In person Scouting allowed!
We appreciate everyone's patience, feedback, resilience, and dedication throughout our temporary return to Stage 1 Scouting. We recognize that there have been additional challenges associated with returning to virtual Scouting, and thank all of our Scouters who have continued to deliver amazing program to our youth under these circumstances.
While we have previously moved forward with a modified Council-wide implementation of Stage 1 Scouting, growing differences in recommendations by specific public health authorities means that this approach does not accurately reflect current circumstances. As such, Voyageur Council will be moving forward with a geographically-limited model which will align each Group with their respective Public Health Unit (PHU) and the restrictions that their PHU have put in place, as well as provincial and federal guidelines.
We encourage all Scouters and Groups to determine which PHU their Group falls under, and to look at the specific restrictions in place in their region. For clarity, all Groups continue to need to abide by provincial and federal regulations as well.
This means that effective today, October 23, Groups that fall under the following Public Health Units may re-open limited in-person activities according to Scouts Canada's Stage 2 guidelines:
Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Health Unit
Renfrew County and District Health Unit
Eastern Ontario Health Unit (please note that EOHU's Regional Medical Officer of Health has stated that this region may move to further restrict activities soon, which could move this region into Stage 1 Scouting as well depending on the restrictions implemented)
Groups that do not fall under the Health Units listed above remain restricted to Stage 1 Scouting at this time. This includes all Groups under:
Ottawa Public Health (map of Ottawa Public Health boundaries)
Please note that, in all cases, whether or not a Group can move to Stage 2 depends on the normal meeting location(s) of the Group pre-COVID. Additional clarity around this point, as well as further details about future potential changes to the Scouting Stage of each Council/Group in accordance with changing situations, is available at the new COVID-19 FAQ on the Scouts Canada website. As noted in the updated COVID-19 FAQ, Groups based in Stage 1 regions may not travel to Stage 2 regions to conduct Scouting activities, nor may Groups in Stage 2 regions travel to Stage 1 regions to conduct Scouting activities. For additional clarity around this point, please see the first five questions under the new COVID-19 FAQ. We encourage all Groups to consult with their Relationship Manager to ensure that everyone is clear as to which Public Health Unit guidelines they need to abide by, on top of provincial and federal regulations.
We recognize that this pause has impacted fall plans and we sincerely hope we will be able to safely return to in-person activities in all regions soon. For those who are returning to in-person activities, we encourage you to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible! As in-person Scouting may not be possible on the same schedule as pre-COVID, we encourage all of our Scouters to review all of the virtual resources available at https://www.scouts.ca/news-and-events/covid-19/welcome-back-resources.html and to check out the training modules available through the David Huestis Learning Centre.
Looking for other ideas for what your Sections could get up to during the in-person pause, or what you might be able to do with younger Sections when the weather becomes colder? There will be news coming soon about a Scouts Canada Virtual ScoutCon, which will feature sessions on those topics (and many more) throughout the month of November! There is also additional information below about an upcoming opportunity for members of the Council to speak to the Voyageur Council Voting Members, ahead of our National Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November. There are also exciting new resources available regarding Personal Achievement Badges (PABs) and Scouts Canada's partnership with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that can help provide additional virtual meeting ideas and challenges for the youth in your Section.
For those moving back into Stage 2, please also see some great news below regarding Camp Opemikon!
This message, as with our previous emails, will be made available on our Council COVID page and on our Facebook Group.
Thank you once again for all that you've done, all that you continue to do, and for all that you contribute to Scouting.
Yours in Scouting,
Voyageur Council Key 3
Paige Gladwin (Council Youth Commissioner), firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicolas DesRoches (Council Commissioner), email@example.com
Christopher Blais (Interim Council Relationship Manager), firstname.lastname@example.org