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Grantham Scouts look forward to the great outdoors again

Grantham Scouts are looking forward to meeting up again next week following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers in the Grantham area will be back to meetings and activities from April 19.

They will be able to meet in their Scout huts and carry on with their activities, although Covid still means they will be restricted in what they can do and must remain socially distanced.

Beavers and Cubs enjoy their time around the camp fire. (46171257)
Beavers and Cubs enjoy their time around the camp fire. (46171257)

District governor Eileen Booth said: “For safety’s sake, although they will be allowed to meet indoors in small groups, they must be socially distanced, so at the moment most groups will want to meet outdoors.

“For some groups it will mean if they have got a large number and a small hall, meeting outdoors is going to be more practical.”

At this time of year, the Scouts look forward to taking part in the St George’s Day parade but that will not take place. Instead there will be an online service from St Wulfram’s with the Guides.

But groups are now looking towards some exciting activities. These include climbing, which one group is hoping to do in Derbyshire, kayaking, body boarding, and camps when they can, but at the moment there are no overnight stays allowed.

Grantham Scouts go hiking. (46170433)
Grantham Scouts go hiking. (46170433)

Many groups are now booked into their campsite Duke’s Covert, in Ancaster, where they can do their usual backwoodsman activities while everything remains Covid safe.

Among other activities it is hoped to restart over the summer are caving and canyoning, mountain biking and hiking.

Eileen said: “It’s a relief we are getting a little bit back to normal. They have been doing Zoom meetings all through Covid. The Scouts Association got Zoom for every group.

“They have continued to do badge work and activities each week. They have done a number of virtual camps where they have camped out at home or in their back garden.”

Chairman of Grantham Scouts Malcolm Hall said it was a relief to be getting back to normal. He said: “We have to thank the leaders who tried to keep the thread going, although it was a little bit thin at times, by having online stuff and keeping contact with everybody.

“We are going back up to the campsite next week to do some tidying up because there will be a lot of activities up there. The advantage there is that there is a lot of open space where the usual outdoor Scouting activities can take place.”

Training manager John Twycross is also relieved Scouts can get back to some kind of normality. He said: “It’s great that they can get back, that’s the main thing because it is not the same doing it over Zoom. Although you are keeping in contact you are not really doing the Scouting activities, which is what everybody joins for.”

Eileen added: “Zoom has been run amazingly by the leaders. They have produced some excellent evenings and weekends of activities to the young people. We have the utmost of praise for all of the leaders who have done Zoom meetings. They are not easy.”

Eileen said the Scouts are always looking for new members from the youngest in the Beavers to teenagers looking for more more challenging adventures with the Explorers.

Beavers start at five and three quarters until the age of eight, followed by the Cubs from eight to 10 and a half. Scouts start at 10 and a half until the age of 14 and Explorers are from 14 to 18.

There are four groups in Grantham itself with other Scout groups in Ancaster, Barrowby, Bottesford, Caythorpe, Colsterworth and Foston.

Eileen said: “Scouting is there for fun, adventure and skills for life. There is the opportunity to enjoy new adventures and experience the outdoors. There are international activities where they can interact with others and make new friends.”

Anybody interested in joining the Scouts, including potential leaders, can get more information from Eileen by emailing dc@granthamscouts.org.uk

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