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Policy and Constitution

Dear Parents,

As you are (we hope) aware Scouting is organised as a “federation” led by the Scouting Association. Therefore each Scout Group is an independent Trust in its own right [feels a bit like a “franchise” :-)]. As such it must be registered with the Charity Commission, produce audited accounts (posted to the Charity Commission and publicly available on its website). Very importantly, legally, it must be seen to be well managed by a Board of Trustees – that is the Executive Committee of the 5th Farnham (Bourne) Scout Group. 

In order that the committee can perform that role we need a written “framework”.  That is contained in the Constitiution of the 5th Farnham (based on the “model constitution” provided by the Scout Association) and in the Policies we apply (in accordance with the overarching Scouting “Policy, Organisation and Rules” – POR) https://www.scouts.org.uk/por/

In accordance with the need to employ best practice, stay current and  continually improve we have recently updated both our Constitution and Policies. These documents are posted on our website <here>

The Executive Committee and scouting leadership of the 5th strive to be an exemplar Scout Group that we can ALL be proud of.  To be successful, this needs the commitment of all of us – including you, the parents.  We would ask that :

1) You do carefully read these documents so that you are fully aware of how we operate. If you have comments, questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at gsl@5thfarnham.org.uk

2) Consider joining in and helping us e.g. by joining the Executive Committee, or by leading a small fundraising project. Or by becoming a leader 🙂 If you’d like a ‘no-obligation’ chat about opportunities please email the address above, or ring Ian on 07734325208 or Liz on 07825314136.

Thanks and regards,

The Executive Committee.

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Covid-19 : May Update

Here at the 5th Farnham (Bourne) Scout Group, along with all other Scout Groups in the country, we’ve sadly had to pause all face-to-face scouting activities for the time being. The Scout Association is monitoring the situation and will advise when there is any change in the current advice and interpretation of government guidelines.

We very much hope that the ‘Skills for Life’ that our young people have already gained from their time in Scouting will be standing them in good stead for this period of lockdown and social distancing. There are so many good resources available online, and we know many parents have been able to support their children with creative activities, but even periods of ‘boredom’ for young people may have enabled them to discover new interests for themselves.

Some of our sections have been able to give their members ideas for badge related activities and we’d love to see what you’ve been up to if you’d like to send in any photos. We’d especially like to know if any of you have done any ‘camps at home’ either indoors or in your gardens. Also in this next phase with the slight relaxation of restrictions on time spent outside and places you can visit, we do hope that everyone will make the best use of the outdoor environment and let’s see where you can explore next!

Some of the leaders are still extremely busy with working as key workers, working from home and childcare. Others are enjoying a well earned rest and time for reflection and planning ahead for when we can meet again. 

Finance

We have paused all subs payments for this term. However, the national Scout Association required us to pay the annual  capitation fee at the end of March regardless which means that our budget for 2020/21 is affected. As a Trust the 5th Farnham is required  by the Charity Commission to hold a financial reserve. Clearly, there are still some running costs even without there being any Scouting – and thus no income. It isn’t clear when we will be able to resume. Clearly the impact on the 5th Farnham finances will be greater the longer that situation endures. We will keep parents informed. However, upon resumption of Scouts it may be necessary to increase the weekly subs. We will certainly need to vigorously fund raise (along with many other organisations) and hope that parents will be keen to actively engage in organising and running that effort.  If you have ideas we would love to hear them.

A gentle reminder re Gift Aid: if you haven’t ever filled in a Gift aid form, or ticked the box in OSM please print and sign this form and return (scan/photo) to gsl@5thfarnham.org.uk, or log into your OSM account and update your details.

Every little helps.

Many thanks,

Ian Turton/ Liz Chart

Co-Group Scout Leaders

May 2020

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Hike to the Moon

Scouts across the country have been hiking to the moon by walking a mile at home in support of BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief as part of BBC’s Big Night In which took place last night!

This was a massive fundraising special to celebrate the incredible people making a difference in communities across the UK, and to support people who need it most during the coronavirus crisis.

If you haven’t joined in yet, why not get walking or donating on the Scout Association website.

Visit the Hike to the Moon section on the Scout Association website for further information about how to get involved.

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How to Camp at Home This Summer

Even though our summer camps might be cancelled (watch this space for updates from the different sections), why not create your own camp at home this summer with your family. Camping is a great family activity and gives you a chance to spend some time together and share challenges and experiences – just what the scouting movement is all about.

 

Step 1:  A Place to Sleep

Choose a place to create your den, hang your hammock or put up your tent. You can create a place to sleep using a number of items that you’re likely to find lying around your home, from blankets and cushions to boxes and bits of furniture, you might have a hammock; some of you may even have your own tents and garden space to spare. Camping doesn’t have to be outdoors – there is no reason that you’re living room cannot be transformed into a camping site for a night! Persuading your Beavers, Cubs or Scouts that you’re living room camp shouldn’t be permanent may be more of a challenge!

 

Step 2: Stories Around the Campfire

What is camp without some stories! Stop storytelling becoming a lost art and make up some scary tales as you sit together in the dark. Or share the storytelling as a family and each add to the story to create something really different! No campfire, no problem! If you’re camping inside, why not put out some candles (your Beavers, Cubs or Scouts should be able to light these carefully) to set the campfire mood. If you’re outside, a BBQ works well as a fire, or perhaps you have a chimnea or fire pit? Candles can also work nicely outside but make sure that you find some jars to stop them blowing out in the wind.

 

Step 3: Camp Grub

Worm stir fry anyone? Not convinced? No – nor us, not unless forced to for survival. That being said, camp is a great opportunity to try some different and new foods. Aim for something that could be cooked in a Dutch oven or over an open fire. How about a delicious chilli con carne or bolognaise sauce?  Or wrap some potatoes in foil and pop them in the embers, the bottom of your BBQ (or the oven if all else fails!). Get the kids involved in the cooking – even young Beavers have all the skills needed to help create some delicious camp grub.

And, what is a camp without marshmallows?!?! Use your candles or fire to give your marshmallows a little browning around the edges! Watch out they get quite hot!

 

Step 4: Flashlight Finder

Whether you’re camping inside your home or in your back garden, a flashlight treasure hunt is a fun adventure. Wait until its dark hide your treasure and then watch everyone hunt. A good prize could be a delicious snack or just bragging rights!

 

Step 5: Camp Hike

Why not use your one hour of exercise to fit in a family camp hike? We all love a night hike, but you can go any time of day. Plan your route and see if your Beaver, Cub or Scout can help you navigate your way.

 

Step 6: Make it your Own

Why not come up with your own at home camp tradition, something that you’ll always remember and you can add to any future camping ‘trips’ either at home or when we can once again explore the great outdoors. We’d love to hear what you come up with!

 

 

 

Don’t forget to send photographs of your camping adventures to gsl@5thfarnham.org.uk and tell us what you’re getting up to! We hope to include a gallery on our website of all of your ‘at home’ summer camps, so let us know if we can include your camping story online. Stay safe and have fun!

 

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Fifth Fest Still Planned

2020 will be the third year that Fifth Farnham will host the popular Fifth Fest at Garners Field. FifthFest is a family festival with live music and camping with fun activities for kids (and adults!) of all ages, including the infamous silent disco.

We very much hope to be able to hold the FifthFest event come September, but we are going to be following government guidance to see whether it is appropriate to hold the event.

Watch this space for the latest FifthFest updates and news.

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Covid-19 Announcement

Dear 5th Farnham (Bourne) Scout Group members and parents,

As a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and the risk of young people and adults transmitting infection to each other, or picking it up from surfaces and equipment at section meetings we have reluctantly made the decision as co-GSLs to suspend the section meetings for the remainder of the term (3 weeks), plus the jumble/sustainability sale which had earlier been planned for 21st March. This will take effect immediately.

We don’t wish to cause alarm, we have read as much as possible, looked at the available advice, and noted the current status of schools etc. However, it is our view that there is significant risk of infection, and consequential harm. We have a member of our leadership team who works in the emergency healthcare industry and he has stated firmly that it is the right thing to do to reduce the risk of transmission and it is, on balance, in the best interests of the young people and adults, to take the action now and not wait until we have confirmed cases.

We do have young people, leaders and parent helpers with underlying conditions including asthma. Other vulnerable family members may also be at risk if they contract the infection brought home by a member of the group from a section meeting. All the leaders and helpers are volunteers and we do not have a critical need to continue meeting when ‘social distancing’ is one of the key ways to reduce infection rates and #flattenthecurve. As there is an incubation period and testing everyone is not possible, we do not know who is currently infected without knowing it.

We propose that we will offer a refund of the subs if parents request it (£14.65), but also do offer the chance to decline the refund as a donation to support our future activities, for which we would be most grateful.

We propose to review the situation in mid-April and make a decision at that point about whether we will re-start after the Easter Holiday or extend the break even further.

We understand District are currently considering the prospects for Family Camp in April, and if you have booked they will contact you with a decision should it be cancelled, and we and the section leaders will have to make decisions about camps planned for the next few months. Explorer meetings are not included in this announcement.

In the spirit of Scouting, we hope that all our members will remain calm, contribute to their community at a time of crisis, be kind and help other people, and we hope to find creative and innovative ways of communicating and sharing ideas and even doing badge work and learning new skills whilst being physically separated. We would welcome all ideas and skills (eg. internet solutions) which could help us keep Scouting in a new way.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at gsl@5thfarnham.org.uk , or contact your section leader, if you have any questions or comments.

We wish you all health and strength and courage at this time. Please let us know if there is anything that the group can do to help at any stage if your family is affected by illness or isolation. We really do want to help each other.

Kind regards

Ian Turton/Liz Chart

Co-Group Scout Leaders

5th Farnham (Bourne) Scout Group