You will need
- Device with access to the internet
- Prepared presentation (optional)
Why celebrate virtually?
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted a lot, but it hasn’t stopped Scouts achieving Activity Badges, Challenge Awards, and even top awards. We can’t meet in big groups to celebrate, but it’s important to find new ways of coming together to recognise people’s achievements.
Finding the time to say ‘well done’ and acknowledge what people have done to earn badges and awards is motivating: it encourages people to keep going with Scouts and inspires others to follow in their footsteps.
Focusing on the positives of what people have achieved can also give everyone a much-needed boost. You could chat about how people have stuck at it and overcome challenges and spend some time sensitively reflecting on the highlights of the past year.
It’s up to you (and the young people in your group) to decide what will work best. You could come together for an online event or use local communication channels to share and celebrate achievements. As always, it’s crucial to involve young people in the planning so their ideas are front and centre of an engaging and rewarding event.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve put together some suggestions and resources, inspired by a format that’s worked especially well for one County. Use them as a starting point and make them your own: they exist to help you create an event that works for you.
Running your event
- Welcome everyone and ask them to mute themselves. Don’t forget to introduce any special guests.
- Start with a quick introduction about the awards being celebrated and share images of the badges themselves.
- Introduce the people who have earned badges and awards and explain what they’ve achieved. It’s up to you how you do this: you could share lots of pictures, invite people to talk about what they’ve done, or show a video. Try to make some time to congratulate everyone individually.
- Invite any special guests to share a message, or play a video from the Scout brand centre.
- Ask everyone to reflect on what they’ve done to achieve their award. Can they share the thing that they’re most proud of? If someone’s got their Chief Scout’s Award, for example, what was their favourite Activity Badge or Challenge Award?
- Share a relevant quote, for example, ‘pack the right skills and the right attitude, and you won’t need much else’. Can anyone guess who said it? Encourage everyone (parents and carers included) to type their answers into the chat. Did anyone guess that it was our Chief Scout, Bear Grylls?
- Ask the people who have earned badges or awards to share one skill that they think they’ve developed through Scouts.
- Motivate people to continue their adventures and achievements in Scouts by sharing information about the challenges they can get stuck into next. Why not bring it to life by inviting someone who’s already taken the next step to share their experiences?
- Finish by thanking all of the volunteers who have supported young people through their journey.
After the event, groups might want to think about how it felt to come together in celebration. Why is important, especially right now?
- Online safety
Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.
For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.
As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.
- Phones and cameras
Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.