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Beavers - 6 to 8 years

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Some members of 2nd Elgin Scout Group took on the challenge to raise money for homeless veterans across the UK as they made their own shelters for a sleep-out challenge. 16 members including young people, volunteers and some keen parents took part in the Great Tommy Sleep Out, run by Royal British Legion Industries, throughout March.

Their original goal was to raise £150 through a JustGiving Fundraiser page but they soon knocked that figure out of the park, with a whopping £470 donated to the charity! The group took to the challenge after one of the local volunteers, Lee Kirkpatrick, was inspired after hearing one of his friends had recently completed the challenge with his family.

He thought it would be a great way to engage the Scouts online and keep them going through a difficult time, while also making a difference to a worthwhile cause. The money raised will enable RBLI’s continued support of veterans, more specifically for those with disabilities and those veterans who face issues with homelessness.

Many of the people they support, unfortunately, are living in precarious housing, or are ‘sofa surfing’, as a result of breakdowns in family relations or financial difficulties after returning to civilian life. RBLI also supports veterans who struggle with a range of other issues such as those living with physical disabilities and mental health conditions.

Lee said the youngsters were eager to get involved from the get-go, so they could do their bit to support other people alongside some enthusiastic parents joining in the fun by sleeping outside with the young people on the mild nights. Lee added that: "The challenge to the Scouts was simple; it's cold, it's dark, it's wet. Can you last the night and help homeless ex-servicemen and women?"

On top of their amazing fundraising achievement, 2nd Elgin Scout Group have continued to deliver fun and excitement of Scouting activities through young people’s computer screens over the lockdown. Through local volunteers keeping it going, this support has helped young people’s wellbeing during the pandemic, by delivering some action packed virtual activities.

There is now light at the end of the tunnel, following updated guidance from the Scottish Government and Youthlink, with the Scout Movement announcing a return to face to face activities.

To begin with, this will be held at outdoors with a greatly reduced capacity, as Scout Groups across Scotland will follow a gradual phrased return to a form of normality. 2nd Elgin Scout Group look forward to resuming their own activities after the Easeter holidays.

Although the original fundraiser from the Elgin Scouts is now closed due to JustGiving rules, you may still donate to the Royal British Legion Industries if you wish on their webpage.

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Blog | NEScouts now at Amber
11/03/2021 By Aaron Wappler

Following the recent announcement from the Scottish Government relating to some easing of restrictions and in line with the strategic framework, I have been working with YouthLink Scotland to update the guidance for Youthwork Activity in Scotland. I can confirm that Scouting in Scotland (along with other youth work providers) will be moving back to the Amber readiness level from Friday 12 March 2021.

As you will be aware youth work continues to link closely with schools and therefore, from tomorrow, we will move to Amber with groups allowed to meet outdoors in group sizes of 15, this includes young people and adults.

From tomorrow you will be able to operate within your local authority until further information is made available about the updated level system later in April. This can include non-contact outdoor activity. However, group travel as part of the activity e.g. outings and trips, is currently not permitted. Please note that adults can cross Local Authority boundaries to get to their normal meeting place.

I am still working with the Government on longer term plans for camping and larger group sizes but we expect these to be introduced steadily throughout the summer. We hope that this will be a phased approach and we will keep you advised.

As with the strategic framework, all target dates are subject to the vaccination programme continuing at the same rate and the rate of infections reducing across the country.

Physical distancing should be maintained at all times between adults, between adults and children/young people and between young people aged 12 and over. This is currently 2m. Youth work leaders should consult the latest Scottish Government guidance for the current default position for physical distancing, including the rules for children aged 11 and under and those aged 12+. Leaders should also continue to follow FACTS. Face coverings are optional outdoors, unless physical distancing can’t be maintained for short periods.

We always need to consider the risks as we’re dealing with different strains of the virus and the majority of people at our meetings will not have been vaccinated yet. Outdoor meetings are being relaxed initially due to the lower risk of transmission outdoors, and we would recommend meeting outdoors where you can, in the spring and summer months.

Taking part in Scouts is voluntary for all leaders and young people and nobody should be pressured to return to face-to-face meetings before they are comfortable doing so. We hope that by the spring every young person is able to take part in Scouting provision whether that be online or face-to-face.

In order to make it easier for Leaders to restart, we have simplified the guidance on equipment sharing and we have clarified how our adult supervision rules apply when operating multiple limited size groups close together. This can be found here.

Scout Network organised activity can be carried out in line with these updated guidelines, but adult only groups must continue to adhere to household rules that from 12 March 2021 will be a maximum of 4 adults from 2 households.

If Groups have had an amber risk assessment approved this will still be valid, but we’d encourage them to review their risk assessment before meeting again. There is no requirement to resubmit the risk assessment to Districts for approval unless they’re making a big change to the way they plan to operate. For those Groups who have not yet had an Amber risk assessment approved then this should be submitted to your District Commissioner before any face-to-face contact can take place. Make sure you've read all of the details about getting back together safely and protecting ourselves and others.

Please remember too, that all adults in your leadership team must have up-to-date training in Safety and Safeguarding, before they are permitted to participate in face-to-face meetings.

This news is welcome and is the first step in what we hope will be a gradual reintroduction to activities and I will continue to work with external organisations and our UK Team to make sure that we do everything to make the process as seamless as possible.

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Blog | Build a Snow Sculpture Competition
09/02/2021 By Aaron Wappler
Open to all sections, from Beavers to Network across NEScouts.
 
Is it an igloo? Is it a plane? Is it a snowman? Well, be creative with your idea, build it and send in your picture for your chance to win some cool prizes as part of our NEScouts snow sculpture competition!
 
Leaders: We would also be delighted if this could count towards a badge with your section. Please let us know if you do!
 
How to enter:
 
1) Build an interesting snow sculpture and place a necker on it.
 
2) Take a photo and upload it via our form (it would be great to see the snow sculpture maker as well, but no problem either way!
 
3) Give the NEScouts Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page a like or follow!
 
Entry Judging: Our panel of three from the #NEScouts team will vote and announce the winners on the 21st of February.
 
Prizes: There's £25, £15 and £10 Amazon Vouchers for first place, second and third place! (We can convert this to the same cash value for another provider like iTunes etc.
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Scotland enters AMBER Phrase
17/07/2020 By Aaron Wappler
From 12pm (17 July) we are moving to the Amber readiness level in Scotland. 
 
So we can begin to deliver face to face activities you must complete your risk assessments and get all the relevant approval by your line manager. 
 
This means for most Scouts in the North East of Scotland you can now organise COVID-19 safe face-to-face activities outdoors only with a maximum group size of 15, including Leaders.
 
Make sure you read all of the guidance and steps that must be taken before any face-to-face activity can begin: https://www.scouts.scot/…/change-to-the-covid-19-readiness…/
 
Should you require your DC's contacts check out the 'Meet the Teamsection. 
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The Great Indoors Weekender
03/07/2020 By Aaron Wappler
Young people have missed out on all kinds of things this year so to give them something really special, Scouts are holding (cue big, boomy voice) The Great Indoors Weekender! 
 
Join the UK’s biggest digital summer camp from your home on 11–12 July. With surprise celebrity guests, cooking, crafts, music and more, young people (6+) will get the chance to have fun while learning skills like giving stuff a go, thinking for themselves, and playing their part. 
 
To get involved, you’ll need to build a base camp (whether it’s a tent under the stars or a duvet dragged under the stairs), connect with Scouts online, and you’re all set. 
 
You can take part as an individual, family or Group, and dip in and out of the weekend as much as you like. There’s activities you can complete in your own time as well as live
events, including a UK-wide campfire. 
 
Take a look at the programme and sign up here: scouts.org.uk/the-great-indoors/the-great-indoors-weekender/
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