Any of us who take part in Network frequently know one of the biggest barriers to getting a big Hampshire Network reunion is distance. We're spread few and far between across the county and however cool Playzone is, it's quite a trek from the other corners of the county.
Enter Zoom and the current virtual meetings we are taking part in. Like many other sections in Scouts, we can't meet face to face but that isn't stopping us. Take Pegasus Scout Network for example in the New Forest North district.
Our Scout Network usually meet weekly as they're all such a good group of friends and like to hang out with each other, including at the pub for puddings after each session.
So when lock down started and face to face Scouting was stopped it hit the group hard. Some were made redundant, others spent all day at home and some couldn't even go outside due to shielding. We had to carry on doing something.
We started online Zoom sessions and for those who took part they valued them so much we bumped it up to twice a week. It was a challenge to find enough new ideas to keep it fresh but we all stepped up to the plate.
Only now as things start to unlock and we're all able to spend time outside (separately but, baby steps) are we stepping back down to weekly sessions. They've kept us all sane for definite.Steven Osborn, District Scout Network Commissioner for New Forest North
If your Scout Network isn't joining each other for Zoom sessions then look into it. There are lots of ideas out there to learn new skills, work towards the top awards and to enjoy social time together.
Plus the digital nature of the internet means team ups are easy peasy by comparison. It takes just as much effort to run a joint evening with the next Network over as it does for a Rover unit in another country. Why make your own virtual campfire when you can join one broadcast live from Kanderstag? The limits are endless.
Let us know what your Scout Networks and members have been up to and maybe try reaching out to your local group.