During this pandemic and state of quarantine, many activities are moving online. This includes everything from schools, to work, to Scouting. I am not new to the world of online Scouting, having volunteered at the 2019 Jamboree on the Internet with ScoutLink, and being a member of the largest Discord Scouting community, Discord Scout Troop since April of last year. Through each of these, I’ve made friends from around the world, and learned more about other cultures than I ever would’ve otherwise.
I’ve seen firsthand the impacts that this sort of international goodwill can have on people. I wrote about some of that in my post about the 24th World Scout Jamboree, but there’s so much more to it.
Keeping the Scouting Spirit Alive
Throughout the quarantine, I’ve seen many community leaders emerge and try to keep Scouts engaged. These range from small Discord servers to giant National Scouting Organizations like the BSA. They all want to keep Scouts both young and old engaged during this time of crisis. One of the most successful challenges that I’ve seen has been the “Pass-the-Necker” challenge, where 24th WSJ participants would “pass” their red youth participant necker from camera to camera, traveling all over the world. Other communities have a daily “Question of the Day” to answer, or challenges to complete.
All of these serve to remind people of the unifying power of Scouting and the incredible impact it can have on people’s lives. Why stop when the quarantine is over?
Certainly, at the moment we should all be focusing on the present health crisis and doing everything we can to hasten its conclusion. However, we should also be looking to what the world will look like when we’re returning to “normal”, whatever that looks like. A lot of resources have been created or updated to help provide programs of all kinds at home, and that’s something that should be continued well after Coronavirus has “ended”.
It’s important that Scouting and other youth programs have the ability to reach as many people as they can, including people who may not be able to participate in the regular activities, for whatever reason. These new “work from home” tools and procedures shouldn’t completely go away when this is all over.