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Catching up and an update on swimming rule review


I've taken advantage of a couple of spare hours whilst Julie is out Scouting to review your comments on previous posts and adding a reply where I can, or haven't already. In addition, there are a couple of other bits of general info:

Swimming Rule Review update

As promised, the activities team are undertaking a review of the swimming rules, the first step of which has been to review and validate previous findings and contact relevant organisations for the latest guidance. Once the background work has been completed the team will be contacting a number of volunteers who have contacted us and offered assistance, to invite them to input to the process, this will be communicated directly and via Scouting Plus as soon as possible. The review is expected to be completed by 30 September 2010, in the meantime, as previously advised, the revised rules must be followed.

For specific queries or clarifications in respect of regular or planned summer activities, please contact the Information Centre.

Being Contacted by the Press

Over on Escouts, I’ve been following a couple of threads about local press and who should speak with them etc. so I thought it might be helpful to expand on the role of the Media Development Manager (MDM) whose role that is.

The media team at Gilwell has been structured to get what we do around the UK noticed in print, broadcast and online media. They achieve this by being proactive, positive, seeking out opportunities and catching waves as we saw last week. They also train and provide 24/7 support to County MDMs who are appointed to seek out and identify local good news stories happening in Scouting and to promote these to local and regional media outlets.

In simple terms the MDM looks at what is going on in Scouting and decides where to shine the media spotlight so that Scouting is seen in the best light. The unique identifier that Scouting has over most other voluntary organisations is our motivation to work with young people. Young people are at the heart of what we do as a Movement. We can use young people to get our messages across to various media outlets. Using young people as spokespeople can and will get us noticed over and above other voluntary organisations as they simply don’t use young people to speak to the media.

The media team can also assist in dealing with potentially negative issues that may arise and I would always encourage early contact with your MDM or the media team directly if appropriate.




By Chris Butlin
on 03/05/2010 11:19

After having reviewed the POR and seen all the comments and confusion around swimming, it would be really useful, if after having admitted that a hash has been made out of the new swimming rules, someone from the activities team could provide a clear practical advice sheet for the average Scout leader about what we need to do to enable a swimming activity on summer camp as this season is fast approaching us.

By Andrew Lannin, Manager International Affairs and Activities
on 07/05/2010 15:28

The activities team are currently writing some questions & answers which will provide clearer advice and support for leaders in delivering swimming activities. These will be available shortly.

By Bryan McGaw GSL 1st Swindon Sea Scouts
on 17/05/2010 22:13

Having taken advice from the Association on POR rule 9.42 regarding swimming 50m for Water Activities, I have been advised that as long as this is associated with a planned activity (sailing, kayaking, etc.) it is allowed. However, even though we do not enter into or onto the water without a buoyancy aid and have a safety boat on station at all times, the youngsters are not allowed to enter the water to swim at the end of the evening (this activity being planned and risk assessed) without someone with UK National Beach Lifeguard Qualification - the reason being that the person in charge (or those working to their instruction) would not recognise when someone gets into difficulty.
I have enquired about the availability of obtaining appropriate qualifications - there are three centres within 200 miles of Swindon with the nearest at Newport, Isle of White - a 5 day course costs Ă‚Â£250 excluding travel and accommodation, money we cannot afford. I believe that the Association needs to urgently put together some realistic rules which which are achievable and affordable to Groups and they are needed now not, in September when the summer is all but over.

By Philip Beirne
on 23/05/2010 21:58

I'm sure you are working hard to resolve this specific issue at the same time can we ensure we look at the rule change process and the effectivness of the checking and consultation which has clearly let us down.
For example Deletion of Rule 49 POR 2008 and assuming it is covered by Rule 52 POR 2010.
Impacts a trip to the local leisure centre previously it was sufficient to make sure we had adequate supervison and follow the pool's posted rules.
It now requires an audit of the councils operating procedure. Frankly it is not possible for me as the "responsible Person" to actually know if the pool lifeguard is qualified without out seeing ID and certificates, nor can I, as I must according to 9.52b "ensure that they are in place and current" as this is only in the control of the centre's management. I concurr with the posted comments that their must be space within scouting for some form of outdoor swimming which is more vigilent than a good parent but does not involve NBLG. The old guidance seemed to me adequate but no doubt could be improved. On a happier note the volume of repiles I am sure you have had and the strongly held views show the stength of Scouting, that fact that leaders have a strong desire to get OUT and ScOUT and that we read the rules!

By Paul Austin, Sittingbourne and Milton DC
on 11/06/2010 14:20

This issue continues to cause some problems. We know that we can not comply with the new rules. So why not with draw them completely. If the review wont be completed until September then thatâ??s at the end of the summer. One of two things will happen, either our young people wont be able to do the activities or leaders will just ignore the rules and carry on anyhow.

Why not just admit its been a bit of a mess up and revert back to the old version of POR until a new robust and easily understood procedure is written.

It does seem at odd with what our Chief Scout said about removing the bureaucracy and risk taking.

Please though can we have some guidance asap, as I am sure no one wants us to be cancelling swimming and water activities that our leaders have planned for their camps during the holidays.

Many Thanks

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