SSAGO National Exec
Wednesday 8th of July 2020
A summer update from the Exec regarding how SSAGO will be affected by Coronavirus over the coming months.
Thank you for your patience and support over the past few months. Although many events, weekly meetings and camps have been cancelled, we are proud that our organisation has continued to create a fun, friendly environment for all to participate in. From games on Discord, to earning badges at home, to Easter egg hunts and camps in the garden, SSAGO’s ability to adapt and come together during this difficult time has been an unprecedented success.
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the National Exec have been following advice from The Scouts and Girlguiding to determine what will be best for SSAGO in the coming months. Considering the Government’s advice and the recent guidelines from The Scouts, we are emailing you to update you on our official guidance going forward.
We are saddened to announce that Survival Rally, due to take place 11th - 13th September, has been cancelled indefinitely. The recent update from The Scouts has confirmed that no residential activities including multiple households are to take place until at least 25th September 2020, when this rule will then be reviewed.
SSAGO has held a summer rally every year for nearly 25 years and being forced to cancel is heart-breaking for all involved. The Exec would like to offer our utmost appreciation to the Survival Rally Committee for all the work they had done on summer rally, which was for some of them their last event in SSAGO.
Considering the aforementioned Scout guidance, the financial risk to SSAGO, the welfare of our members and the proximity of regional Freshers’ Camps to the Scouts residential activity review date, we must also strongly advise that no residential SSAGO events take place in October. The Exec believes it is unlikely that, by this time, The Scouts will have moved into the final ‘green’ stage of Scouting's return that allows for residential activities to take place.
At this point we are still hoping Build-a-Rally will be able to take place in November and will continue to monitor the situation closely and get updates out as soon as possible. The Exec would like to thank all those who have worked hard to plan events that have been postponed or can no longer take place.
Regarding face to face meetings, the guidance released by The Scouts states that for activities only including over 18s to take place, all members must follow the same rules as the adults in social settings guidance provided by the Government in your country. The National Exec supports this guidance and subsequently we ask that if in person SSAGO meetings do take place, the organisers submit a risk assessment to email@example.com for approval before the event, to ensure that all requirements are being met. An example from The Scouts of what to consider in such a risk assessment can be found here. Please also remember that if your club is affiliated with a Students Union, you must follow all the rules and guidance set out by them as well. If your club has members under the age of 18 that wish to take part in face to face events then please contact the Exec for further advice.
All the guidance in this email will be constantly reviewed in accordance with the advice from The Scouts, Girlguiding and the Government and we will update you whenever changes are made.
With all the information announced today we would like to remind you of the avenues you as SSAGO members have to communicate with the Exec regarding any concern, query or suggestion you may have. Every SSAGO member has three ways of contacting the Exec: directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on ssago.org/pink in the Suggestions Box, or by contacting your club representative who is there to represent you on a National SSAGO level. We believe that these three ways are suitable for anybody who wants to be listened to, no matter what they have to say.
We would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all those who have run virtual events for their club or the wider SSAGO community. As mentioned we have been delighted by the response of our members and we look forward to what other online activities are to come. To stay up to date up with the upcoming events please check out Discord and the SSAGO Facebook Group and Page – there’s always something going on for you to do.
Finally, Virtual Witan 2020 commences today! If that gives you the taste for adventure, booking for the ‘real life’ international trip Witan 2021 is open from today as well. This will take place on the 3rd - 11th of July 2021 at Kandersteg International Scout Centre. For the amazing price of £600 you can join this 9 day extravaganza, which will include your travel, camping, activities and catering! Anyone who was a member of SSAGO since Witan was announced back in February 2018 is allowed to take part in Witan 2021, so even if you’ve graduated or will have by July 2021, you can still join the adventure!
Thank you all for your understanding during this challenging time. We hope we can reunite soon!
The SSAGO Exec
Adele, Brittany, Maddy, Reuben and Amy