My youngest son, Austin, joined 1st Bramhall Scouts in October 2019, within weeks he was off on his first Scout Camp! He came back full of excitement for the next camp which was just after Christmas, and again he came home already counting down to another Scout Camp in March, declaring that Scouts was even better than Cubs because there were even more camps!!
When Covid-19 hit in March, Austin’s first thought was to the camp which was inevitably going to be cancelled. He’d already started packing and was really disappointed when indeed it had to be cancelled. As he was ready to go, I suggested he camp in the garden with his brother and sister who jumped at the chance, and so out they went.
Northumberland Scouts introduced #CampAtHome which 1st Bramhall Scouts embraced. They challenged the scouts to camp inside or outside as much as possible, which Austin and his siblings took on. Almost every day during the first lockdown 1st Bramhall set a new challenge. There was no pressure to join in and most challenges could be as simple or elaborate as you wanted, the leaders encouraged the whole family to join in. Austin was desperate to join in and all of the family looked forward to the daily message, telling us what the next challenge was and seeing what many of the scouts had done for the previous challenge!
Lockdown was strange – as a family we are usually busy with sports, book clubs, trips out with friends, weekends away, parties, visits to family etc. and of course Scouts, Rangers and Brownies. Suddenly none of this was allowed, but we were very, very lucky as Scouts found a way to keep everyone busy which filled that gap. 1st Bramhall also encouraged the scouts to investigate a few badges if they were looking for things to do. Quite often Austin’s schoolwork was something which if we added some extra elements to it could complete a badge. So, when it wasn’t his turn on the laptop, we had what seemed like an endless list of ideas for things to do. Between 1st Bramhall and the wider Scouting community there really was something for everyone.
The leaders at 1st Bramhall arranged quizzes and awards nights throughout lockdown with certificates, badges and treats being delivered to the kids houses, they had limitless enthusiasm which in turn rubbed off on the scouts and their families.
We also got involved in other Scout activities posted by The Scouts and various Scout troops who shared their ideas such as Online Campfire, Carnival Marra, The Great Indoors, Race Round the World and Winter camp.Scouting has without a doubt kept our spirits high by keeping us busy and entertained. 1st Bramhall has been a massive influence on Austin during lockdown, he has won awards and achieved numerous badges. His confidence has soared and he has learnt so much, we are extremely grateful to be a part of 1st Bramhall, it has made lockdown such a positive experience.
Of course though, we can’t wait to get back to face to face meetings.