Scout Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Information for the Public

UPDATE 5th November: The information below applies when we are in an Amber readiness level, from Thursday the 5th November until the end of the national lockdown period all face-to-face meetings of the Group are suspended. We will only be meeting online during this period.

Dringhouses Scouts have just under 250 youth members aged 6-17 years old. There are normally 11 separate groups meeting every week night during school term time.  Most of the groups have had to split in half to reduce group sizes meaning that we may have 22 meetings happening per week during normal term time.  This may give the appearance that we are always meeting, however, note that it will be different groups of young people meeting each time, each group only meets once per week.

We are currently meeting under the regulations laid out by the National Youth Agency and The Scouts nationally We are allowed to meet in small groups of up to 15 young people and 5 adults, but most of the group sizes are smaller than that. Our meetings follow COVID-secure procedures to help keep our young people and the public as safe as we can. Our COVID-19 policies and procedures are all published on our website

COVID-secure precautions we take include:

  • meeting outdoors
  • reduced meeting sizes (numbers of attendees at 15 or less)
  • shorter meetings typically less than 1.5 hours for the older age groups and less than an hour for the younger
  • groups of young people do not mix and if two groups are meeting in the same area they will always be more than 25m apart (often more than 100m apart).
  • all attendees at meetings use hand sanitiser at the start and end of meetings and before and after using any equipment
  • equipment is not shared between individuals without being sanitised first
  • equipment that cannot be sanitised is quarantined for 72 hrs
  • all attendees at meetings are required to maintain 2m social distancing.
  • staggered start and end times for groups meeting on the same night in the same area prevent inadvertent mixing of groups
  • members are not required to wear a face covering while meeting outdoors and at the moment none of the meetings are happening indoors,
  • if the area cannot be controlled or there is a risk of 2m social distancing being broken face coverings will be worn by everyone over 11 years old 

We are using several outdoor spaces for the meetings and most of them are in public areas.  We also have permission from York Stables to use one of their paddocks and we can use that for lighting fires and other outdoor activities.  All these activities are supervised and risk assessed.

Activities that have been run for Scouts and Explorer Scouts either on the Knavesmire or on the Paddock so far during the autumn term include:

  • footgolf
  • signalling (morse code and semaphore)
  • treasure hunt
  • firelighting
  • cooking on an open fire
  • various outdoor short games to learn communication techniques over a distance of 20m or more.
  • We will also be doing some astronomy, weather permitting and athletics  and orienteering and learning navigation skills, including using stars to navigate.

The activities have been chosen specifically to enable social distancing and use limited or no equipment while remaining fun and exciting for the young people attending. These activities are run in a way that boosts self-confidence and teaches new skills to the young people. The mental health benefits to young people that these meetings provide should not be underestimated and feedback from parents, especially from some of the members with special educational needs has been very positive.

If you wish to contact us about any concerns you may have or if you just want to ask question please visit our contact page