We know the coming days and weeks are going to be difficult for families across Australia, as the spread of Covid-19 causes a restriction on face-to-face scouting. Scouts has a history of remote scouting through our Lone Scout groups, and today’s technology makes it easier to connect with each other. While not all aspects of the scout program can be delivered right now, there are activities we can do that will help our scouts feel connected, and even assist them with award progression.
It is very important that all Scouts and young people stay safe by avoiding public spaces and crowded places, making sure to wash hands regularly and following other good practices. But staying safe doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, do scouting and stay connected!
If you’re a Scout looking to achieve your Australian Scout Medallion in 2020, we have made special provisions for you.
Below are some tools, ideas and resources you can use to run Scouting@Home.
There are many online tools your Patrol Or Unit can use to help organise activities, design your program, or submit reports for review while you can’t be together in person. Here are a few:
Already in use by Scout groups all across Victoria, Teamapp is a great tool for organising programs, tasks, sharing news, and chatting on topics in forums. You can use Teamapp on the web or it has a great mobile app. You can great a new team for your Unit at https://www.teamapp.com.
An online video conferencing tool, Zoom is super easy to use and is pretty tolerant of low bandwidth connections. Use Zoom to run virtual Unit Nights. Participants can share documents and present to the group, great for Proficiency Badges. Zoom is free for video calls up to 40 minutes in length and you can try it at https://zoom.us
An online task management system, Trello is like a digital noticeboard and whiteboard in one. It’s a great way of keeping track of what your Patrols are up to, and members of the Patrols can upload photos of their Lone Scout activities for the approval of Unit Council. Trello is free and you can create an account at: https://trello.com
Slack brings all the messages and communication of a Unit into one place. Using Slack reduces back and forth emails- all your conversations are in one place, organised into “channels”. Your Unit could have a channel for specific projects, virtual activities, and organising an upcoming virtual Movie Night. In each channel, you post messages that can be text, images, PDFs… almost any form of attachment. It’s great for keeping in touch because messages pop up instantly, replying is a breeze, and you can search older posts easily. You should be aware that Slack’s terms of service limit user accounts to over 16’s, so it might be limited to Leaders. Slack is also free and you can try it at: https://slack.com
Scout Leaders, a note on digital tools- remember the 2-deep rule applies online like it does in person. Avoid direct messages or calls with Scouts, and always ensure another leader is cc’d on emails or included on messages or calls (if you can) when communicating with a Scout.
At home Scout Chef
Patrols come up with a 4 course meal from limited ingredients. No shopping, just what they have in the kitchen.
Each member of the Patrol makes a course ie. one does pumpkin soup. It’s then filmed or done via web and judged on presentation and taste (obviously taste is done by a parent in the house). Scores are then added up.
Indoor scavenger hunt around the home/yard
Leaders can come up with a list of common and obscure items to find around the home. Bring them to the Zoom meeting and do a show and tell!
Use a compass to map route around your house.
Design and build a mini pioneering project from household items.
Design and build a Minecraft world/town with your Patrol. Give it a Scouting theme- maybe a model of your last campsite, or your ideal Scout Hall.
Build a shelter from household items in your lounge room and sleep in it overnight. Provide a report to your Patrol on what it was like (did your cat wake you up at 2am?).
Virtual Bike Hike
Use Google Maps to plan a cycle route around your local area, then your patrol uses street view to experience the ride.
Outdoor the backdoor
First Patrol for all members to pitch a hike tent in their back yard. Make it super fun by recording a time-lapse video of your tent going up!
Scouts got Talent
Perform an act live over Zoom or pre-record and share over the virtual scout meeting!
A knot tying challenge via video. With everyone on screen, the Unit Leader calls out a knot for everyone to tie.
Going on a Bear Hunt
Many homes in Victoria are putting Teddy Bears in their front windows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Create a map of the Teddy Bears in your street, then work with your troop to collate them into a suburb guide. Your Scout Leader can share them with Joeys or Cub Scouts who can go on a treasure hunt to find them all!
Lay out your Patrol Camp site for a weekend standing camp using the shapes provided. Use the size of the big or small sleeping tents depending on what you have in your hall. Your Patrol might need a combination of both. You will also need an eating shelter and a cooking area. You might choose to have a camp fire and other luxuries! Discuss your layout with your Patrol and Scout leaders via email or Video. An extension of this might be the Patrol leaders lead a discussion on the best place to place tents, eating shelter, etc. See if you can work Participate, assist and lead into the activity as well. Patrol Challenge – Campsite Layout PDF
The Great Indoors
From the UK Scouts website, a great collection of activities you can do indoors or in your backyard. This is the best collection of activity ideas you’ll find!
This is a one-of-a-kind special edition of JOTI! It is a special version of the yearly JOTA-JOTI event that is still scheduled to take place in October as it does each year. While the event is over, the resources and recorded webinars are available on the site.
Virtual Tours of the World’s Museums
Visit a museum with your Patrol while connected via Zoom.
The Scouting Knots page at Animated Knots has some great instructions on almost all the knots we use in Scouting. Really handy when you don’t have your PL right next to you!
Scouts WA Virtual Scouting Plan
Our friends in Western Australia have put together this 30 Day Virtual Scouting Plan, with lots of great ideas on activities you can do remotely.
Initiative and Keeping on Scouting
Erica Halliwell, DLS Monash, has put together this amazing resource full of great ideas that support remote scouting.
Virtual Stradbroke Cup
We know there are over a thousand Scouts in Victoria disappointed that they were unable to attend the incredibly popular camps in April. We’ve put together resources to help you run an online Stradbroke Cup!