Running interactive virtual meetings for Squirrels
Meeting virtually became popular during 2020 with Scout groups across the country meeting online to take part in fun, adventurous activities building their Skills for Life, and the Early Years pilots were no different.
We've put together online activities and games for an online Scout programme to help run virtual sessions that are fun and interactive for everyone to get involved with. Additional Beavers and Cubs videos are also suitable for young people aged four and five years old with some support from their adults at home to complete the activities.
We know that delivering sessions over Zoom can be hard work, so here are some of our top tips to help run a virtual programme. And remember, virtual sessions are a great opportunity to get older siblings and other family members involved to take part and will give the leaders a slightly easier meeting.
Your meeting doesn't need to be an hour long. A 15 minute catch up, or 30 minute meeting is long enough to touch base with everyone in the pilot and share what they have been doing since you last saw them.
Make sure everyone is muted when they arrive in the meeting and unmute them to talk. They might not understand that while you are explaining instructions everyone can hear them humming or singing, make the most of the mute function.
Just because you're the leader doesn't mean you have to run every meeting. Encourage a parent or another leader to run an activity. They could share a skill or check out the Press-play-and-go videos we have at Scouts.
Make the most of the tech-savvy younger generation and ask them to run a game or activity. There's lots of example games and activities that would be easy for a young leader to run.
You don't need to run meetings every week. Ad hoc meetings to share some activities, games or events are just as beneficial. You can set activities using the activities finder for everyone to do at home and share with the group.
Meeting online isn't always easy. Young people want to talk to each other and don't always understand that this is difficult. If it all falls apart don't worry, just seeing you and their friends in the group is sometimes just what they need.
Whether you are a tech-whiz or digital-newbie there are plenty of ways that you can run fun meetings, activities and games online while it is unsafe to meet face to face.
Some activities are great for running during online meetings. Make sure that if there are any resources required for the meeting that you send out instructions the week before.
There's also lots of fantastic online games that can be played during meetings. Encouraging a parent to be on hand helps everyone to be involved.
Staying safe online
Safe Scouting looks a bit different online. Although you are unlikely to be required to do first aid during the online meeting there are many safety issues that everyone needs to be aware of when joining a virtual call.
Make sure that you know how to keep yourself and the young people in your group safe while hosting online meetings.Staying safe online