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Navybone

Scouting in an time of Social Distancing

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With schools closing and moving to on-line teaching, and groups gathering sizes being limited, how do we sustain interest in and maintain advancement, where we can, in scouting?  Virtual troop or patrol meetings on platforms like Zoom, trail to first class discussion in a chat room?  Emphasize some merit badges (reading) over others?  Interested in thoughts from the community.    

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3 minutes ago, Navybone said:

With schools closing and moving to on-line teaching, and groups gathering sizes being limited, how do we sustain interest in and maintain advancement, where we can, in scouting?  Virtual troop or patrol meetings on platforms like Zoom, trail to first class discussion in a chat room?  Emphasize some merit badges (reading) over others?  Interested in thoughts from the community.    

I would rather suspend the program for a while than adulterate it.  Scouting is an outdoor program.  We should keep it that way.  

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Because it's an outdoor program, I'm seeing ways to continue getting kids out of doors even if it's not necessarily advancement related. Camping is out but hiking isn't. You can easily maintain social distancing on a day hike. A lot of parents are going to be home with kids so two deep shouldn't be a problem. Buddy system can be parent and adult. Bird Study. Forestry. GPS & Orienteering badge components can all be worked on, some of it even in the backyard. Getting outdoors and away from other people may actually be the only recreational pursuit open to many Americans in the weeks ahead. If your focus is advancement, yes, you'll be stuck. If your focus is trying to help scouts come up with interesting things they can do outside in the spirit of scouting and the game, then you will innovate.  Urban scouters will have a harder time with this but there are still parks or perhaps places within a close drive. In the words of someone else on here... that's my two cents on the subject.  

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Now is the perfect time to knock out those Homework Merit Badges required for Eagle.  Save summer camp for what it supposed to be:  outdoor activity.  

I concur with @yknot   It is also a great time to get outdoors and hike.  After being cooped up inside for several days, the scouts will welcome the opportunity.  Parents too!   

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