Dear parents/carers

Happy Easter! I hope you enjoyed the Easter Weekend (as far as possible) and that with a bit of luck the Easter bunny wasn’t restricted by social distancing measures! It certainly was a differently paced Easter Weekend for us in the Ward household and a chance to properly reflect.

Congratulations to Williamson Racing – our first ever winner of The Answer is…ONLINE…Quiz. Well done to them and to everyone who took part. Thank you for joining us – it was quite a bit of fun, even if I do say so myself, despite the 30 second or so lag as we were ‘broadcasting’ from two locations and using a third for marking! Thanks to Peter and Karen for writing and asking the questions and Kate for undertaking the mammoth task of marking them. We’ll look at doing something again soon… bingo anyone?

This week I’ve got a little challenge for parents – just in case you didn’t have enough to do! Our secretary (Chloé) and I are working through reviewing our GDPR policy and processes, updating our records as necessary. To help us maintain compliance with this legislation, we’d really appreciate parents logging on to Parent Portal, checking the information is correct, updating where necessary, and then confirming it is accurate using the tick box at the bottom of the page.

Please could we ask you to pay particular attention to ‘second contact’, ensuring there is an email address in there IF you want the second person to get a copy of all emails sent to you. If there is an address there, the emails will be sent…we can’t stop that anymore. If you don’t want second contact getting copies of everything, please remove the email address from that box only. Equally, please could you careful look at mobile contact numbers for first and second contact. We are looking at increasing our use of text messaging for key/important information in the near future, so this needs to be accurate. Thank you for your support on this.

It’s been great to see some members getting outside in the garden in their tents and spending the night, or building a den in the bedrooms/living rooms and sleeping there as a great Scouting tradition of camping out. We’re delighted to be able to count these as nights away for purposes of badges, so if you sleep out in the garden or in a den at home, don’t forget to share it with us so we can count it on your badge record. The guidance we’ve been given around this is quite important, however. Regardless of the number of nights you spend in the tent/den, we are only to count it as 1 ‘night away’. Also, parents, it goes without saying that safety and safeguarding are paramount to you and us. As we can’t manage it as an official night away within our usual rules for safety and safeguarding, I have been advised by the County Commissioner to make you aware of this statement:

Participation in any “Nights in” and “Camp at Home” activities recommended and encouraged by any Group or District that are part of Kent Scouting are totally under the control, safety and permission of the parent(s) or carer(s) of each young person.

Under no circumstances will Kent Scouts or 11th Folkestone Scouts accept any liability or responsibility for any accidents, incident or injury to any person or persons or damage to property whilst participating in these activities.

Heavy bit over, but we need to make sure everyone is safe! As I said, make sure you share your experiences – you can the use the Share with Us form at the bottom of any remote scouting page on our website.

The Group Executive Committee (virtually) met again at the end of last week to review subs and discuss a few pieces of information that have come from Scout Headquarters at Gilwell. The biggest message nationally is that Scouting is doing particularly well where Groups are continuing a form of programme – like us – and the young people are still able to see each other, even if in a limited way, and take part in collective activities. We hope you are enjoying the new style programme as much as we are enjoying providing it. On the issue of subs, again we thank everyone for their kind and supportive words, however I have some good news. The trustees have been extremely proactive in securing financial support to help us meet the fixed costs of the centre and renegotiating some of our fixed payments, so we have been able to hold subs at £6 for the next month (May). The trustees were also very clear that we will meet in a few weeks to review subs once again for June and July. August will remain a ‘non charging’ month, despite some advice suggesting we should now charge. We don’t usually have much income in August anyway, so we always prepare our budget and manage cashflow accordingly for this month. Seems no different this year, as long as we continue to be careful now.

We hope you enjoyed our little video message to all our members. We really do mean it – we are missing Scouting (although catching up on the reams of paperwork is quite nice as well!). I wonder if any of you can ‘pass it on’ – send me your video clips and I’ll see if we can make a sequel!

I’m sorry, I’m aware these updates are getting longer and longer. There’s just so much to share (and secretly, I’m really enjoying writing them…gives structure to my week!). Well done if you made it to here. Last little bit is a date for your diary – the Group Annual General Meeting on 12th May at 6.30pm. This will be held live via our Facebook page. More to follow a little closer to the time.

For another week, that’s me finished. Take care, keep safe and have a go at the ‘pass it on’ video!

Best wishes

Craig

Group Scout Leader

Another shameless plug:

During this challenging time when we can’t fundraise in person and events have been cancelled, 11th Folkestone Scout Group needs your help more than ever. If you’re shopping online for anything at all, please remember to go via easyfundraising to raise free donations for us.

Easyfundraising has over 4,000 shops and sites which will donate to us at no extra cost to yourself, including lots of big name retailers like John Lewis, Argos, Uswitch, eBay, M&S, Just Eat, Now TV, Domino’s Pizza and Audible. All you have to do is go is go through the easyfundraising website or App whenever you shop online and we’ll receive a % of your spend as a free donation, at no cost to you or us.

We really need all the help we can get at the moment and any funds we raise will make a big difference to us. Please remember to use easyfundraising and if you haven’t signed up yet, you can find our easyfundraising page at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/11thfolkestonescouts/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_medium=email&utm_content=c19-e2.

Thank you.

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.
close