How to Run a Safe Meeting During COVID-19

The Return to in-person Scouting activities

Through many consultations over the last few months, Scouters and parents have voiced their concerns about the health and safety measures required to enable in-person outdoor Scouting meetings. They are looking for assurance that Scouts Canada will maintain our core value of Safety First, while providing fun and engaging in-person outdoor meetings.

 

To prepare our Sections and plan for the return of in-person outdoor meetings in the fall, Scouts Canada has developed a set of documents that will outline all the steps necessary to run a safe meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

COVID-19 Preparedness Documents

 

 

During the next two weeks, we encourage you to read them and welcome your comments via the embedded webform. Your input will help us improve our protocols and ensure we can deliver safe, in-person outdoor activities in the fall.  

 

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Given the volume of feedback expected, we may not be able to return your emails with replies. Rest assured your feedback will considered as we update the document.

How to Identify a safe Adult?

(from the Kids Help Phone website)

If you’re struggling with the changes the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing to your daily life, or if you’re struggling with abusesubstance use or anything else, remember to connect with a safe adult, you are not alone. There are things you can try to help make the situation better. It’s important to talk about what’s going on for you by reaching out to someone you trust A SAFE ADULT.

A safe adult is someone who is accountable, respects your boundaries and doesn’t ask you to keep secrets from others. Speaking to a safe adult can help you feel listened to and decide on next steps.

There are many ways to identify a safe adult in your life. A safe adult is:

  • Thoughtful: the person actively listens to you and believes you when you tell them something.
  • Trustworthy: the person is dependable, a confidant and someone you feel comfortable talking to.
  • Respectful:the person is mindful and considerate of your feelings — and your boundaries.
  • Helpful:the person provides guidance and helps you find solutions to problems.
  • Caring:the person does what’s best for you, puts you first and cares about your mental and emotional well-being and physical safety.

Who is a safe adult in your life? A safe adult in your life may be a relative, friend, teacher, guidance counsellor or anyone else you feel comfortable with and can trust.

Remember that support is available whenever you need it If you need a safe adult to talk to, you can always call a Kids Help Phone counsellor at 1-800-668-6868 https://kidshelpphone.ca/  or Tel-Jeune  at 1-800-263-2266 https://www.teljeunes.com/Tel-jeunes-en

 

Need help now? You can reach a counsellor

Kids Help Phone counsellor 24/7

What happens when you call or text or live chat?

First, you will hear a message that goes, “Hi! Welcome to Kids Help Phone.” You will then be asked to choose for service in either English or French.

Next comes a message about prank calls. Some young people are simply curious about what will happen if they call. Try to remember that our counsellors are here to help, but we need to keep the lines free for youth who need us.

Once you get through, a counsellor will ask how they can help you. Do not sweat it if you don’t know what to say. The counsellor will ask you a couple of questions to get the conversation going.

Call a counsellor at Kids Help Phone: https://kidshelpphone.ca/call

Text with a counsellor at Kids Help Phone: https://kidshelpphone.ca/text/

Live chat with a counsellor at Kids Help Phone: https://kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat/

At Tel-Jeunes 24/7 : https://www.teljeunes.com/Tel-jeunes

Call : 1-800 263-2266  / text : 514 600-1002 / live chat

Taking care of yourself while sharing space during COVID-19

(from Kids Help Phone Web site)

People across Canada and the world are practising physical distancing to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. This means we may be spending a lot more time inside and, potentially, adjusting to sharing our living spaces with others 24/7. Although we’re all adapting to these changes differently, it’s important for everyone sharing a living space to find a way to work together. And sometimes, this means giving each other time to take care of our own well-being.

Here are some ways you can take care of your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health while sharing a living space during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • create a schedule so everyone has a general idea of what to expect throughout the day
  • talk to the people in your living space about your boundaries and set guidelines, if it’s safe to do so (e.g. when I’m sitting on my chair, that means I’m having “me time,” etc.). Encourage the people you’re sharing space with to do the same.
  • plan time to connect with people outside your living space (e.g. with a call, text, email, video chat, etc.)
  • connect with your Scouting friends and hold virtual activities (e.g. with a call, text, email, video chat, etc.)
  • do Scouting at Home activities with your family, and share them on-line with your friends and contacts on social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram etc
  • find a quiet, private place where you can spend time on your own(if you can)
  • switch things up by spending time in different areas of your living space
  • spend time outside connecting with the lands, waters and wildlife (while practising physical distancing)
  • camp or have a family picnic in your backyard
  • plan time to do things together (e.g. playing games, watching a movie, sharing stories, etc.)
  • try to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel your emotions rather than bottle them up (a tension release exercisecan help you manage feelings of anxiety or stress)
  • make a list of things you can do either together or on your own (e.g. learning a new skill/hobby, cooking/baking, reading, cleaning, arts/crafts, working out, etc.)
  • write a letter to other young people sharing how you’re feeling/encouraging thoughts (more details here!)
  • if you’re struggling with abusesubstance useor anything else, remember to connect with a safe adult
  • work together to protect yourselvesfrom getting sick (e.g. by washing your hands often, coughing/sneezing into your elbow, etc.)
  • remember this is a temporary situation — we can get through this together! Try to take things one day at a time.

If you’re struggling with the changes the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing to your daily life, you’re not alone. There are things you can try to help make the situation better. It’s important to talk about what’s going on for you by reaching out to someone you trust.

Remember that support is available whenever you need it — you can always talk about whatever’s going on for you to someone you trust or a resource like Kids Help Phone https://kidshelpphone.ca/ or Tel-Jeune https://www.teljeunes.com/Tel-jeunes-en

How are other young people coping with social distancing?

Kids Help Phone has reached out to our National Youth Council (NYC) to hear how they’re coping with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what young people like you had to say:

  • find a new daily routine (e.g. use a planner to map out your activities, etc.)
  • go for a walk/hike/run/etc. while maintaining distance
  • have a virtual Netflix party
  • play a board game with people in your living space
  • check in on friends by texting at least once per day
  • make plans for all of the things you want to do when social distancing is over
  • read
  • play with LEGO
  • do creative writing or journaling
  • bake
  • play video games
  • try DIY crafts on YouTube
  • have a bubble bath
  • do yoga
  • make a list of all the things you’re grateful for
  • try new looks (e.g. with clothing, makeup, etc.)
  • do a face mask
  • play/make music
  • clean or redecorate your room/living space
  • do a puzzle or word search
  • colour, draw or try graphic design
  • learn a new skill

Remember that support is available whenever you need it — you can always talk about whatever’s going on for you to someone you trust or a resource like Kids Help Phonehttps://kidshelpphone.ca/ or Tel-Jeune https://www.teljeunes.com/Tel-jeunes-en

How can I cope with social distancing?

Here are some tips you can use to adjust to physical distancing and take care of yourself during the outbreak:

  • consider different ways you can practise self-care
  • participate in a virtual Scout meeting or activity with other Scouts and Scouters (e.g. video chat, group call, etc.)
  • do Scouting at Home activities (find lots of ideas and resources to use and share with your family and friends at:

https://www.scouts.ca/programs/scouting-at-home/overview.html

  • host a virtual gathering with friends/family for #qualitytime (e.g. video chat, group call, etc.)
  • keep up your school workwith e-learning resources
  • find something to look forward to each day of the week (e.g. Monday is Scouts video chat night, Tuesday is movie night, Wednesday is pizza night, Thursday is game night, etc.)
  • call, text, email or chat with someone you haven’t connected with in a while
  • try a digital detoxto take a break from triggering headlines in the news
  • eat nutritious foods(you can spice things up in the kitchen by trying new recipes)
  • get creative with how you exercise(there are lots of fun home workouts available on things like YouTube)
  • catch up on sleep, rest and relaxation
  • smudge to cleanse your mind and environment​ 
  • try to be flexible as things continue to evolve and change                                                 

    Remember that support is available whenever you need it — you can always talk about whatever’s going on for you to someone you trust or a resource like Kids Help Phone https://kidshelpphone.ca/ or Tel-Jeune https://www.teljeunes.com/Tel-jeunes-en

How to cope with social distancing during COVID-19?

(from Kids Help Phone Web site)

‘’ Schools are closed, events are cancelled, no more sports, no more in-person Scouts meetings and activities, and I must keep social distancing so I cannot see my friends … as a result of the new coronavirus I must adjust to a lot of changes ….’’

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is about spacing people out to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. It’s also called physical distancing to help remind people it’s not about stopping social connection, it’s about giving ourselves room to avoid catching/spreading the disease.

Physical distancing may bring up different emotions for people.

  • Some people may value a slower pace of life and more time spent at home.
  • Some people may be dealing with feelings of stress, fear, anxiety and isolation/loneliness.

It’s totally understandable you may be feeling a range of emotions right now, but you can find comfort in knowing you’re not alone — we’re all going through this together.

It is important to:

  • wash your hands often and practise good hygiene (and encourage others in your living space to do the same)
  • avoid physical contact with people outside your living space
  • keep at least two metres (about six feet) of space between yourself and others in public
  • stay home as much as possible
  • stay away from crowded areas
  • be mindful of face-to-face contact with people who are more vulnerable to the virus (e.g. elderly people/people over age 65, people with other illnesses, etc.

Remember that support is available whenever you need it — you can always talk about whatever’s going on for you to someone you trust or a resource like Kids Help Phone https://kidshelpphone.ca/ or Tel-Jeune https://www.teljeunes.com/Tel-jeunes-en

Novel Coronavirus Update

Appointment Council Commissioner Quebec Council

George Craigie

Dear Scouters,

It is my sincere pleasure to announce the appointment of George Craigie as Council Commissioner for Quebec Council effective immediately.

George Craigie
George Craigie

George joined the scouting movement as a Cub Scout, then Scout, Venturer and finally as a youth leader. The highlight of his time as a youth in Scouting was attending CJ77 in P.E.I., and the many fond memories of Cub and Scout Camps in Nova Scotia. After university, a career that took him to Montreal, and a young family, he enrolled his son in Cubs with the St Thomas a Becket Group in the Montreal West Island Area. Soon after, he was asked to help out, and before long he was back in Scouting as an Assistant Scouter with the Pack. He moved up to Scouts with his son and eventually became the Troop Scouter and then Group Commissioner. He then took on another role as Group Commissioner for Fairview Centennial Group, became Area Commissioner for West Island, and most recently he held the role of DCC Camps and Properties.

Professionally, George has pursued his education and a career in logistics, purchasing and supply chain management. He has held various positions of increasing responsibility in management with McKesson Canada, currently as a Senior Director in Procurement Operations. George is very active in his industry, and professional development, including holding leadership roles with Supply Chain Management Association, and GS1 Canada. He has a passion for boating, and for leisure has been involved as an officer and trainer with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons. For relaxation George enjoys camping and spending time in the outdoors with his family.

George can be reached at [email protected].

We welcome George in his new role, working as part of the Council Key 3 to deliver fun, safe Scouting adventures to our members and helping Scouts Canada achieve its 5 priorities.

Yours in Scouting,

Tim Welch

National Commissioner

Cub thanks his customers…

November 2018

Thank you very much for helping me sell $2510.00 of Scouts Popcorn this year. By purchasing popcorn, you allowed the children in my group keep $1155.50 of my popcorn sales for our camps, activities, and program supplies. Some of you also made cash donations to scouting, and those totalled $376.55. Altogether, I raised $1532.05 for local scouting.

youth shooting arrow while Scouter coaches.
… portion of the money to treat 30 children and volunteers from my Cub Pack to an archery day…

We are going to put some of the money into a fund for children who can’t afford extra scouting activities. Thanks to you, many children who couldn’t otherwise afford camps can now go. I’m pretty excited about using another portion of the money to treat 30 children and volunteers from my Cub Pack to an archery day, where we will learn Olympic-style archery and safety from professional instructors. We will also put some money towards training supplies to help as many scouting youth and volunteers across the province of Quebec learn canoeing and pioneering.

Thanks again for supporting scouts across the province, sending kids to camp, and funding really cool adventures. I hope you are willing to help support Scouts Canada again in the future.

Sincerely, Rowan Luckow (Beaconsfield resident, member of 1st Greenfield Park Cubs)

Camp Tamaracouta Temporarily Closing.

An Important Message from Your Council Key 3

Friends in Scouting,

As your Council Key 3, we are committed to ensuring Scouting properties are both sustainable and support quality outdoor programming.

Over the past months, we have taken the time to review operations at Tamaracouta Scout Reserve (TSR). The property needs repairs and significant infrastructure upgrades to continue to be a viable, safe property for our youth to enjoy.

Recent bookings show that while there is good support from Groups within Quebec Council making use of the property, it is insufficient to sustainably support the operating costs. Significant efforts were made during this past year to increase usage and identify sustainable alternate sources of revenue, which resulted in an increase in camp usage and booking revenue from Groups over the previous year. However, in order to realize a sustainable business plan, important commitments will need to be made in terms of staffing and infrastructure. Before committing such investments for the future of TSR, we plan to engage the services of a professional asset management firm to complete an overall review of the property and assist in the formulation of a viable strategic plan.

As a result, we have decided to temporarily close the property, effective December 1st, while we complete a full assessment of what would be required for TSR to operate sustainably and in keeping with provincial and Scouts Canada requirements.

Our community; Scouting Volunteers, members and staff, will be engaged throughout this process to provide feedback on how we can create a sustainable property that is Mission-aligned. You can expect to hear from us before February 2019 outlining opportunities for input. Additionally, we will provide members with quarterly updates on progress made and the recommended approach forward.

If you have a current booking at Tamaracouta Scout Reserve after December 1st, we will be in touch to cancel your booking and issue a full refund of any deposits paid.

Scout properties support us in providing great, safe Scouting adventures for youth. We look forward to your involvement and support as we evaluate options and plans for the future of Tamaracouta Scout Reserve.

Yours in Scouting,

Jeff Smith, Council Commissioner
Thomas Scoffield, Council Youth Commissioner
Mary-Pauline Vatsis, Scouting Relationship Manager