October 20, 2020

Troop 55 News


Troop 55 has many wonderful scouts and instead of hearing about what life has been like Scouting during a pandemic from their adult leader, I have asked the Senior Patrol Leaders of each troop to tell you themselves.

Troop 55, Scouting in Quarantine

Hello! I’m Chapman White, the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) of Troop 55 Riverside and an incoming Junior at Davies Career and Technical School. My twin sister, Eliza, is the SPL for the girls’ side of Troop 55. As SPL, I’m responsible for planning and leading all of the events our troop holds. At my troop’s meetings, I combine scout skills with effective leadership, to ensure that fun is never sacrificed, while remaining educational. The hands-on nature of scouting means that there’s a lot to teach, too - from the expected, like knots, and first aid - to the more unconventional, such as presentation skills and food safety. My experience over these past few months has given me what I feel to be a unique perspective on teaching and leading a troop remotely.

For a few months earlier in the year, we conducted meetings over video calls. This was a significant challenge, for every reason you might expect, and more. For one, it was very difficult to ensure that the scouts paid attention - when most of the troop weren’t speaking anyway, how would I know if some of them were present at all? Ultimately, the solutions involved some concessions from everyone involved. I had to accept that certain skills simply weren’t practical to teach remotely, and the scouts had to learn that these meetings would require more engagement on their part to be a success. I began to find activities that could be completed at a distance, while continuing to teach Scouting. For example, I had great success using Kahoot!, an online platform for creating quiz games, to teach basic first aid. Later, I taught the chess merit badge, and helped the troop set up games over the internet. We even tried a “remote campout” by camping in our backyards overnight, and sharing campfire songs and skits over the internet. Success came when we understood and adapted to the limitations imposed by our medium of communication.

Even as the conditions are not ideal, we continue to adapt and evolve as a Troop, demonstrating our commitment to the Scout Law and the Scout Motto - “Be Prepared.” If you’re looking for an inclusive and fun group to join and learn new skills, consider scouting. It offers a world of opportunity and growth far beyond pitching tents and starting fires.

My name is Eliza White and I am the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL - youth leader) of Scouts BSA Troop 55 Riverside Girls and a Junior at St. Mary’s Bay View Academy. My twin brother, Chapman is the SPL for the boys’ side of Troop 55. Scouting is a program that teaches important leadership skills such as working with and developing a team, as well as life and survival skills to take into adulthood. From first aid to plant and animal identification to personal finance to swimming and so, so much more, scouting is a jam-packed program filled with useful information and most importantly: fun! I have been involved in scouting since February of 2019 when the girls’ program was officially introduced, but my brothers have been active in the boys’ side of our troop for years.

Before the pandemic, the girls’ troop was getting excited for a year packed full of awesome campouts, merit badges and activities! Hikes, canoeing, and a themed campout every single month, 2020 was looking to be an action-filled year. Unfortunately because of COVID-19, the youth leadership in our troop had to adapt and make changes to our plans. Up until July, we met virtually through video conferences and worked on scout skills, including starting the photography merit badge, meeting completely separate from the boys’ troop that’s linked with ours. Starting in July, both troops have been able to meet in person outside at Haines’ Park! Meetings have been themed around rank advancement, knot/lashing tying, making skits for one of our saturday night shows (performed on campouts) and more! And thankfully, we finally were able to camp for the first time in a very long time at the beginning of September.

Despite COVID-19, our troop is constantly adapting, growing and looking for new friends! We meet on Mondays at Haines Park, and you’re always welcome to visit. Consider the potential adventure ahead and get ready to be “prepared. For life”!

I couldn’t have said it better myself! With so many youth sports and other activities on hold right now you should know we are an active troop, following Covid protocols and giving the youth of our area a chance to get out and have fun and learn some skills for life along the way. We invite you and son or daughter come and check us out!

***(While we are holding weekly meetings outdoors right now due to Covid 19 please reach out to us on Facebook or email one of our Scoutmasters for more Information about joining rduckworth@troop55riverside.org, ccunha@troop55riverside.org )**


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