We’ve set out our updated operational processes in more detail below. Please read the following notes carefully so you understand how we have agreed that we need to operate in 2022:
We plan to offer all our regular activities this year – kayaking, sailing, rafting, powerboating – but we may need to impose some restrictions on numbers or availability based upon the latest risk assessments for each individual activity. We’ll work with you on that situation if it arises.
We recognise that many groups have been disappointed that they have not been able to get out on the water over the past two seasons. We are holding our charges for activity sessions at the same level as 2017/18/19 for this year. We’re aware this may mean that the Centre may operate at a loss this year, but for us it is more important to be able to welcome people back into boats and return to some normality than to ensure we just generate income! (Bit more work for our fund-raising teams perhaps!!)
As we come out of COVID restrictions, we have introduced more enhanced cleaning and sanitising procedures for all our uses and all activities. This may look like a small amount of inconvenience, but it is all based upon what we have learnt during lockdown and is all designed to minimise any risks of spreading of disease whilst at Longcraig. For us, this is of course a potential additional overhead cost, and we will be looking for and utilising additional staff at the centre to ensure all these procedures are enacted. In the early part of the season (at least) we will be avoiding running activities on consecutive days, to allow time for cleansing and sanitising in whatever way will be required at the time.
During 2022, we will be operating the Centre with just one group booking at a time, irrespective of numbers, so we can avoid any risks associated with having mixed groups in attendance. This will be reviewed if we feel advice/circumstances have changed.
Our booking system will operate in the same way as previously, but we have had to introduce a few small changes for 2022. In summary:
* The Bookings Diary will open on 1st March.
* Activities on the water will be available from 1st May (as in previous years).
* Our minimum number for an online booking is now 12 persons (but see note below if you can’t get 12 people together).
* We’ve introduced a maximum number this year of 24 due to a likely need for enhanced spacing and to avoid any overcrowding.
We’ve simplified the payment process and like many other activity providers, we’re offering the best we can to deal with potential changes or cancellations mainly resulting from COVID situations.
We are dropping the need for a Deposit at the time of making your booking (we may regret this later!) All payments for bookings will be due in full Two Weeks before the date of your booking.
Because of our slightly restricted numbers and activity opportunities this year, we will be operating an informal ’waiting list’ for any groups who have not managed to get a booking they seek. If payments are not made by the due date, then those bookings may be offered out to candidates on the waiting list and the original booking cancelled.
With the continuing relaxation of rules surrounding COVID, we have put in place a Plan for Re-Opening for water activities from the start of the 2022 season.
And, given the speed of change and the regularity of changes of rules across the country, we also have back up Plan B, Plan C, etc in our back pocket – just in case we need to modify arrangements. But, all these Plans (except Plan Z) does involve options for Scouts participating in water activities in one way or another this year.
You will recall that close to the end of last summer, it did once again become possible for us to re-open, but it was so close to the end of our normal operating season that we decided to continue to focus on some staff training, boat preparation, and working alongside the Longcraig Explorers programme. And then, back came a new pile of restrictions, over the winter months, which would have possibly meant we would have had to close again had we been open!
As we take our tentative steps out of lockdown, we have had to introduce a few small changes in how we will be operating this year – all as a result of the circumstances of the past two years of pandemics. Some of these may impact on your choices of times or activities, so we ask that you exercise some flexibility in the same way as we are having to introduce a new level of flexibility in order that we can re-open safely. A key feature will be enhanced Risk Assessments – we already do these very thoroughly for our activities on the water, but we now must add assessments of the buildings, facilities, the instructors, and other staff and of course the Groups participating in our activities.