2020 will be looked back on as a the most unusual year because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
In March 2020, face to face Scouting was stopped along with the closure of schools and many other social gatherings and business operations. At the time of this publication there are still no plans to return to Scouting although Schools are starting to return with limited numbers.
The Group was soon harnessing Facebook technology to post activities for our Members which included the #NeckieFlip Challenge the Elephant Easter Egg Challenge and boredom buster activities such as Whittle your own gnome, Cake in a Cup, Lolly Stick Catapult, The Incredible Hoop Glider and Camp Donuts.
Zoom was also adopted by many of our Sections to hold virtual meetings which introduced scavenger hunts, quizzes and even a talent show during the catch-up sessions with our Members.
What started off as an activity for the Red Scout Troop quickly escalated to include Grey and Purple Beaver Colonies, Grey and Purple Cub Packs and Grey & Purple Scout Troops.
This was to be the first “full” Group camp since the Scouting Centenary camp in 2007. The only difference being that everyone was camping at home.
So, the date of Friday 29th May 2020 was set for the weekend activity to begin.
A live Facebook feed by Red Troop Scout Leader Peter West, welcomed everyone to the virtual camp.
The programme for the weekend was explained which included the Young People being responsible for putting up their own tent or building a den, cooking meals and washing up!
Everyone was told to use the Friday evening to settle into their environment.
Saturday would see the activities begin with regular Facebook posts explaining to everyone what was required of them.
The first activity was the Wool Teepee. Making use of twigs and wool we saw many colourful designs produced many becoming the new home of action figures.
The next popular activity was the bean tin lantern. Having emptied the tin of the beans (and presumably eaten for breakfast), Members were required to draw a design on, fill with water and freeze and then using a nail punch holes into the tin around the pre-drawn pattern. A tea light was inserted. The result was very effective.
A balloon powered car made from an empty plastic drinks bottle followed along with a Buddy Burner which involved soaking cardboard in a melted candle, placing in a container with three large nails. Once lit, this could be used to cook on or as many Members did later roast marshmallows.
Making Bannock bread was to follow and then a technique of waxing wood as an aid to lighting fires came next.
The final activity for the Saturday evening was campfire treats. Let us face it, no “camp” would be complete without them. Marshmallows and Smore’s being the popular choice.
Sunday would see instructions presented on the Exploding Lunch Bag and whilst many failed to “explode” the anticipation made up for it.
This was followed by another popular choice, Armpit Fudge. Few failed to give this activity a go. A knot tying challenge was the final activity of the weekend.
Another live Facebook feed brought the camp to a close on the Sunday lunchtime.
The virtual camp proved to be very popular.
We round off this report with some of the feedback received from the parents:
“Amina took part in the virtual cub camp and loved it! She has actually continued to sleep in the tent in her bedroom ever since!!”
“Farrah and Raheem took part in the camp. Both have said it has been the best part of lockdown so far!”
“Thank you for a great weekend of activities!”
“Thank you for all the hard work you have put into this weekend! We have all had a great time!”
“Thank you so much for organising this, was a lot of fun and got us doing something very different!!”
“Charlotte and Harriet have loved it! Thank you so much for your time and effort.”
“Sophie and Emily Thornton loved it thank you.”
“Joshua has had a great time thanks.”
“Thank you for creating this. Emily has enjoyed it.”