First ever ‘virtual camping experience’ planned
PUBLISHED: 08:18 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:18 07 May 2020
Scouting in Lowestoft is continuing through the pandemic after adapting to support the lockdown, and in a first for the district they are planning a virtual camping experience.
With social distancing guidance making the usual meetings impossible, many groups across the district have moved online.
They have begun to hold meetings on video conferencing applications to allow the young people to catch up and to support with positive wellbeing.
And for the first time in Lowestoft scouts’ history, on May 16 they are organising a virtual camp that will also include some focused activities for young people of scouting age – between six and 18.
Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts Harry Emmerson said: “As well as a range of activities, the young people will also be encouraged to spend a night in a tent in their gardens or in a den they have made within their houses.
“But we want to offer this to all young people whether a scout or not.
“It is a free event designed to bring some fun and enjoyment to young people who are in lockdown.”
The event will feature on Facebook and will consist of video activities and Facebook live events for the young people to join in.
District Commissioner Mel Buck said: “We are so proud of how well scouts have pulled together in this tough time and we would really like to spread this to everyone regardless of whether they are involved in scouting or not – but those scouts camping out will also work to achieve a night’s away badge.
“With face to face scouting on pause, we are always looking for new ways to support young people in Lowestoft.
“A virtual camp is a fantastic way to combine some of the key scouting values during lockdown to bring people together in a positive way.”
Mr Buck added: “Some groups are also running online competitions and challenges via their Facebook pages and the young people are going above and beyond to remain involved in scouting.
“Some of the amazing things they have been doing have been shared through the district’s social media pages and can be found on most platforms by searching ‘Scouting Lowestoft.”
First ever online St. George’s day ceremony
Scouts locally did not let the recent St. George’s day pass without celebrating their patron saint.
Traditionally they would take part in a church parade, but instead this year the young people of the Lowestoft District Scout Association honoured their patron saint online.
A video of District Commissioner Mel Buck went live on social media and members from all sections joined him to renew their promise from home and to share in a moment of solidarity at this tough time.
The video contained a speech from Mr Buck and featured a host of young people renewing their promise.
Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts Harry Emmerson said: “This is the first ever online St. Georges day in the history of Lowestoft scouting. “Hundreds of young people from all sections from Beavers through to the adult leaders took part.
“Sunday, April 26 would have been our St. George’s day parade in Lowestoft and while we couldn’t do this at the moment, the video was just as fitting.”
With the ceremony taking place online, it comes after six scouts were invested in a unique online ceremony – a first in the 14th Lowestoft group’s 83-year history.