click here for Programme ideas for online and socially distanced sessions

Online activities - If you’re not meeting face-to-face because of the coronavirus pandemic, you can still stay connected with your section/Group/unit online. COVID-19 doesn’t have to stop you trying new things, learning skills, and working towards badges and awards, over 41.6 million minutes of Scouts sessions have been run online already.

Restart risk assessments - Before you restart face-to-face activities, you need to have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. This is separate to your activity risk assessments; it just deals with controlling risks related to the spread of COVID-19.

Activity risk assessments - You also need to risk assess your activities as normal (and document it). This doesn’t need to be approved, but it’s good to share it with your Group Scout Leader.

click here for the Hampshire Scouts Pennant template

Hampshire Scouts have embarked on a new project involving every Section, Group and Unit in Hampshire, bringing us all together as we start to return to normal Scouting. The idea is for each Section, Group and Unit to create a pennant so we can join them together and display them at Activity Centre locations and future events. 

We would like your Section, Group or Unit to design and draw these pennants, using the provided template. For your pennant, we would like your young people to draw a picture on the front of something they enjoy within Scouts, or something they are looking forward to doing. On the back of the pennant, please can you include some information about your Section, Group or Unit (your Section/Group name and Group logo/badge) and the first names (no last names) of the young people within your Section, Group or Unit (this can be handwritten or typed). Please send in your ONE chosen pennant per Section.  

We will leave the activity up to you to plan, but this could be done face to face (following the COVID guide lines) or virtually. One idea would be to run it as a competition, where each young person designs the front of the pennant and a winner is chosen. This can also count towards certain badges, like the creative activity badge. 

Once you have drawn your pennant, please copy it and keep a copy for your Section/Group/Unit, then please email it to us at [email protected] If you would like to see your pennant displayed at our Christmas event, please send them in by the 5th December 2020. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] 

We know from the fortnightly Explorer Scout Leader's catch up that looking for exciting programme ideas is a top priority for all of us as we adapt to a programme online rather than a programme in person.

Our answer to this was to follow our Scout values and in particular co-operate. So we've launched the Explorer Scout Online activities hub as our answer.

It is the result of collaboration and teamwork from leaders all over the county as they share ideas they have found, tried, tested and want to recommend. From quizzes to escape rooms there is plenty to keep our young people entertained. Plus ways of leaning new skills and even full programmes and slides for your next Zoom meetings.

Our hub isn't finished. After all it is constantly growing with new ideas being added as we discover new gems and try things out. We'll always take on new ideas and put them into the hub for you.

Update from 14th July:

The Scouts have now helped make this task even easier with a page full of activities and games you can do over Zoom or in face-to-face social distanced activities. It also includes suggestions for Young Leaders and Top Awards. Check it out along with the other ideas and resources around you.

So play your part, share new ideas, dip in the pool of knowledge and keep Scouting going in your area.


For many Explorers and leaders expedition season is marked in the calendar for good reason. With Coronavirus, we've had to put that on hold with residentials on hold until at least the 25 September and until we return to a green, virus free, situation. Our Open Gold expeditions have been pushed back to 2021.

While this may of course change, and you can find the latest guidelines on top awards on the Scout website, it isn't the end for DofE and the Chief Scouts Awards and Queen's Scout Awards. So what can be done?

Volunteering, Skills and Physical challenges

It may sound obvious but the three longer term challenges that contribute to the DofE, Chief Scouts and Queen's Scout Awards can all be worked towards during this time.

You can find a very useful and comprehensive list from the DofE themselves and participants for the DofE are able to change their activity and keep time already completed banked for the award.

ICV activities

The bonus activities for the Chief Scout's Platinum Award, Chief Scout's Diamond Award and the Queen's Scout Award can also be worked on at this time.

Some of the activities for example involve running activities for other sections on a theme or with your unit. In lots of cases you can still run activities virtually and complete this part of the award.

Drop us a line:

There are more adaptations available and ideas out there. If you want to discuss a specific question or run an idea past us then do have a chat with our Top Awards team and out Assistant County Commissioner for Top Awards, Mike Baxter.

We all like to know when we’re doing a good job and know what we could improve. If we never learn from our failures then we’re doomed to repeat them and we wouldn’t continue to grow as a movement.

So how do we know when we’re doing a good job? Thankfully the answer can be found on one sheet of paper. Enter the Quality Programme Checker for Explorers and for Young Leaders.

Simply glance through each of the statements and work out whether your unit falls under the red, amber or green statement. If you’ve got mostly greens then you’ve got something good going on there whereas an amber or red might prompt you to think what we can do to change that.

This isn’t about inspections or gradings but is a supportive document for you to help you be the very best your unit can be. Thankfully there are resources to help you fix each of these areas. It only takes 5 minutes but they can be very rewarding and useful.

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