How Carlton Scouts blazed through lockdown

Katie Johnson

From tying knots to camping under the stars, Scouts Clubs are championed for their group-based outdoor activities.

So when lockdown put a pause on their plans for 2020, the Carlton Scouts had to get creative.

Carlton Scouts leader Annie Asquith said that as Scouts had been preparing for lockdown before it was announced, they were able to seamlessly take their activities online.

“One of the good things about Scouts is it covers so many kinds of activities which are all about personal development and life skills so we were able transfer that to the online space,” Ms Asquith said.

“We had cooking nights where they would compete to cook cakes, video game nights, an online escape room, music night where Scouts performed different instruments, and we also had craft and knot-tying sessions.”

Ms Asquith, who has been involved in Scouts since she was nine years old, said the club was a great way to ensure people still felt part of a community during lockdown.

“We scheduled a two-hour check-in chat each week which was really important and would usually run overtime,” Ms Asquith said.

“Especially during last year, it was all about maintaining everyone’s mental health, particularly the youth leaders and all the Scouts.”

“We found ways to keep people engaged and still picked up new members.”

The Carlton Scouts have programs for around 80 young people aged five to 25 and operate out of the hall in Carlton North.

After returning in Term Four of last year, the Scouts met in Royal Park for their first in-person meeting in months.

“We had a 30 to 40 Scouts there for hut building night where they would build a structure with sticks they could find,” Miss Asquith said.

“Everyone just needed games and social interaction and the nights were run with the Scouts themselves.”

Their next major event will take place on ANZAC Day, and there are plans to have 5000 Scouts at the end of December in a state-wide event.

Miss Asquith said the major benefits of joining the Scouts was giving young people a sense of community.

“A sense of community is so vital particularly with lockdown,” Ms Asquith said.

“Longer-term Scouts knew the family was there for them to provide structure, community, and a safety net of people of different ages and backgrounds.”

Carlton Scouts are currently looking for new Scout leaders and volunteers. If you’re interested visit the website below •


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