Even as the coronavirus swallows up almost everything else, Scouts Victoria has used online activities to keep 20,000 children engaged – and has boosted its membership in the process.
Scouts Australia will also suspend fees until March 31 next year to keep children in the organisation.
“We recognise that many will be financially affected, or suffering stress or uncertainty. We want to
do our bit to support Victorians – especially young people – at this critical time,” Scouts Victoria chief executive Rod Byrnes said.
“While our young people yearn to get back to their local scout hall and outdoors again, these weekly
meetings — in some cases twice-weekly — are keeping young people connected with their friends.”
Aston and Harriet’s dad, Greg Peck, said the games and challenges had been a godsend for restless children.
“All activities have stopped – sport has stopped, swimming has stopped – so they get online and see their mates and it’s really great to see,” he said. “I was initially worried that we would be struggling to keep them engaged.”
Aston was looking forward to showing off his homemade cubby to fellow cubs on Monday night.
“It’s very different from how it was. But it’s not worse. It’s still very good,” he said of the new-look scout experience.
“Half the scouts I go to school with, but the other half we don’t get to see usually, so I get to say hello to them.”