IMWe 2020 and the Corona Virus

Information from 14th of March 2020

You have probably all followed the escalating news on the Corona virus. Travel- and event policies in Europe have been changing at almost an hourly pace, and on Thursday evening we got word from the VCP, our host scout organization, that they will cancel all their large events until the end of April, including IMWe.

We in the IMWe team are very, very sorry for this, yet we understand that in the current exceptional situation this is the only right decision and fully support it. This doesn’t mean we aren’t disappointed. And we understand that you, our participants, are as well.

You will get a full refund for your participation fee. Your transferred fees will be sent back to the account they came from. Unfortunately we will not be able to cover any travel costs.

Even this dark cloud has a thin silver lining. After recovering from the first shock, the IMWe team immediately started spinning some completely new ways of doing IMWe this year... During the IMWe week there will be a few things going on online, following the creative spirit of the event itself. We will inform you all later about what is coming up, please stay tuned on our social media channels as well!

If you have any questions or want to share your thoughts about the current situation with us, please feel free to to contact us!

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Our stance on 11th of March 2020:

As you all have noticed, the news in Europe and the World are filled with one overwhelming topic: the Corona virus. We have discussed the Corona topic in the IMWe team, and want to share with you our current situation.

For the moment, there are no plans to cancel IMWe 2020. The board of VCP – the German scout association hosting IMWe – will make their own assessment soon, and we in the IMWe team will stay informed on the topic as well. The current plan is to reassess the situation once more two weeks before the event (and again later, if needed), and keep you informed. During IMWe itself we will emphasize good hygiene and take precautions regarding some programme points (for example the traditional hugging circle, at the end of IMWe, will this year be replaced with something else).

Most importantly: if you, when IMWe approaches, suffer from any symptoms that could be related to the Corona virus (fever, respiratory symptoms such as cough or breathing difficulties), we kindly ask you not to attend to the event, but instead to stay home. As you surely understand, this is one of our best ways to prevent the virus from spreading on our intense, international camp. Please note, that it might also be possible for you to get tested for the virus, if you want to be certain – for that, please contact the healthcare officials of your home country!

Our basic refund policy is that if you cancel your registration now before IMWe, you will get a 75% refund of the participant fee. We are working on making it possible to get a full refund for anyone who cancels because of possibly Corona related symptoms. For now, however, we can unfortunately not guarantee full refund.

One programme point that we would like you all to pay special attention to is our International Evening. We are still looking forwards to sharing the tastiest treats of your home regions, but kindly ask you to think through how to serve the food on the evening. Please avoid “common candy bowls” or any serving options where multiple people are touching the same food items and try instead to come up with solutions where everyone only touches the food that they will eat themselves. Maybe you can have a spoon or a pair of kitchen tongs with which you yourself can serve everyone the piece they want? Or maybe you can provide the food in some handy single portions?

IMWe hasn’t faced a challenge quite like this ever before. However, I would like to end on a positive note. Most years, we unfortunately end up with an “IMWe flu”, with some participants catching a cold during the event as people from different countries meet and mingle right after the long winter season. However, in 2010, ten years ago, the swine flu was a hot topic in Europe right before IMWe. Our participants then took it very seriously and paid attention to washing their hands etc. during the event, and in the end we were positively surprised that we did not even hear of any cases of the IMWe flu afterwards!

If you have any questions or concerns on the topic of Corona and IMWe, please do not hesitate to contact us!

We wish you all the best, stay healthy!

Julia, on behalf of the entire IMWe team