Social distancing hasn’t stopped seven young people from Ulverston planning the challenge of a lifetime.
During the recent COVID-19 lockdown, members of Xenolith Explorer Scout Unit, Ulverston, worked through their Virtual Explorer Belt through weekly video calls. As part of the award, they had to plan a 10-day adventure around Europe, visiting several major cities. They had to plot a route, find accommodation in each city, create a budget, and produce a risk assessment, along with completing and presenting a their trip.
The team decided to plan a route from Manchester to Amsterdam, through Berlin to Krakow, then to Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna, before flying home from Munich. The team also had to complete challenges for each city they would visit, including cooking a traditional meal from each country. The group also hope to learn about the rich history of each city during their visit
Explorer Scout Leader Bryan Caine said: “This has developed skills for life in teamworking, communications, project management, decision making, and presentation techniques.” While Marcus, a member of the explorer group, said: “It provided a unique and challenging experience.”
Working towards the award also allowed the group to continue with Scouting throughout the lockdown, which helped with their mental health, as stated by Oliver, another member to be awarded their Virtual Explorer Belt: “It was an enjoyable experience which help us to virtually socialise during lockdown.”
The group hope to use the travel plans in the summer of 2021, if it is safe to do so. During the wait, the team will be working with the rest of the unit to help raise the funds for the trip.
Despite the recent change to social gathering restrictions in England (9 September 2020), the Government has confirmed that as an essential service, youth sector activity can continue unchanged where groups and units follow Scouts restart guidance, which is in line with COVID secure NYA guidance standards.
Scouting in Cumbria is only possible thanks to the fantastic support of volunteers across the county, and local groups are always looking for new volunteers. No matter your skills or commitments, there’s a role for everyone and in exchange you can learn new skills, become part of a worldwide family and help inspire a generation to go out into the world and achieve their full potential.
To learn more about volunteering visit www.cumbriascouts.org.uk or search Cumbria Scouts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.