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Voyageur Council COVID Update -- October 9, 2020

***All in-person Scouting in Voyageur Council paused until further notice***

Council Key 3 will be providing weekly updates

Dear Scouters,

Thank You for your demonstration of resiliency as we adjust to our environment by pressing pause on in-person Scouting and return to virtual meetings. Being an example of adaptability is another way you are contributing to preparing youth for success in the world. Guiding them to navigate risk, stress and challenges will contribute to the development of resilient youth who will become resilient adults.

We, as a Council Key 3, know that this pause comes with significant uncertainty about when in-person activities will resume and when it will be safe to re-engage in delivering fantastic outdoor programming to our members. To ensure that all Scouters in Voyageur Council are provided with up-to-date information on our COVID response, we will be providing weekly updates (on Fridays) to all Scouters until we are able to return to Stage 2 activities and plans. These messages will continue to be emailed to all Scouters and will also be posted on our Council's Facebook page and also on the new COVID page on our Council website. These emails will provide not only an update on our current re-opening plans and timelines (based on sourced health agency recommendations), but will also provide links to resources, online events, and other information that may be of use to you during our in-person pause (please scroll through this entire email to check out all the news and links!).

While we previously stated that a decision would be made as of October 16 whether in-person activities will resume, this message confirms that we will pause in-person activities until further notice. We will be following the advice of federal, provincial, and municipal authorities and health agencies throughout this process, as we have from the onset of COVID earlier this year.

Please keep an eye out for future emails like this as we let all of you know when in-person Scouting can resume.

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), 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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In-Person Scouting Update

We would first like to recognize all of our Scouters for doing their part to keep our in-person numbers down and for following all of our Stage 2 safety protocols prior to this in-person pause.

The unfortunate reality is that COVID numbers are going up across the province (and throughout the country). There have been numerous announcements over the past week from health organization and associations stating that we (as a society) need to be very cognisant of our choices and actions right now to prevent the pandemic from worsening ("the second wave") before there is a vaccine available.

Currently, we are not in a position to make a decision as to our in-person return date. As noted on Oct 8, 2020, COVID cases continue to rise across Ontario (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-coronavirus-ontario-october-8-trudeau-1.5754994) and recommendations regarding cancelling Thanksgiving activities including those beyond a single household also speak to the severity of the current case count. As there is the potential for increased cases after Thanksgiving as well (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-covid-19-second-wave-cases-modelling-projections-1.5739411), we must abide by our principles of acting prudently and with the safety of all of our volunteers, youth, parents, and communities in mind and we cannot commit to make a firm timeline decision until we have more information from our public health agencies.

We, as Voyageur Council, have committed to acting prudently and in response to available information and recommendations. We've committed to keeping the health and safety of our members (of all ages) and their families at the forefront of our choices and our decisions throughout this complicated time. Accordingly, we have made this decision to ensure that all of our members are kept safe and to follow the advice of health professionals.

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Resources for Virtual Scouting Meetings

Virtual meetings can be challenging! We need to further demonstrate flexibility by combating new challenges such as virtual fatigue. Feel empowered to customize your meetings to best suit your youth. One way to do this is to have shorter meetings (about 15 minutes or so) and then issue a challenge to your youth – build a blanket fort, do a STEM project, cook a meal, etc. The youth can do their challenge at any point during the next week – encourage them to take photos or videos to share with everyone at the next meeting. At each meeting, review what everyone did for their challenge the week before and then issue the challenge for that week!

For more tips and ideas on running virtual meetings, please visit this link.

Virtual Scouting Week to Week

Here are a few resources:

General information

Tips for Virtual Meetings

Activities for Virtual Meetings

Virtual Scouting Safety Tips

Beaver Colony

8 weeks of Virtual Scouting Meetings

Plan-Do-Review: How to time your virtual meeting

Cub Pack

8 weeks of Virtual Scouting Meetings

Plan-Do-Review: How to time your virtual meeting

Trail Cards for Virtual Meetings

Let’s Get Virtual

Learn Something New

What is… a virtual trivia game?

On the (Scavenger) Hunt

Get That Lingo!

Virtual Trek

Please remember we also have…

Scouts for Sustainability: Our Scouts for Sustainability website is launching soon! Get involved with this great program – try out some of our new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Trail Cards, learn about the SDGs with infographics and track your sustainable actions on our interactive map!



Personal Achievement Badge (PAB) Portal: Encouraging the PABs gets even easier with the new Personal Achievement Badge (PAB) Portal, coming this fall! Youth can navigate through PABs on this kid-friendly portal – with an interactive quiz to help choose a badge, countless activity ideas, and a printable auto-generated form to plan, track and present their progress to personal progression!

There is always more to come. We are on this journey together we will be continuously developing resources that contribute to building a quality program. Throughout the season, there will be even more Scouting resources launched that lend themselves well to virtual meetings!

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Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) October 16 to 18, 2020

Given our current pause to in-person activities, the Scouts Canada Amateur Radio Station (VE3SHQ) will not be able to participate in this important annual international Scouting event in the same way as in recent years.

However, through the marvels of technology, our National Museum’s Radio Team has devised a way for Scouts and Scouters to participate in JOTA virtually and safely from their own homes via Zoom. The Radio Team members will operate from their home Amateur Radio Stations by passing the National Museum’s VE3SHQ/P call sign (i.e., P = portable) back and forth between their home stations as required.

This method will allow Youth to talk safely with other Scouts around the world from their own homes. If they don’t want to talk on the radio, they can watch and listen. All those who would like to participate should contact VE3SHQ@scouts.ca to register with the Radio Team’s Zoom operator, who will be responsible for queuing participants. Those who wish to participate must install the Zoom video conferencing client on their computers.

One member of our Radio Team will be on-air Friday, October 16th from 8:00 to 10:00 PM, but registration of Youth will only be scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day, with a break for lunch from 12:00 Noon to 12:30 PM.

We anticipate that this virtual event will be very successful and lead to new and renewed friendships, not only amongst Scouts and Scouters in Voyageur Council, but also nationally and internationally. Registration for the event can be made by contacting VE3SHQ@scouts.ca. Your registration will be confirmed with the Zoom link for the event.

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Muslim Scout Fellowship Canada Announcement

As-Salaamu Alaikum (Peace be on to you).

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Muslim Scout Groups in Canada have come together to form the Muslim Scout Fellowship Canada (MSF Canada).

The Vision of MSF Canada is to promote Scouting within the Canadian Muslim Community.

MSF Canada will be a platform for Scouts Canada members of Islamic faith in both predominantly Muslim Scout Groups and in open Scout Groups to strengthen relationships, collaborate, share and explore ideas and to coordinate Scouting activities.

The Interim committee of MSF Canada was established by the Group Committee Members of 163rd Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT) Scout Group in Toronto, 392nd Thornhill Muslim Scout Group in Vaughan, 1st Al Falah Center (AFC) Scout Group in Oakville and 1st Muslim Association Canada (MAC) Scout Group in Mississauga, 13th Burnaby Ismaili Scout Group in Vancouver, 40th Edmonton Ismaili Scout Group in Edmonton, 27th Richmond Ismaili Scout Group, 36th Green Timbers Muslim Scout Group in Surrey and Scouters in open Scout Groups.

We are seeking representation and participation from Muslim Scouts Canada members from across Canada.

All active Scouts Canada members of the Islamic faith are welcome to be part of MSF Canada.

If you are interested in learning more about MSF Canada and being part of this exciting initiative, please send an email to MSFCanada2020@gmail.com.

Yours in Scouting,

Samil Chagpar

Public Relations Lead - MSF Canada

Group Commissioner - 392nd Muslim Scouts Group

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