Life is slowly becoming the ‘new normal’ following weeks of lockdown, but it will still be some time before Scouts will be able to see each other face to face. We want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank all of our volunteers who have helped to keep bringing Scouting to our young people from weekly online meeting to facilitation Scouts #TheGreatIndoors
We wanted to shine a light on 1st Marston Green efforts during these unprecedented times.
“Since scouting was suspended on 17th March due to the COVID-19 restrictions, leaders at 1st Marston Green Scout Group held their first virtual leaders’ meeting to see if, or how they could continue with any type of scouting activity.
“Half of the leaders are still working full time, some doing more hours than normal, and other leaders are either on reduced hours, furloughed or self-employed. Only a couple of leaders had used a video conferencing facility previously, so it was all very new to most. However, they all decided to step out of their comfort zone and embrace the idea of trying weekly virtual section nights. 1st Marston Green Scout Group has 4 sections: Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Orion Explorers. It was decided, to try to keep as much normality for the young people, they would keep to the same nights and same time for each section, although Scouts has now been moved forward 30 minutes so they can end just before the Thursday 8 pm clap. Members are asked to wear their uniform including their neckerchief, again to keep the discipline of going to their section night each week.
Each section has 24 members and on average 20 are in attendance each night. The section night starts with flag break, with members making home-made flags and taking it in turns each week to carry out the special opening ceremony, with flag down at the end of the night for the closing ceremony.
There are still fun games, such as a scavenger hunt, battleships, Pictionary, Bingo and traditional Scouting Kims games, how many items can do fit in a mug starting with the letter T. Badgework is also covered and so far leaders have been creative with activities such as fingerspelling (British Sign Language), map reading, crafts and cubs got talent. We have also held our first camp in your garden and tried a virtual campfire.
The Group normally takes a holiday over Easter school holidays, but after reviewing the first two weeks of virtual scouting, the leaders decided to continue, even on Easter Monday.
St Georges Day normally sees all members on parade with fellow Scouts from Cole District in Knowle. With this event being cancelled due to the lockdown, the leaders decided, as it is such an important day for Scouts, that they would hold their own virtual St Georges Day celebration. Lord Baden Powell chose Saint George as the patron saint of Scouting. He felt that the Saint George legend set a good example of faith, courage and perseverance for future generations. The celebration took place on Zoom on Sunday 26th April 2020. Everyone was in uniform and each section renewed their Scouting Promise. We were joined by our vicar from St Leonards Church who lead us into prayer, we also heard from several members including leaders about what Scouts means to them. Through examples of experiences within Scouts where they found courage, faith and perseverance, to conquer new adventures, just like St George, and showed that Scouts is one big family.
For 10 weeks every Thursday at 8 pm, we clapped for key workers. During our St Georges celebration, we thanked our leaders for going that extra mile to ensure Scouts continues for the members in Marston Green, and that they still have the chance to “see” each other, chat, earn badges and have fun.
Together, our young people, our leaders and our parents are a great team and all very proud of belonging to the worldwide family of Scouts.”
Video from their St. Georges Day can be found on their Facebook page HERE