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.

Novel Coronavirus Update

Gone home – Geoff Greer

Gone Home

Geoff Governr General's Caring Canadian Award
Geoff Governr General’s Caring Canadian Award

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Geoff Greer who’s Scouting career speaks volumes of to the work he did and lives he touched.

Geoff’s path in Scouting spanned a wide range of roles and titles, from Group, to District, to Provincial Council, to Group, to Area, and back to the Group again.

Geoff wore many hats and among them was being the Provincial Commissioner for Quebec Council from 1991 to 1994, and Director of Camp Jackson Dodds from 1995 to 1998.

In all of his roles he always put the youth and the volunteers first, whom he served so faithfully.

Committed to the Scouting movement Geoff truly lived the scouting promise to its fullest.  At the age of 80 Geoff decided it was time to retire as a Section Scouter, in his own words, he just wasn’t comfortable sleeping in a tent any more.

Geoff was a Former Regimental Sergeant-Major with the Canadian Grenadier Guards and in later years an Emeritus Lay Reader with the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.

Geoff was one of the kindest, most unpretentious Scouters one could have ever met. Geoff was passionate especially for the Cub Section, but ready to serve in any capacity whether it be Section, Area or Council.

He shall be sorely missed,

Gone home Gordon Wallace Maclaren

Gone Home

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gordon Wallace Maclaren on April 22, 2020 at age 72. He will be greatly missed by his loving son Ian, his previous wife of 24 yrs, Sonia, his brothers Robert and Ross and will be remembered dearly by his sister-in-law, Doris and his nephews, Connor & Dylan. Gordon will be remembered by his kindness, his sense of humor, his good spirits and his love for food. Outside of family, he is remembered as a fun-loving person and always had a smile for everybody.Published on April 25, 2020To plant a tree in memory of Gordon Wallace MacLaren, please visit Tribute Store.

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

Gone home – Hugh Whitehead

Gone Home

Hugh Whitehead

February 15, 1928 – November 2, 2019

Hu Whitehead is the very embodiment of Scouting. As soon as he was of age, he joined his local Wolf Cub pack in Burnaby, B.C. thus beginning a lifelong love affair. Although Hu went on to give so much of his life to Scouting, he would be the first to say how much Scouting had given to him. It played a vital role in the type of person he became. As it gave to him throughout his life, so he gave unto others.

Hu continued his participation in Scouting whether living in Burnaby, B.C.; Asbestos, Shawinigan Falls, Buckingham and Pointe Claire, Quebec; Niagara Falls, Ontario; or Wolfville and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The consistent structure and availability of Scouting readily provided a wealth of friends, a sense of belonging, and a continuous opportunity to challenge himself as he developed useful skills. As he grew as a person, Scouting helped along the way. An eager scouter, he relished the challenge of earning the many badges afforded to him, absorbing the lessons therein, assuming leadership roles and making a lifetime of cherished friendships. Progressing through life, Hu was a sixer, a patrol leader, a Queen’s Scout, a cadet at the same time, a Knight of Tamara, an assistant cub master, a scoutmaster, a rover leader, a district commissioner, and a provincial commissioner. He sat on countless district, regional, provincial and national committees, learning and imparting as he went. A veteran of numerous national and world jamborees which included selecting the site of the 1983 one in Kananaskis, Alberta, he worked tirelessly to ensure that these Scouting experiences would be memorable, informative and worthwhile. When not tending to official duties, he could often be found swapping badges, scout lore, and stories with Scouts and Scouters of all ages.

Hu enjoyed conducting leadership sessions at all levels as he believed that Scouts and Scouters alike had much to gain and then share from the Scouting experience. Such is the lifelong personal growth achieved from involvement in Scouting. During the 1960’s, he joined with a few like-minded Scouters to design and install the Venturers program, creating a link between Scouts and Rovers. He also was the recipient of both the Silver Acorn and Silver Wolf in recognition of his work with Scouting.

Hu had a special attachment to Camp Tamaracouta, spending many happy times there. In fact, his final endeavour in Scouting, and one in which he took great pride, was to be one of the co-authors of the book, Camp Tamaracouta – The First 100 Years. Many of his collected Scouting souvenirs have been donated to the care of Dave Perkins and his work on the museum at Tamaracouta. It was a big wish of his that other Scouters might continue to enjoy all that this camp has to offer for at least another hundred years.

Along with Hu’s Scouting involvement, his travels took him to complete his High School diploma in Shawinigan Falls where he met a class of lifelong friends whom he loved to join often for reunions. His best friend, Ted Cook, convinced him to go Acadia for Engineering. He offset schooling with military service, taking the train back and forth across Canada to work in Chilliwack with the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers. Later, he was the Works Officer for the city of Halifax and at Val Cartier, near Quebec City. A mechanical engineer by trade, he worked for Johns-Manville, DuPont, Cyanamid, T.P.F.and C, .and finally Pratt and Whitney.

He was married for sixty-one years to Mary Manzer, whom he met at Acadia University, where he received letters of commendation in track and basketball. They would share a love of Scouting, sports, community and family. They worked together on training, developing and delivering “Wood Badge” courses for Scouting; essentially, training the trainer. Together, they raised three sons, Jim, Alan and Bruce and a daughter, Louise. He was a former president of the Kinsmen Club at Shawinigan Falls, Quebec, a member of the Engineering Institute of Canada, a member of the Order of the Sons of Martha, the Canadian Management Association, a Mason, a long-time server at church, a driver for Meals on Wheels, and an active lawn bowler. Hu actively joined in Mary’s work with various charities.  He loved curling, played on numerous rinks, served as President and club historian, was the skip when his foursome scored an elusive eight ender, was granted an honorary life membership in 2009, but he most enjoyed the camaraderie which continued into his final year with his beloved Tuesday morning coffee klatch.

Hu lived a rich and full life. He was afforded many opportunities and lessons through Scouting which transferred into his life. Now, he’s gone home.