Scouting under Level 4 restrictions

With the recent extension to the Level 4 Covid restrictions announced by Government, and the decision that schools remain closed, there are no immediate changes to SCOUTS Scout Africa’s current Covid guidelines.   The continued ‘no gatherings’ rule will obviously have impacts on the Scouting programme, particularly the advancement of our members.  We all hope that these restrictions will be short-term, and that there is a substantial decrease in the infection rates in the weeks to come.

While members have the options of reverting to ‘Scouting at Home’ and ‘online Scouting’ as a way to keep active, the increased Level 4 restrictions pose some unique challenges for some of our members.  This is most likely for those who need to plan hikes and camps, or small group activities and service projects to complete their advancement requirements.

As a guiding principle, no member is to be negatively impacted as a result of the increase to Covid Level 4 restrictions.  Like our approach during the hard lockdown from March to May 2020, where members are negatively impacted by the latest measures, this would be the grounds to apply for an extension for any members who would be ageing out and unable to complete certain requirements towards either the Leaping Wolf or Springbok Scout awards.  The normal process for applying for and motivating such extensions, through either the RTC Cub Programme or RTC Scout Programme applies.  Each application will be considered favourably on it’s merits.

Scouters are also encouraged to find alternatives for the advancement requirements for some of our younger members, who may also be frustrated by not being able to finish off a badge because of the Covid restrictions.  In such circumstances, consider what alternatives can be implemented to achieve the intended outcome of the requirement?  For example, can ‘participate in a one-day expedition of at least 10km in distance, be substituted with ‘participate in a 10km hike with your family’?  Likewise, where there are pre-requisites for certain requirements, which cannot be met due to Covid restrictions, can accommodations be made, and these requirements completed later?

We encourage Scouters to be as flexible as possible, without necessarily compromising the standard required to complete the advancement task.  Please feel free to reach out to either the relevant branch STM in your District, or the relevant RTC if you have any questions or concerns regarding this topic.

As we face the next few weeks of uncertainty, let’s remember that we all have a role to play in reducing the infection rates, through our own behavior and by setting an example to others.  Let’s practice the 3D’s – Dosage, Distance and Dispersion to keep ourselves and our families safe.

Until small group activities can once again resume, keep on Scouting!

Yours in Scouting,

Gary Pienaar
Chief Commissioner