Like every group in the country, we were forced to close during our spring programme, and relocated to zoom meetings in order to justify our lofty £30 a term subs. Meeting Scouts on zoom is like herding cats - cats with rubbish internet connections and low quality audio visual equipment, seemingly permanently affixed sub nasally. We managed for the most part, but found an hour of pixelated twelve-way conversations was more than enough to keep us connected.

Imagine our delight when, after hours of toiling away writing and rewriting risk assessments, we were finally given the go ahead to reopen, with some minor alterations to our processes of course. Now imagine the delight of a Scout being told to keep 2m from another Scout they had been sitting next to at school all day. I can't describe what this looks like as I can no longer recognise facial features unless they are pixelated, but I'm reliably informed they were well chuffed. This is of course assuming we have granted them access after passing both the thermometer trials and the facemask gauntlet.

Once safely inside though, they can at least enjoy the fruits of their labours, and participate in one of the many activities we have reimagined to work at distance; 2m knotting is a personal favourite of mine, but does require decent eyesight. It's safe to say this scouting year has been difficult, and I can well imagine groups who do not have the luxury of owning their premises might be finding it even more of a challenge, both financially and logistically. Scouting will not be the same for a long while. I should imagine, as a whole we'll start haemorrhaging members (both Scouts and Leaders) as we can't provide the programme we wish to, and leaders may ask themselves if there is any point in continuing.

The only silver lining to all of this is the news that the Scout Association taking responsibility of Broadstone Warren back from County, the inevitable first step in it being sold and us all getting a pay rise! All in all it's been a very frantic, worrying and desperate time for a lot of people both in and out of Scouting, and I suspect this may be the root cause of your lack of uptake in getting news for TomTom. Give it time, let people get back into the swing of meeting again (unless that is also curtailed) and I'm sure that before you know it you'll have more articles than you'll know what to do with.

All the best,

1st Brede Scouts

Ready to start your Adventure?