Scouting during level 4 lockdown

Message from Chief Scout Brendon Hausberger

As we have entered level 4 of lockdown, I know many of us breathed a sigh of relief at the relaxations of some of the rules and constraints. Level 4 provides the opportunity for some businesses to reopen, and for people to receive some of that fast food they have been craving. We can also finally go for a walk outside.  Despite this, I know we are all still feeling the squeeze as we look forward to the next phase at level 3 and ultimately to the removal of all lockdown restrictions.

From a Scouting perspective, based on the released regulations, we need to continue the current “Scouting from Home” format. This means that members can continue to work on their advancements and interest badges from home, with the virtual support from their Scouters. We will be reviewing the rules as they are amended, and in particular watch the outcome of the ongoing debate around schools reopening. While conscious of the rules against organised activities, we are looking into using the permitted exercise time for members to get some individual or family workouts, and some recognition for it.

Rest assured, like you, we have very itchy feet and as soon as it is safe and permissible to resume Scouting activities outside of your homes, we will share plans on how to proceed.

In the meantime, I would like to express my personal thanks and admiration for the creativity and inspiration of our Scouters who have been pulling rabbits out of hats to deliver material to keep Scouting going in your homes over this lockdown.  From online programmes, to activities for the youth and their parents at home, to virtual campfires, meetings and gatherings, you have been amazing!

I also want to pause to recognise our young people who, at least from the feedback and comments I have seen, have taken the limitations to their freedoms in many ways better than we as adults have.  I am sure, like my two girls, the cabin fever leads to the occasional manic behaviour. If you are fortunate enough to have learning continue at home, school support is interesting at times.  But if you place yourself in their shoes, the world became a much scarier place over this lockdown. Part of the responsibility we have as leaders and adults is to ease their transition back to the “new normal” when life outdoors resumes.

I also want to thank our Rovers and Scouters again for their service to disadvantaged communities and vulnerable people.  From Gauteng to Western Cape, North West to Mpumalanga and KZN, these members have been making us proud.

Please keep safe and look after yourselves and your families. For those of you heading back to a more formal work environment, take special care to protect yourself and those around you.

Yours in Scouting,

Brendon Hausberger,
Chief Scout

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