More than 144,000 badges earned, more than 12,000 online meetings and over 450,000 volunteer hours shows Scouts are #NeverMoreNeeded
Scouts have been continuing to show their honour, despite lockdown restrictions.
Since March 2020 volunteers in Scouts Scotland have given up more than 453,000 collective hours to deliver more than 12, 000 online meetings. These meetings have led to more than 144,000 badges being achieved and thousands of new skills being learned.
These figures don’t include the national events like camps at home which saw more than 2,000 people camp at home in April last year.
One of those who has achieved a huge amount this year is Finn McLean, aged eight, from Kinross. Finn has earned all of his the Beaver Badges: 36 of these badges were through the lockdown and he is the only beaver in Scotland to have achieved this during the lockdown.
Finn said: “I don't have a favourite, badge I like them all! I liked when we did the hike badge because all the beavers went up Benarty Hill together, we could touch the clouds when we got to the top! I also liked doing my photographer badge during lockdown, I took some cool photos. Beavers is awesome. I like learning new things, getting badges and seeing my friends. Going to Fordell Firs was really cool.”
Finn’s mum Vicki said: “We are really proud of Finn’s achievements at Beavers. The last year has been tough on young people not getting to see their friends as much. Being able to be involved in the group gave him something fun to do online and working on his badges during lockdown helped to motivate him. We are so grateful to the volunteers for everything they’ve done.”
Another group of higher achievers are the scouts from right across the north east of Scotland banded together during the lockdown to collect more than 6800kg for foodbanks in the north east as part of the FeedOurFoodbanks campaign.
Dufftown scout leader Becky Mcphee said: "Seeing the young people wanting to help and coming up with ideas to support families in need, really gave me a sense of pride for scouting. Each group worked immensely on filling our foodbanks and in Moray we felt we made a positive difference. In the toughest of times, it shows that we are better when we come together."
Hundreds of groups across Scotland also held camps at home including the 112th Lanarkshire Group who had a family camp at home on the 27 March 2021 with more than 50 families taking part. The group led activities like making armpit fudge and a scavenger hunt to help the young people learn new skills.
Zakariyah and Khadijah Cheng are brother and sister in the group.
Zakariyah said: “Scouting at home helped me stay in contact with my friends. During all the lockdowns and isolation, the sessions were a good way to interact with one another and have fun together. Scouting helps you physically and socially and it’s important as it allows you to participate in group activities where you learn new skills and work as a team.”
Khadijah, who is part of the Cubs, said: “I really enjoyed the practical sessions of scouting at home especially the cooking as I got to work with my mum in the kitchen to make something tasty. The camp at home was very cool and exciting as we were camping out in our living room, staying up late and chatting just like in a real camp. I think scouting is important as it helps you learn new skills that you can use in everyday life and this helps you to prepare for your life ahead of you. I also think it teaches you how to work together and is a great way to make new friends.”
Andrew Sharkey, chief commissioner of Scouts Scotland, said: “These figures are incredible and show just how important groups like the Scouts are for young people. I’m so proud of everything that our volunteers and young people have achieved over the last year. As we gradually move back to face to face meetings outdoor these achievements will continue to grow, we would love to welcome some new volunteers so we can continue to help young people develop the skills they need to succeed in life.”
Scouts Scotland is the largest co-educational youth movement in Scotland, current guidelines mean that groups can now move back to face to face and hold meetings outdoors. Volunteering with scouts is flexible, there’s a role for everyone. To become a volunteer with the scouts, visit the website.