Our County Team are busy planning a virtual camp for young people from Beavers through to Explorers on the weekend, 20th to 21st March 2021. We are looking forward to the hopeful return of face-to-face activities in the months ahead and we want to get everyone back together working towards their badges and awards!

This camp is a great opportunity to keep young people already taking part in virtual activities engaged, and to re-engage those who may not have been attending.

Our activities will be delivered in formats to suit everyone; Live streamvideos and activity sheets. Each activity will work towards or support the achievement of badge requirements, with additional sessions for young people to learn more about upcoming opportunities. We will share an activity matrix to outline the badge requirements met by each of the activities.

Young people (and leaders) will be encouraged to sleep somewhere different, and we will be offering a live streamed session on Den Building to help make it possible!

The full schedule will be available at the beginning of March. The schedule will also include any resources young people need for each of the activities. We are asking Section Leaders to share the website link with parents / carers at the earliest opportunity. There is an option for parents / carers to register their interest, and we will keep them updated when new information becomes available.

Event Link: www.gmwscouts.org.uk/event/virtualcamp/

We are planning a number of sessions for volunteers too, including programme sharing workshops, top tips for delivering safe online programmes, and support with the return of face-to-face Scouting. The full schedule for volunteers will be published at the beginning of March and you can register your interest by visiting the event link.

If you have any questions, suggestions or want to get involved, please email programme@nullgmwscouts.org.uk.

Census Figures as at 31.01.2021 Groups (GSL/Group Admin)/Districts please ensure these figures are submitted electronically to HQ no later than Friday 12 February.

Subscriptions 2021 HQ £36.00 (£36.50 with rebate of 50p for prompt payment) County £9.50 Total £45.50 for youth members under 18 years of age (Total does not include any District Levy) 

Payment Methods
Cheques to be received no later than Friday 9 April 2021 payable to “Greater Manchester West County Scout Council” (no abbreviations) and sent to County Office, Unit 5 Kelmercourt House, 102 Sale Lane, Tyldesley, M29 8PZ. BACS transactions NOT to be done before 1
st April and to be received no later than Friday 16th April 2021. Details Account Name GMWCSC, Account No. 00097825, Sort Code 40 52 40. Using reference (District Name/Subs) 

Our website is having a makeover!

There will be occasions over the next few weeks where you might find our website unavailable or not looking it’s best. Please bear with us whilst we improve our website.

We are creating a webpage for leaders to share their virtual programme ideas as part of our website development. In the meantime, we wanted to share a new virtual programme resource with you. 

1st Digital Scouts are releasing weekly recorded section meetings for Beavers through to Explorers. The programme sessions offer young people the opportunity to work towards badge requirements by completing activities on the weekly sessions. These resources will support leaders who have ran out of ideas for running virtual programmes and they could also be an option for groups not running virtual Scouting as a way to re-engage young people, ahead of a hopeful return to face-to-face in the coming months.

1st Digital Scouts – Website
1st Digital Scouts – Facebook Page

All has been relatively quiet on the training front but be assured that plenty of progress is still being made in the background. Thank you again for your assistance in making sure that mandatory training is completely up to date – please can you check your own record again and ensure that these haven’t lapsed over the past few months. Safeguarding, Safety, and GDPR can all be completed online and validated by showing your training advisor your certificate.

First Aid Training
First Aid training has been extended for all members that held a valid first aid qualification from March 23rd 2020 to September 2021. No need for anyone to worry just yet!  We cannot meet face to face to complete the courses at the moment and also we aren’t able to make use of them at the moment anyway. We are in a very fortunate position as a County that when we are able to roll out mass training, we can.  We are looking into various methods of ensuring quality provision for as soon as safely possible.

Woodbadge Training
Wood Badge training and training for other non-management appointments is going to be run via e-learning courses and virtual sessions. These are likely to be run in 5 stages and accompanied by a training surgery. Dates and times to follow.

Manager and Support Training
Managers and Supporters training has been a minefield, if we are perfectly honest.  We have strong plans in place to deliver this training virtually within our own County as soon as possible.  Again, dates to follow.

Next Steps
As far as training goes, COVID has ruined all of the plans we had in place for 2020 and meant we have had to start an adaptation process for 2021. However, we are safe and well which is far more important, as I’m sure you will agree. Our adapted programme is an interim measure and is ‘learning’ only. Validation in most cases, still requires leaders, managers and supporters to be face to face with their young people or leaders.  Back dating of validation still has to be recent and relevant and explained by a training advisor.

Our Greater Manchester West Training team is here to help you. Please get in touch if there is anything we can do by emailing, training@nullgmwscouts.org.uk

As a result of the current national lockdown and the predicted restrictions to follow in the weeks and months ahead, we have reviewed our County Calendar and made some changes.Young Leader Training Weekend – postponedNetwork Social Camp – virtual event, date to be confirmedScout Patrol Leader Training Day – postponedResidential Training Courses – postponedScout Lord Derby Competition – virtual eventGoodwood Weekender – back in 2022We will review our calendar regularly and communicate any changes in future member updates.

We are delighted to announce the latest County Appointment:

Jean Archer
County Secretary

How long have you been in Scouting and how did you get involved?
I have been involved in scouting for over 30 years and have held different appointments throughout my scouting career. In Sale District, I held the appointments ABSL, ACSL, CSL, ADC Cub Scouts and District Commissioner. I then held a County role as ACC Adult Training and most recently I have been a Scout Active Support Member at Bispham Hall Scout Estate.

What is your favourite Scouting adventure or memory?
My most memorable moments are Windsor Castle for the St George’s Day Parade and meeting Bear Grylls at Bispham Hall Scout Estate.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
As County Secretary, I hope to support the smooth running of Greater Manchester West. 

Readiness level: RED
This means: No face-to-face activities may take place until further notice.