Group Scout Leader Report 2020

The Following report was given at our AGM on Thursday 17th December 2020. The Annual Report from 2019 – 2020 can be viewed here 2019-2020 Bonnyrigg Annual Report

I’m not sure if I had known what was coming I would’ve taken over the role as GSL in February.  One might think that with a whole country going into lockdown in March it would have made things simpler!

During the initial few weeks of lockdown there was a lot of worrying about survival of scout groups’ in general and how long was lockdown going to last?

Just how could we deliver a programme that would keep the young people engaged?

So what it did do was to make us more focussed as a group to continue to give our young people the best experience possible. With a lot of thinking out of the box as a group I think we have risen to these new challenges.

We needed to embrace technology like never before, use the power of social media and get everyone to engage in online scout manager. Zoom meetings became the normal with various quizzes, treasure hunts and a lot of noise in my dining room!  So much so my daughter actually thought everyone was in our house!

We participated in many virtual events like the JOTT, Hike to the moon, SES-Sleepout, Mid-jam and a wonderful virtual camp fire.  Who knew it would be so much fun doing this in our own gardens and hikes with the family.

With the easing of lockdown came more concerns, how could we keep ourselves and the young people safe and be able to return to some face to face scouting?

As a group and with funding from the government we embarked on making our hall safe, we cleared the hall of virtually all but a few items, we deep cleaned, we  installed hand sanitizers and instituted risk assessments for safe systems for when we could return indoors. We used the time to get many outstanding repairs completed. We achieved such a lot in a relatively short time.

The hall is cleaned before and after each meeting and we now have a deep clean of the hall done monthly.

The Scouts were the first to meet face to face outdoors with continued risk assessments for activities within the government guidelines and indeed have only returned to indoor activities in the last few weeks. The Scout leaders have managed a very full programme since face to face outdoor scouting began in September and have been totally committed to providing these activities for the Scouts.

The Cubs and Beavers returned to the hall in October for face to face scouting.  The leaders have had to do things a little differently, but our young people are still working towards badges, they are still engaged and we continue to have good numbers of young people within the younger age groups.

As we move closer to 2021, we are not sure what to expect (particularly after this year) but we are still here and we continue to thrive as a group.

This would not be possible without all the hard work of all the leaders and the executive team whom I would like to thank for all their support in what has been a testing year.

We continue to look for new leaders to assist with beavers and cubs and would welcome enquiries from anyone who feels they could give us some of their time to help us deliver a balanced programme of activities to our young people.

If anyone is interested in supporting us as a volunteer with Beavers or cubs  please get in touch, details below.

Trish Elder-Gracie
Group Scout Leader