Dear parents and carers.

Hello again. Thank you everyone who joined in with the AGM, either live or voting beforehand. I’m sorry for the technical hitch that made the Facebook Live stream unwatchable (and the YouTube stream didn’t start at all!). I worked out what I was doing wrong – basically trying to do everything from one computer when it needed three to use the various bits of software properly. Anyway, enough of my geekiness!

As I mentioned at the AGM, 11th Folkestone was awarded the Growth Award by the County Commissioner for 2019 as we showed the greatest amount of growth in the District. We must be doing something right to have so many young people and their families want to join us, when many other Groups are losing members. Thank you everyone! Once again, we were the second largest Group in Folkestone & Hythe, however at one point, I thought we had finally beaten our good friends at 1st Hythe Scouts until they came in with a late submission of a load more Explorers – still, we’ll get them next year. Well done 11th Folkestone and to all the leaders that make Scouting so much fun everyone wants to join in.

Although we’re no where near going back to face to face meetings, the leaders are meeting this evening to begin the planning process for when we do get the message telling us we can go back. Details are still a little light, but we’ll put together several scenarios to make sure it’s as safe as possible and still good Scouting. I’m also planning on collating some key dates for late 2020 and 2021 that I can get out to you to fill your diary. I hope that will be of some use.

The (renewed) Executive Committee met late last week to continue reviewing the various situations with the hall and Scouting and after discussion, have agreed to keep subs at £6 per month for June and July. As usual, there will be no charge in August. Once again, I’d like to express my thanks to everyone for your continued support – we’ve been able to meet all our financial obligations thanks to the very vast majority continuing to pay their membership subscriptions on time. Looking at all the share with us stuff coming in, most of our membership are still enjoying some sort of Scouting, so that’s great. The Executive Committee will once again review subs for our (hopeful) return to normal(ish) in September and I intend to update you in plenty of time before that. As our membership subscription is actually an annual amount of £134, spread over 11 months, the trustees will be looking at the cost of Scouting for the whole year as well. Unfortunately, we have been advised by headquarters that the annual membership fee we have to pay to them for each member of our Group will be subject to an increase in February 2021. We’re looking at that cost being in the region of £45-£48 per member from the £40 it is at the moment. Scouting still represents great value for money. I’ve recently paid (before lockdown!) for eight swimming lessons at 30 minutes a lesson for my daughter – so the equivalent of 4 hours – for £40. £10 per hour. At the moment, our subs work out at less than £2 per hour or even less for the older sections with longer meetings.

Once again, I’ve been seeing some great examples of remote Scouting. One of my favourites this week has to be Finley’s campfire songs he researched himself and then sung to the camera. I tried to join in with one, but as the song gets quicker, I get tongue tied! When we get back together and can have a real campfire, I’m expecting Finley to lead this one so I can give it another go. I’ve seen quite a few efforts from the cubs on all sorts of challenges recently, so well done all and keep it up.

That’s it from me this week. Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Best wishes

Craig

Group Scout Leader

05/11/2020: Following the change in readiness level by The Scouts, we are now back at at RED. There will be no face to face meetings until January 2021 at the earliest. Please visit our Getting everyone back together safely page for more details.
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