With more than 29 years of combined Scouting experience between them, Sheena Weber and Stacy Happell of 1st Port Coquitlam Beavers and Cubs, know a thing or two about being creative. Moving their Beaver and Cub Sections online during the first part of the pandemic meant creating a few guiding rules while also staying flexible to keep the kids coming back each week.
Among the rules, Scouters prioritized minimal parental involvement. They knew that parents were already struggling with work and online school, so they didn’t want to add to this stress when it came to keeping kids Scouting. As much as possible, Sheena and Stacy made sure to plan activities that required minimal parental involvement, ideally that the kids could do themselves.
Keeping activities or projects at low or not cost was another guiding principle for the pair. Raiding the recycle bin or just finding items from around the house that kids could re-imagine was the name of the game. For one assignment kids were asked to build a plane. The results were fabulous, with kids making intricate drawings of planes and building them from paper and packing foam. One youth used the time to work on his plane with his dad as a woodworking project!
Sheena and Stacy also made sure to try and get kids off their computers as much as they could. The best example of this was having the kids write, direct and star in their own movie to share with the rest of their Section’s Troop.
For the pair, continuing to Scout during the pandemic has been a challenge, but they’ve heard from parents that it’s been meaningful for the kids and gives them something other than school-work to do. For them, that’s the reward and motivation that keeps them Scouting year after year.