Scouting Guide to Coronavirus

Alert Icon Last Updated 14 May 2020

The most important action you can take in an emergency is to stay calm.

We each play an important role in adopting a calm approach to COVID-19, while being mindful of our actions to limit the effect on our own health, as well as the impact it has on those around us.

Guidelines

The following guidelines are adopted from the Department of Health advice and as such may change. 
This information was updated on 14 May 2020. 

From tomorrow, Friday 15 May, the NSW Government will ease some lockdown measures, based on health advice, and after the State reduced the number of COVID-19 cases to a manageable level.

For Scouts NSW, we are not yet ready for Groups to return to face to face Scouting.

There are a number of reasons for our decision, but our priority is the health and wellbeing of our members - youth and adults.  We need to be comfortable that every Group is able to implement measures that keep their members safe from infection while at Scouts. We are therefore recommending that outdoor Scout gatherings do not proceed at this stage.

The Scouts NSW COVID-19 Task Force, whose members include experienced health professionals, has reviewed every aspect of the outdoors and indoors activities undertaken at Scouts, and has recommended that the current measures remain in place. Some of the reasons include:

  • Children are not yet returning full-time to school. Most schools are enabling children to return for just one day a week, with significantly enhanced safety precautions around physical distancing.
  • Outdoor gatherings have only been allowed for up to ten people at a time by the NSW State Government.
  • Physical distancing measures must be maintained at all times.
  • Regional travel and holidays are not yet allowed.
  • Penalties apply for those that do not abide by the rules.

We are optimistic that Scouting will be able to resume within the next couple of months, if the NSW Government continues to ease the current restrictions. We are exploring a range of options, including how we handle contact tracing, physical distancing and hygiene measures while delivering Scouting.

We are giving priority for the arrangements for Scout outdoor activities. We know that these arrangements will be different from what we have been used to in the past, and it is imperative that our youth, leaders and families are kept safe while at Scouts.

For now, we encourage you to keep connected to your Groups through your weekly virtual Scout Hall activities, and the inspiring ideas available on Scouting@Home. For those Leaders who are continuing to deliver Scouting to their youth members, we are all grateful for your outstanding efforts. You are offering young people an enduring connection to a program and a suite of activities they clearly love. Thank you for your creativity and personal resilience.

Questions and Answers about Scouting

Scouts NSW has put together a small task force to meet regularly to discuss our ongoing response to COVID-19 and ensure these are aligned with all advice received from medical authorities such as the NSW Department of Health as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Groups are encouraged to submit their questions to the COVID-19 task force via the contact form on this page. Alternatively, if you have a question regarding a specific Region event, please contact your Region representative.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen life, as we know it, change to protect ourselves and each other.

The way we Scout has had to rapidly change, which has seen the cancellation of face-to-face activities. Support has been implemented for Groups to continue their program by Scouting@Home.

It is likely the COVID-19 pandemic is going to disrupt traditional face-to-face Scouting and our Program for many months.

For those Youth Members currently undertaking their final steps towards achieving their Peak Award, COVID-19 poses some significant challenges. We know how much time, energy and dedication our youth members have committed to the completion of their Peak Awards.

Below are outlines of the modifications to be made to ensure no Youth Member is disadvantaged in completing their Peak Award, whilst we adhere to Federal, State or Territory Government social distancing policies.

Please note, these modifications are now in effect and will cease when Federal, State or Territory Government social distancing rules have been retracted.

 

Modifications to the Peak Award Requirements for each Section: 

 

As members of the Australian community, we take seriously the requests made by the Prime Minister, Premier, and our Chief Commissioner.  Scouts NSW is no longer continuing any face to face Scouting which includes outdoor activities – hikes, camps, etc.  Instead, we are activating a series of new channels to enable adults and young people to stay connected to Scouting over the coming months.

Scouts NSW has an abundance of creative Leaders and Youth Members who develop and deliver exciting purposeful programs and activities to our Youth Members.  If you have a great Scouting idea, activity or interesting resource, please submit them here.  We’d love to hear from you!

As a community organisation, many Scout Groups hire their facility to third parties.  In light of the additional government restrictions on social distancing and gatherings, we anticipate that many community groups that hire our properties will be impacted.  Groups such as sporting clubs, dance groups and religious gatherings are no longer able to meet indoors face to face.  Some guidance and a template letter has been prepared and provided to your Region Commissioner.  Please contact your Region Commissioner should you have any questions or would like to access the template.

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Contact Form

Do you have a specific question? Fill in the form below, or email feedback@nsw.scouts.com.au. Please allow two business days for our team to come back to you with a response.