Scouting Activities

This page provides useful information and guidance for Group Leaders, Section Leaders, Rover Units and planners of Scouting events.

On this page:

Indoor Activities
Outdoor Activities
Overnight Activities
Peak Awards
Region Activity Teams
Scouting Events
Travel
Training
Activities at Commercial Premises

 

Indoor Activities

Indoor activities may be run in Scout Halls, Rover Dens and Training Rooms under the conditions of the approved COVID Safety Plan for Scout Halls. See the COVID-19 Safety Plans page for details. Overnight activities must not be held until further notice.

The current NSW Health restriction on Community Halls means that indoor Scouting activities may be run with no more than 20 participants (plus the adults necessary to run the session), up to the maximum allowed in the hall as per the COVID-19 Safety Plan.

  • For example:  Your hall allows 16 people under the 4psm rule, you may only have 16 people in total (adults and youth inclusive).
  • For example: Your Hall allows for 25 people under the 4psm rule, you may have up to a total of 20 participants and then a up to a maximum of 5 other adults/Leaders who are assisting with the delivery of the program/activity.

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Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities, excluding overnight activities, may be run in the Scout Hall ground or in a public place after the Group submits the Self-Assessment Checklist for Formations Returning to Outdoor Activities. See the COVID-19 Safety Plans page for details on how to prepare and submit this form. The NSW Health restrictions on gathering in public places mean that until further notice, outdoor Scouting activities may be run with no more than 20 participants in total (adults and youth inclusive).   Scout Groups shall apply this rule when outdoors in public places, as well as the yard of the Scout Hall.

Where there are more than 20 members, the Leader will need to split the group into smaller groups i.e. patrols to run their activities.  The activities must be entirely physically separate for the duration of the session, or run at different times.  This helps limit the number of people at risk of exposure. Individuals from one smaller group or Patrol should be instructed to not mingle with individuals from the other small group or Patrol for the entire session.  Leaders should select members of patrols with this in mind to help prevent mingling. There must be enough Leaders and other adults to provide adequate supervision. Similarly, where  the activity involves equipment, the equipment must not be shared from one group or Patrol to another.

Day activities within a 20 km radius of the Scout Hall or regular meeting place can proceed within the normal guidelines for Scouting in NSW, as well as any COVID-19 guidelines in place. District based day activities are also allowable within a 20 km radius of the District boundary.

Day activities, including District activities, scheduled to take place greater than a 20 km radius must be submitted and approved by the Region Commissioner using the Day Activities Request for Provisional Approval form created and used for this purpose.

Remember, the Maximum 20 rule applies to all outdoor and indoor activities as do all other COVID-19 requirements. In general, day activities should be Section, Group or Unit based where possible.  As local situations can change rapidly, submissions for day activities will be approved on a provisional basis only. Leaders need to monitor NSW Health COVID-19 case locations and other announcements in the lead up to the day, and be ready to reverse or amend plans if needed. Whilst it is permissible to travel to, though, or from, these locations (unless subject to ‘lock down’ under public health orders), additional vigilance is recommended.

Health and Safety Risk assessments should be developed for day activities as usual, however, remember to include all COVID-19 related risks in your risk assessment, including the items you prepared as part of your Request for Provisional Approval.

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Overnight Activities

In light of the recent increase in Coronavirus cases in NSW, Scouts NSW has temporarily ceased all overnight Scouting until at least Monday 14 September.

During the cessation, Members may continue to plan and make arrangements for overnight activities for the period commencing 14 September, however they must be ready to reverse or amend plans if required.  This directive will be reviewed in the week of 7 September.

See the information provided separately regarding Peak Awards.

Leaders should apply the following points as they relate to their planned event – tent-camping or indoor accommodation at Scouts or other public properties.

Planning

  • All Scouting activities must be conducted under the requirements of the current public health orders and Scouts NSW approaches.
  • Public health orders can change rapidly so leaders should monitor media reports, the NSW Health website and Scouts NSW information in the lead up to the event. Be reverse or amend plans if required.

Entry and Exit to the Site

  • See the information provided separately regarding transportation.
  • Consider staggered arrival and/or departure times for you group to avoid crowding.
  • If present, avoid using shared pens to sign in.
  • Cashless payments only.
  • If an evacuation is necessary during your stay, try to maintain physical distancing at the assembly point.

Activities at Camps

  • No singing around the campfire for the time being – this is an effective way to spread COVID-19!
  • No physical contact including handshaking and hugging. This includes youth.
  • Try to limit the sharing of equipment. Where equipment is shared, consider how the group will maintain hygiene. Refer to the information provided separately regarding Region Activities.
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is available, even outdoors.
  • Avoid situations where people are required to stand near people who are seated.
  • Consult with the site manager or local emergency services or council to determine if there are any travel restrictions to remote or vulnerable communities in the area that you will need to avoid.

Accommodation (indoors)

  • Posters will inform guests of the maximum number of people allowed in each room and guests are expected to manage 1.5m physical distancing during their stay.
  • Only one guest per double bunk is recommended including youth.
  • Guests should keep to their assigned bed each night of their stay.
  • Your campsite or Activity Centre coordinator will confirm whether hand-sanitiser and cleaning products are supplied. If in doubt, guests should take your own.
  • In general, guests are responsible for cleaning frequently touched surfaces during their stay.
  • If your group is responsible for cleaning the amenities, refer to the information about cleaning provided separately.
  • Stagger your dining times if necessary to reduce group numbers, implement practical physical distancing and cleaning between dining sessions.

Accommodation (in tents)

  • Single person tents are preferred.
  • For larger tents, apply the 1 person per 4sqm rule (except for people from the same household).
  • If your group utilises more tents than usual, evaluate and manage the logistics associated with this e.g. how the tents will be supplied and transported.
  • If there are more tents than usual, manage hazards associated with the potential for tents to ‘sprawl’ out where they normally would not be e.g. close to roadways, creeks etc.

Food Preparation (apply the following points as relevant to your site and situation)

  • Ideally, a person with a Food Handling Certificate will be present.
  • Ideally, attendees will bring, prepare and clean up after their own food.  However where this is not practical, it is essential to make changes to the way that food is served.
  • Select low(er) risk menu options (i.e. those requiring less direct food handling/contact)
  • No self-service buffet style food, no communal dishes or condiments.
  • Implement distancing and hygiene measures including hand sanitiser, gloves and facemasks for kitchen volunteers and consider the use of protective physical barriers/shields. Take care that any modifications you make (such as installing barriers or placing a ‘spacer’ table between diners and volunteers) do not create new hazards eg fire or trip hazards.
  • When offering buffet style, do not allow your diners to handle serving utensils. Use dedicated people to be ‘servers’. Servers should not swap serving utensils – one server, one utensil.
  • When diners bring their own plate to the buffet, volunteers servers should not handle the diners’ plates.
  • Do not allow self-service from the large drinks containers or jugs. Instead, use a dedicated server for the drinks container or jugs. Servers must be careful not to allow the lip of the cups and glasses to make contact with the tap or jug.
  • Prohibit the use of shared drink/water bottles
  • Implement queuing requirements to maintain physical distancing.
  • Implement practical physical distancing and cleaning between dining sessions.
  • Prohibit the use of shared drink/water bottles
  • If water fountains are being be used, ensure users are aware of appropriate usage protocols.
  • Table setting should try to observe 1.5 m physical distancing
  • Diners to keep seated as much as possible – discourage people standing around talking to diners who are seated.

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Peak Awards

In light of the recent increase in Coronavirus cases in NSW, Scouts NSW has temporarily ceased all overnight Scouting until at least Monday 14 September.  This includes overnight stays connected with Peak Awards. During the cessation, Members may continue to plan and make arrangements for overnight activities for the period commencing 14 September during the four week cessation, however they must be ready to reverse or amend plans if required. This directive will be reviewed in the week of 7 September.

The following information is provided for planning purposes only – overnight stays connected with Peak Awards must not proceed until at least 14 September 2020.

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.

  • Current modifications remain in place until the September/October School Holidays
  • Pre-modification processes can begin now with some additional common sense adaptations.
  • When completing Leadership Activities, 4 sqm requirements must be managed for gatherings etc.
  • Members from any current HOT SPOTS should NOT commence pre-modification processes and remain under the ‘COVID Modifications Documents’

Overnight hikes

  • Single Tent per person – Journey Party should carry minimum 2 tents.  Adult Supervising Party should arrive at overnight areas with additional tents.
  • No sharing of food.
  • Adequate washing and sanitisation items carried and replenished each night.
  • Physical distancing to occur where safe during the journey.

When youth members are sick, or have been unwell in the past 14 days, they should not participate in the journey. 

  • No youth should be disadvantaged because of this and common sense approaches in-light of COVID Modifications should take place.

Modifications to the Peak Award Requirements for each Section: 

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Region Activity Teams

In light of the recent increase in Coronavirus cases in NSW, Scouts NSW has temporarily ceased all overnight Scouting until at least Monday 14 September. This includes overnight stays connected with Region Activities. During the cessation, Region Teams may continue to plan and make arrangements for overnight activities for the period commencing 14 September however they must be ready to reverse or amend plans if required.  This directive will be reviewed in the week of 7 September.

Day activities managed by Region Teams should focus on delivery to a local Group or District. e. a Cub Leadership course that draws on participants from across Districts or the Region and/or include participants from other Regions should reconsider how it can be run with more localised participants or even run virtually.

Region Activity Teams may hold day activities after considering the COVID-19 related risks and including them into the risk assessment for the specific activity. With reference to material published by the Outdoor Council of Australia and The Australian Institute of Sport, the Region Activity Team have prepared Guidance for Planning Outdoor Adventurous Activities during COVID-19 for this purpose.

In addition, the Leader who is co-ordinating the activity (i.e. arranging the E1 forms) is responsible for submitting the DAY ACTIVITIES - Request for Provisional Approval form for any activity more than 20km from the Scout Hall. See the COVID-19 Safety Plans page for details.

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Scouting Events

Major events must be managed on a one-by-one basis. If you require assistance in this area, please submit an enquiry here.

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Travel

The principle is to restrict activities to local ones to avoid inter-mingling and potential community transmission. Monitor the COVID-19 case locations in NSW; Whilst it is permissible to travel to, though, or from, these locations (unless subject to ‘lock down’ under public health orders), additional vigilance is recommended.

Travelling in vehicles: Leaders, Rovers and other adults should travel in their own vehicles in preference to sharing.  Parents are encouraged to drive their own children to and from all activities. Where sharing transportation is unavoidable, only proceed with willing and healthy people who are not in a vulnerable category. Mask-wearing is highly recommended when people from different households share transport. Limit the number stops you make along the way, be vigilant with hand-hygiene and physical distancing during the journey. Apply the requirements of travel in the Child Protection Procedure.

Public Transport: The use of public transport by Scouting groups is discouraged due to the risk of exposure for Members and the general public. When using public transport you should wear a face mask and follow instructions provided by the operator.

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Training

Firstly consider if a virtual training session can be run in preference to face to face to avoid exposure. When face to face training is necessary, follow the steps provided by the  site’s COVID-Safety plan. Notably:

  • Abide by the room’s capacity based on the 1 person per 4 sqm rule.
  • When holding training in a community hall such as a Scout Hall, also apply the current public health order limit.
  • Provide hand sanitiser.
  • Hold (part of) the meeting outside in preference to inside if appropriate
  • You must also comply with the relevant current public health orders.
  • Set-out the furniture to accommodate 1.5 m physical distancing.
  • To reduce the risk of exposure for participants sitting in the front row, consider arranging the furniture in a way which prevents the presenter inadvertently ‘standing over’ seated participants while they are talking/projecting their voice.
  • Food if provided, it must NOT be self-serve buffet
  • No singing or shaking hands

Arrange the programme to avoid the need for participants to touch shared surfaces eg no ‘communal’ pens or other equipment.

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Activities at Commercial Premises

Activities at Commercial premises such as indoor rock climbing or ice skating may be planned, however for locations of more than 20km from the Scout Hall, must be submitted for prior approval using the DAY ACTIVITIES - Request for Provisional Approval form. See the COVID-19 Safety Plans page for details.

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