With the concerns of COVID-19 spreading, units are cancelling campouts and in-person meetings, but that doesn’t mean Scouting stops.
Bob Trejo, Scoutmaster of Troop 98 of Whitpain Township, Pa., shared with us how about 60 Scouts in his troop met virtually recently. The troop used Webex; a free account also allowed them to record the meeting. They also considered Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet. Leaders shared directions on how to login and encouraged Scouts to connect early, so they would be ready for when the meeting started. They developed a Google Slides presentation, complete with an overview of the coronavirus pandemic and precautions Scouts should take.
The meeting still included the Pledge of Allegiance, reciting the Scout Law and merit badge work — appropriately, they worked on the Public Health merit badge. The troop also invited a Scout parent who is a medical doctor to answer questions.
“The underlying messages of the Scout Motto, plus the Oath and Law are incredibly well-suited to the current situation,” Trejo says. “We spoke to our Scouts about these during our meeting — at the start and as a Scoutmaster Minute at the end. As this situation evolves, I encourage you to empower your Scouts to Be Prepared, be informed and be helpful, both to themselves and others.”
Watch Troop 98’s meeting here:
If you plan to do something similar, remember to review Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse for guidance. The BSA’s Youth Protection guidelines — such as two-deep leadership — extend to digital communication.
How do you keep Scouting?
With many resources — teleconferencing, phone calls, social media — you can keep Scouting from home. We would like to know what innovative and helpful ways you’ve found. That means it’s time for Show and Tell.
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