I am the Group Scout Leader for Mosborough 69th Scout Group and we have been extremely active in Sheaf District in Sheffield with district activities, camps and outdoor activities, so lockdown hit the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Leaders in the group hard.
Right from the outset we knew, as a leadership team, that we needed to remain in communication with all the members. Zoom was therefore the obvious solution.Sound familiar?
What I found interesting, when comparing our young people with perhaps some of our Brethren, was just how tech savvy they were.How comfortable they found using the technology.Video and Audio technology didn’t throw them and the intricacies of Zoom were like second nature.It really was an eye opener.
Contrarily it was also interesting that some of the young members (ranging from 6 to 14 years old) were uncomfortable in front of a camera or were simply unwilling, perhaps due to the amount of online learning they were going through, to engage online.I was keen to engage with all but also respect each individual’s choice.Again something we must respect in masonry.
It has been a significant challenge to engage in a meaningful way with everyone in the group.Our facebook group has been invaluable but also the personal contact (as remote as that may have been) has been vital to ensure that we do not lose members.
I understand that in general, most Freemasons intend to return once meetings resume.I do hope that this is due to the work that hard working secretaries have undertaken to keep their lodges connected, just as we have done with our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
Clearly we are all looking forward to getting back to face-to-face meetings and enjoying a more active environment, whether it be in Scout Shirt and Neckerchief or Tie and Apron but the virtual world has enabled us to keep our organisations functioning and connected.
Whilst none of us would have wanted to go into any sort of lockdown, either Scouting or Freemasonry wise, I believe that this has given both organisations the opportunity to explore and exploit different ways of maintaining our communication channels and perhaps the way in which we educate and inform both our organisations have evolved and can be exploited.
W Bro. Simon N J Green PPDGDC Hallamshire Lodge Sheffield