The Western Star - 2020-03-25


Keeping kids active



GRAND BANK, N.L. — With registration for new members starting in midMay, the coming weeks are important ones for the Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Scouts Canada. Youth programming — including school itself, is taking a back seat as group gatherings are put on hold to hopefully prevent disease spread during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the NL Council is thinking outside the box. “The next month was going to be our key recruitment month,” William Short, scouting relationship manager for the provincial organization, told SaltWire Network on Wednesday, March 18. “We’re obviously trying to look for creative tools to engage people, and if in that process we can provide something to engage kids while they’re at home, all the better.” Short, who is from Marystown and lives in St. John’s, came up with “Scouting at Home” to hopefully do just that. The NL Council put together an online package with links and information to give kids some ideas of things they can do while they have more free time on their hands. A Scouting at Home NL event has also been created on Facebook where additional resources and challenges will be posted. “We were hoping (the cancellation) would only be a few weeks, but looking at it now, it might be longer, so we want to be able to offer as much of the program as we can to the kids while they’re home and not actually able to go to meetings,” Short said. The Scouts have cancelled all group activities until at least April 5. While some of the information is specific to Scouts Canada programming, like badge requirements, there are plenty of activities to appeal to everyone, he says, including the organization’s Trail Cards, usually used in meetings to identify activities for the whole group. A link to the online package can be found in the Facebook event information. “They’re all fairly educational, interactive activities, so even with two or three kids most of them are pretty engaging, and those are actually available for all of our age groups,” Short said. “The Trail Cards are definitely useful for anyone, whether you’re part of the program or not.”


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