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Effective Immediately: All in-person activities shutdown for all Groups in Voyageur Council

Dear Scouters,

Thank you for your continued guidance and support to our youth, our parents, and our Scouting family throughout these uncertain times.

Today (October 2, 2020), the province of Ontario recently outlined new guidelines and recommendations to reduce community transmission of COVID-19, especially in certain geographical hot-spots (including Ottawa: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-coronavirus-ontario-october-2-1.5747709). Specific statements have also been made by Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, outlining that increased action is needed now to ensure our communities and our families stay safe (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/covid19-ottawa-hospital-cases-1.5747594). On Thursday September 24, 2020 the health minister along with the chief medical officer of Quebec also released recommendations to limit non-essential social gatherings.

We have committed to acting prudently and to keep the health of our members at the forefront, and we want to ensure our position is clear. For this reason and following the recommendation made by our regional and provincial health experts, Voyageur Council is halting all in-person activities for at least 2 weeks (until Oct 16, 2020 or until further notice). At that time, we will re-evaluate and assess the guidelines in place, follow government regulations and recommendations as well as Scouts Canada standards before allowing in-person meetings to resume. This means that all Groups in Voyageur Council cannot conduct in-person activities as of October 2, 2020; we recognize that this may impact events and meetings that have already been fully planned, but we need to ensure we are doing our part to keep everyone safe.

During this pause from in-person Scouting, we not only encourage our Groups to conduct virtual activities (if possible), we also encourage our Scouting families to get outside for outdoor play. Getting outside as a family is not only good for our mental health, but it is also helps build resiliency in our youth. Recently, Scouts Canada has engaged in a partnership with Dr. Robyne Hanley Dafoe and has helped create a Guide to Resilient Children (available here) which discusses how to continue the positive development of young people in these difficult times. We will also be providing a free event for parents across the country to discuss resiliency with Dr. Robyne Hanley Dafoe on October 18 (you can find out more and sign up for the event by clicking here).

This message will appear on our Council website on our new COVID link page (http://voy.scouts.ca/ca/voyageur-council-covid) as well as on our Facebook page shortly.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Group Commissioner, your Relationship Manager, or reach out to the Council Key 3.

Thank you and we look forward to resuming in-person meetings as soon as it is safe to do so!



Yours in Scouting,

Voyageur Council Key 3

Paige Gladwin (Council Youth Commissioner), paige.gladwin@scouts.ca

Nicolas DesRoches (Council Commissioner), nicolas.desroches@scouts.ca

Christopher Blais (Interim Council Relationship Manager), christopher.blais@scouts.ca

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