Towards the end of the first term, as Covid 19 was just entering our consciousness, we had talked about the disease with the cubs, taught them how to wash their hands, and were handing out badges with salutes but no handshakes. As term ended in early March, we had no idea of the coming lockdown which would mean cubs could not meet in person for the whole of term two, and probably longer.
In late April, a month into lockdown and with no signs of schools or scouting reopening, we decided to run online activities for the cubs. But how to do that? Freedom Day on the 27th April offered a fun way to start, and we sent out a short video greeting to all the cubs and asked them to colour in a South African flag, build a furniture-mountain, and share an intrepid photo of themselves on top of the mountain. The cubs loved it and you can see the results here. The same weekend, we encouraged cubs to take nature photos in their own gardens as part of the City Nature Challenge, which was also very popular, with the majority of cubs taking part.
At the same time, we welcomed five new cubs from our waiting list. We have chatted to the new cubs online, and they have shared photos as they took part in the Pack’s activities from home. We haven’t yet decided whether to invest them as cubs online, or wait until we can have a normal ceremony at the hall.
Another popular activity was a “Camp at home” with cubs encouraged to spend the night in a tent or blanket fort, make a meal, and a craft as a gift for Mother’s Day.
Baloo has also introduced the pack to the Discord platform which allows us to meet online for cub activities. This started with an online Sixer’s Council and smaller meetings for each of the Sixes, and then one of the highlights of the term: an online meeting where we watched the documentary, Eye of the Pangolin, followed by online questions and answers with the film maker, Bruce Young.
The cub programme offers a lot of activities that can be done at home, and many of the cubs have used the lockdown to earn interest badges (more than 30 badges so far!) and to work on their Cub advancement badges. This term, Tristan and Julia have completed their Leaping Wolf badge , the final badge a cub can earn before turning 11 and going up to scouts. Julia did a project on Cyberbullying as part of her badge. Juliet and Annabelle completed their Leaping Wolf badge last term just before lockdown started, and there are at least 4 more Leaping Wolf badges in progress at the moment.
Finally, a special congratulations to Olivia who organised a fantastic Blessings Bags project to support homeless people in the Southern Suburbs.