On Tuesday 17th March we made the very difficult announcement that all face-to-face scout activities would cease in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Scout groups nationally are faced with similar challenges and the The Scout Association, like most other national organisations released a statement.

At 3rd Washington, we’re passionate about helping our members to develop essential skills for life and have developed a plan to keep our community engaged, active and able to put into practice our core values of integrity, respect, care, belief and cooperation. I think we all agree that it's in challenging times like these, that our scout values matter most. We are talking locally to other organisations to see how scouts can support our community during this crisis. We must make sure that we do this in the safest possible way, and don't put anyone at further risk. We will update you more on this over the coming weeks.

We have agreed that from Tuesday 24th March, we will move to an online version of scouting, using our GSuite tools such as video conferencing and online challenges. Online section meetings will start at their usual time on a Tuesday or Thursday. We surveyed our members last week and established access to electronic devices and internet connectivity. We have resources in place to help families who need it to ensure that everyone can continue to get involved with scouting.

Young people and families will receive an email on Friday 20th March with details about how they can safely access our GSuite tools. If you’ve not received an email, please contact your section leader or send an email to

Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about our approach to the situation for families and members.

  1. We don’t have a device or a connection to allow us to get involved with online scout meeting.
    Please contact your section leader, ideally by email if you can, otherwise by phone. We have made some contingency plans to help to get you involved.

  2. Should we continue to pay monthly subs during the period that scouts aren’t meeting face to face?
    Our scout group is a registered charity. Membership costs £120 per year and we collect this amount monthly. Whilst some of our costs will reduce during the pandemic, some fixed costs such as insurances will remain. If you are willing and able to continue to pay subs to the group, then please do so. However, should you be facing hardship in any way, please contact your section leader in the first instance to discuss.

  3. I’m not sure how to use Hangouts or Classroom online - can you help?
    We’ve made some handy videos of how to get online and access the tools. And we’ll shortly be posting them online. If you need more help, try calling a friend then your section leader for more help. You can email questions to

  4. Why do we need new logins for GSuite - why not use something we've already got like Facebook or WhatsApp? We're using a closed online place - somewhere that we can control who can get involved. That way we know that our members are as safe as possible and free from cyber bullies and inappropriate content. Also, some online social media tools (such as Facebook) have a lower age limit of 13 years.

  5. When do you expect scouts to start to meet again?
    We don’t know. It is likely that the advice we will follow will come from the government and then The Scout Association nationally. Like everyone, we’re expecting this to be long-term situation.

  6. What about events like sleepovers and camps?
    It seems unlikely that there will be any other face-to-face meetings, sleepovers or events. Once meetings resume, our teams will return to programme planning including nights away.

  7. How can I get in touch with my section leader to ask a question?
    We prefer email contact wherever possible. Your section leader can be contacted from your email directory; If you’re not sure, email and we’ll make sure it gets to the right person.

  8. Are there any activities or badges that I can do while I’m at home?
    Yes lots! Using GSuite we’re setting weekly challenges, activities and opportunities to get involved. Young people can also choose to work towards the requirements of the many activity badges online. Checkout the Useful Resources section.

  9. I’ve got an amazing idea of what young people can do at home?
    Add it to the Stream in your ‘Classroom’ online or email your section leader with it.

  10. Do young people ‘have’ to get involved with online scouting?
    Like all scout activities, we encourage everyone to get involved in scouting. During the pandemic, scouting just takes a different form. Have a go...get involved, have a laugh. We always say in scouts that ‘you get out what you put in’. If its not your thing...why not have a think and suggest what is. We’d love to hear from you!

Resources for our members

  1. Our guide to staying safe when using online tools.

  2. Handy guides for using: Gmail | Hangouts chat | Hangouts video | Classroom

  3. Activity badges for beavers, cubs, scouts and explorers. Or staged activity badges for everyone.

  4. Scouts at home - ideas and activities from UK Scouting

  5. The Great Indoors - scout activities for all sections

  6. Activity bank - searchable tool of activities