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Rothienorman Scouts kept busy during lockdown year

By Kyle Ritchie

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An online programme during a year in lockdown has ensured 1st Rothienorman Scouts group has been able to continue its activities.

This has included Hiking to the Moon to raise money for Children in Need, filling a local food bank with 400kg in food donations before Christmas, and Racing Around the World to keep 500 fellow Scout groups across the UK open.

The virtual programme run over Zoom by volunteers has enabled the group to stay connected during the unprecedented times.

The Scouts made the decision to suspend all face-to-face activities across the movement on March 16 last year.

However, the activities were able to continue through computer screens with volunteers keeping it going, and this support has helped young people’s wellbeing during the pandemic.

During the lockdown period, the 1st Rothienorman Scouts have hiked the distance the moon to raise money for the BBC’s Children in Need and Comic Relief supported by celebrities like Tim Peake and Bear Grylls; cooked up plenty of storms in their kitchens and delivered 400kg in food donations to Inverurie Trussell Trust food bank just before Christmas as part of a region-wide drive.

1st Rothienorman Scouts made donations to the local food bank.
1st Rothienorman Scouts made donations to the local food bank.

They also learned about their local community; arranged a virtual visit from an Australian Scout group; learned how to cook different meals and studied Morse code.

Coming up is a virtual district camp weekend when the Scouts will join others across the region for activities including pioneering and treasure hunts.

Thomas (9) who is part of the Cubs group said: "I have really liked having Scout meetings online during lockdown as we have lots of fun activities like baking, quizzes, crafts and staying in touch with my friends. Thank you to volunteers Maureen and Paul for helping us during this tough time.”

The Scouts have been holding their activites over Zoom.
The Scouts have been holding their activites over Zoom.

Paul Austin, a local volunteer, said: "Running the meetings online each week meant we could keep Scouts going throughout the pandemic. It meant they could still have loads of fun and learn new life skills while being safe at home.”

There is now light at the end of the tunnel following updated guidance from the Scottish Government and Youthlike, with the movement announcing a return to face-to-face activities.

To begin with this will be held outdoors with a greatly reduced capacity, as Scout groups across Scotland will follow a gradual phrased return to a form of normality.

Regional commissioner Dougie Simmers said: "I am continued to be amazed by the extraordinary lengths our volunteers go to for our young people.

"Our fantastic online programme means we can deliver various virtual activities like camps, challenges and badge work.

"Thank you to all our fantastic volunteers for helping our young people during this difficult period, I welcome the updated YouthLink Scotland guidance which means we are now back operating outdoors only with reduced capacity.”

Anyone interested in joining the Scouts can do so by visiting https://nescouts.scot

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