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

Current Readiness Status:

AMBER

Update 23rd March 2021: It is anticipated that from the 29th March we will be moving to Amber status as described below

Update 12th April 2021: We have returned to meeting outdoors, please see details of how we operate below.

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.  This may give the appearance that we are always meeting, however, please note that it will be different groups of young people meeting each time, each group only meets once per week. Our COVID-19 policies and procedures are all published on our website here. Note that currently there are no restrictions on the size of groups that can meet. Most groups will be between 15 and 30 young people and 3 to 5 adults.

We are currently meeting under the regulations laid out by the National Youth Agency and The Scouts nationally and what we are permitted to depends on the readiness status set by these governing organisations:

Red Readiness Status: We are not permitted to meet face-to-face.

Amber Readiness Status: We are allowed to meet outdoors, there is no limit on group size, but each group has to meet independently of other groups (at least 25m separation). Our meetings follow COVID-secure procedures to help keep our young people and the public as safe as we can, see below for more details on this. We are also permitted to meet indoors at our HQ building, however, group size is limited to 10 young people and two adults. Current guidance is not to meet indoors unless essential, so we will not be using our building until restrictions are relaxed still further,

Yellow Readiness Status: TBC

Green Readiness Status: Normal conditions

COVID-secure precautions we take include:

  • meeting outdoors only
  • shorter meetings typically less than 1.5 hours for the older age groups and less than an hour for the younger ones.
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • members are not required to wear a face covering while meeting outdoors and at the moment indoor meetings are not permitted,
  • staggered start and end times for groups meeting on the same night in the same area prevent inadvertent mixing of groups
  • risk of spread is being minimised by limiting travel at all times

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 by adults and risk assessed.

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

  • 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 a question please visit our contact page