Once again Scouting is facing a huge challenge.
We are facing an unusual and unprecedented time which many of us have never experienced before. We are being told to stay at home, to not go out to see family and having to change habits.
I imagine we were all slightly shocked when we received the email saying that all face to face contact with our young people had been suspended. There was definitely a lump in my throat as I said goodbye to our Explorers not knowing when we’d meet again.
But this is not the end. Our movement has been through times of crisis before and have survived.
In fact, the roles both Scouts and Guides played during the First and Second World War were key to the survival of our country’s way of life. Scouts were used as firewatcher and assisted the ARP. The Guides were entrusted by MI5 to act as messengers delivering messages and information vital to the war effort.
Now of course these are different times, but what this does teach us is that in times of crisis the Scouts and Guides can be of use. At home we can still help our community, by bringing a bit of joy and positivity to those who may be anxious at this time.
At 1st Ainsdale Willow Beavers have been asked to draw pictures and write poems to send to a local care home. Oliver from Maple Beavers brought a smile to over 5000 people on twitter with his sign language, receiving retweets from UK Chief Commissioner Tim Kidd and CEO of Scouts, Matt Hyde.
Many of our young people have been painting rainbows to put in their widows and making hopscotches outside their houses for people to play.
Spending time at home has allowed many of our young people to learn new skills such as cooking and cleaning. These are vital skills for life which have been shared with our District, we’ve seen pizzas and cakes as well as some local delicacies from other countries.
Some of our leaders have even taken their meetings online, by using Zoom, Skype or Teams to bring together their sections. As a Brownies leader myself, I was over the moon to see our Brownies join us on Zoom to spend an hour singing songs and playing games.
As we’ve seen Scouts and Guides can keep going in times of crisis and even provide so much help to our communities. Once again, our movements are required to follow our promises and laws. To help others as best we can and to spread kindness in uncertain times. I believe that this crisis will define our movements and be the making of many leaders and young people.
This period of uncertainty will not last forever, and soon we will see each other again. All I can say is keep up the sharing and bringing smiles to peoples faces. You are making a difference! Remember what BP said, “a scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.”
Sefton North Scouts