By: Daisy Cole
Group leaders are conducting weekly meetings via Facebook and Zoom to help youngsters create badges such as home camping, cooking and communication they can earn from home.
In line with Scouts Association guidelines, scouts are playing online games such as bingo over video conferencing platforms, drawing for art badges and Lego building for design badges.
Jack Quinton, a Wolverhampton Sea Scouts leader, said: “We did not want to stop meetings, as these are important to our scouts as well as ourselves that this is continued.
“We want everyone to stay safe, but to also keep the kids learning and be in touch with their community.”
Mr Quinton said scouting provides a safe place for children and the opportunity to experience new things like the international meets in Japan and America.
“We did not want this safe place to be taken away from them, as there is no reason to when we have this technology at our fingertips.”
Cheryl Stonehouse, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Crick and West Haddon Scout Group believes the most important aspect of scouting is teaching their members skills for life.
“To do this, we need to ensure all members stay a part of the group and not miss out.
“I’ve been involved with my scout group for 15 years, what we do know is that when membership dips below a certain level it’s almost as if the whole group crashes.
“It just drops out of their lives and they don’t necessarily remember the fun and they are not sure they want to come back and you need good members to be fun.”
The Scouts are not the only ones learning during the coronavirus lockdown, the leaders are using new technology and are learning how to do scouting differently.
“I think it’s the leaders who are changing,” said Miss Stonehouse.
“These young people are comfortable with communicating over the wire. It is not at all odd to them. We are not as good at reading body language and tone on the screen as they are so we’re having to learn quite quickly.”
For more information contact https://www.facebook.com/scoutassociation/