Resumption of Scouting 2021

Message from Chief Scout Brendon Hausberger

So, think back a few weeks, yes just a few weeks – we were at Lockdown Level one, the first vaccine approvals had been announced and we all looked forward to a 2021 that would be the path to recovery, appreciating the freedoms that we were getting back as the levels relaxed, and looking forward to more face to face Scouting.

Then the second wave hit with the resumption of the adjusted Level three regulations. Sadly the announcement of the extension of these regulations till 15 February has for many of us felt like a harder blow that it might have some time ago. The fact that the virus spread faster in this wave and that most of us now know someone directly affected has made this all the more challenging.

But there is light in the hours of darkness.  We need to find a way to work under the new “normal”.  We are pleased to release these new regulations for Scouting under the adjusted Level three Lockdown. (click here to read regulations).

We are permitting our members to restart small group outdoor activities that have a defined Scouting learning or development objective.  So, to be clear, social gatherings are still banned. But, if you are planning Crew, Warrant, Patrol or Sixer activities to progress advancement, get some exercise, train a new skill or demonstrate a learnt skill then you have the go ahead.

There are of course limits to ensure that our members and their communities are kept safe. So, no indoor activities and no overnight activities, other than specific senior advancement activities such as hikes that your RC can approve on a case by case basis – ensuring the 3D’s are being observed and allowed for.

For the full details of the rules CLICK HERE The same Safety Plans for Scout Groups we had under Level 2 apply so your plans from then can be used and implemented.  Remember this is about the safe resumption of Scouting. Please make sure you take the necessary precautions as laid out to protect yourselves and our young people as we commence these activities.

The activities are permitted to resume from 1 February 2021, so you have a little time to prepare.  Please share the inspiration of what you are doing with social media pics and stories on how you are practicing Safe Scouting under these limitations.  Perhaps your idea may inspire someone else and help them.

I recently read an article by Global Human Capital Leader Erica Volini. As we face this new year under the current regulations, I would like to share some of her insights with you.

As she points out this isn’t March 2020, we have all, with some pain, learnt some lessons and now is the time to apply those.

  1. Maintain social connections while being social distanced.

This is about more than checking in with our teams and loved ones, it’s about making meaningful links with them. It’s about honestly sharing how you are feeling and the challenges you have and being open to letting your group share where they are with you.

  1. Keep up the communication

We need to be making our communication with our teams two way. Not telling or talking at them, but listening to them too.  Making those discussions inclusive, making people feel their opinions and voices count and will be heard.

  1. Use your muscle memory

You have got this – you have done it before. Think back to how you coped and what worked and didn’t work for you under the higher (and longer) earlier lockdown levels.
We made it work, it wasn’t easy but we did it. You found ways to be effective and cope, review what you did and get back into the good habits you had then and fix the ones that didn’t work so well for you.

  1. Keep moving (forwards)

Remember how good it felt when you joined the #HikeToMahikeng? Or how much better you felt after some fresh air and exercise.  We might not be able to do group activities, but we are able to get out there on our own or in our family groups while respecting the social distancing safety precaution.

And while you are doing that try and find something new to learn, it may be a language or it may be a musical instrument, it may be how to tie those knots you always wanted to learn – its amazing what you can learn on YouTube! Find something to keep yourself growing. Its part of reminding yourself you have value and are worth spending time and effort on.  We have great youth advancement programmes that can directly contribute to this kind of learning and growth for our members.

  1. Be the most human you can be

By the end of the 2020 most of us felt burned out. We were tired, we were frustrated and we didn’t know what was coming next. I am sure many of us as leaders felt and still feel “What more do people want? I’m trying my best and I’m doing SO much right now.”

The answer is surprisingly easy. People don’t want more, they want you to be human. They don’t need heroes right now, we all need listeners, and people full of compassion for what we are going through. Remember its okay to not be okay as we go through this. In fact people will probably trust the leader more who can admit that.

  1. Use your purpose as a driver

Why do we keep on doing it, whether it’s our Scouting, our work or our families?  We do it because it is important. Important to us perhaps in ways we don’t fully understand.  Work with your family and teams to understand and define that why. Use that goal as your objective to push on ahead.

  1. Do all of this together

You are part of a team and a family of over 55 million people around the world working to make this world a little better than we found it. No one says it is going to be easy, but if we look at the past year, it’s clear that together we dealt with these challenges and continued to make a difference in the lives of our young people and our communities.

We have fed the hungry, we have helped people stay safe, we have helped provide protection for people, we have cared and we have nurtured, and we can continue to do so.

This year we will continue to develop some activities to help you keep your Scouting family growing, whilst contributing to a better world and making the Movement more aligned to what you need.  Find out about the “Better World for BP” Challenge and news on our virtual Lekgotla.

Remember the darkest hour is before the dawn.  We have a responsibility to prepare ourselves and our young people to be ready to grasp that dawn as it arrives.  Keep the faith and you will – as you have done so many times over the past year – make us all proud to be Scouts.

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