of you there was an understandable decision to wait until the new school term. However with the announcement of local restrictions across Solihull, Birmingham and Sandwell in mid-September I made the decision jointly with the other two CCs to suspend face to face Scouting. This was not an easy decision as we knew that the impact was going to be felt most keenly within the sections which had already started F2F or were just about to.
As ever your amazing resourcefulness and willingness to keep Scouting running for our young people shone through and my social media feed again filled with pictures and details of activities being undertaken at home. Over the next four weeks we watched the case numbers grow whilst carefully considering the advice of the National Youth Agency and of HQ about running Covid-safe Scouting. The Government’s new Tier structure gave us the clearest indication yet that structured youth activities should continue and it was on this basis that we decided to return to Amber. I understand the concerns though – case numbers in Solihull are still high, the clocks have gone back and the nights are dark and cold, many meeting places are not available to use.
I would like to make it really clear that there is no compulsion to meet F2F just because we can. It’s a decision for you all to make together with your fellow leaders. If you want to restart F2F then don’t forget the details of the restart risk assessment process can be found at www.solihullscouts.org.uk/coronavirus. If you’re staying on-line or blending both, then there’s a wealth of programme ideas on the Scouts website, Facebook groups such as 1st Virtual Scout Group, and so many more. Please keep sharing ideas as well and linking up with other Groups if you can. That’s another thing we are good at – supporting each other.
It’s now the start of the half term holiday and for many groups that traditionally means a week of no section meetings. If you’re having a break or even managing to get away, then I hope you have a restful week. For those of you who have taken the opportunity to run hikes or activities then I hope the weather is kind! This next half term will see us run up to the strangest Christmas ever and I can’t wait to see what resourceful ideas you come up with next.
Thank you for all continuing to be amazing at what you do.