Virtual Scout Meeting Tools

We are all working to get used to holding meetings online. For many of us it’s not just Scout meetings, its work meetings, church, and school. While digital meetings are not a true replacement for face to face events and activities these meetings are vital not only for the confutation of the Scouting program but for many Scouts personal development and well being as they NEED that social connection. Scouting can be a crucial part of many young peoples life, we owe it to all Scouts to try and keep those connections alive.

VIRTUAL MEETING GUIDELINES

BSA’s youth protection policies apply to all online activities. 

All online activities, including video and audio conferencing through platforms such as Zoom and Skype, must adhere to the BSA’s current youth protection guidelines for digital communications, including the BSA’s Digital Privacy guidelines (https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/) and the BSA’s Social Media Guidelines (https://scoutingwire.org/social-media-guidelines/). Because safety features and privacy controls vary widely from platform to platform, and out of respect for families’ own preferences concerning social media usage, we strongly recommend using business-oriented conferencing platforms—for example, Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting and others—to conduct online group activities instead of platforms intended for online gaming (e.g., Discord, Robolux, Twitch).

Recording online meetings is not authorized.
As a reminder, Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse (https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a) prohibits any one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth members – in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form. Electronic communication between adults and youth should always include another registered leader or parent. We believe our existing policy is the best way to protect youth and volunteers, and we do not believe recording online meetings would provide any additional material benefit. To the contrary, recording calls would increase personal risk as call recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks and the effect of BSA’s existing policies, we are not authorizing the recording of online meetings.

PACK/TROOP MEETING RESOURCES

  • Conduct virtual Patrol Leaders Council meetings via teleconference or web video conferencing. Ensure to maintain two-deep leadership throughout the virtual meeting.
  • Encourage Patrol Leaders to communicate digitally with their patrol members.

FREE OR LOW COST WEB MEETING RESOURCES

The CDC is recommending to be careful with meetings and travel and use teleconferencing when possible. Here are some free or low-cost online communication tools:

Free Conference Call
Webex
Go To Meeting
Join Me
Google Hangouts

Virtual Meeting Fun

Is your unit meeting online?  Need to spice up your meeting a little?  Well, there are plenty of things you can add to your meeting to make it fun.

Those old scouting techniques still work in the virtual world.  You just need to try them out and adjust as needed.

Plan out your virtual meetings just like you would an in-person meeting

  • Gathering activity – can be an online quiz or easy game
  • Flags, Scout Oath, Scout Law, etc. 
  • Announcements
  • Meeting activities – make them fun
  • Games – gotta have them!
  • Cubmaster/Scoutmaster minute
  • Vespers
  • Social time

Don’t forget:

  • Run-ons – properly timed interruptions are just as fun in virtual meetings as they are at in-person ones.  Just make them scouty and silly.
  • Scout Skits – Try them out virtually or prerecord them.
  • Adult Leader Skits – show off your skills and set the standard for corny 
  • Dad jokes – there are thousands out there and they never get old

Assign scouts and adult leaders to Run-On, Skit or Joke duty.  See how it plays out.  As long as it’s scout appropriate, it should be great!

Many of the games that work at in-person meetings, gatherings and parties will still work in Virtual Meetings. 

  • Scavenger Hunt – hard to beat this game
    1. Get everyone ready
    2. Shout out something
      • Household item – such as a Toothbrush
      • Something in your fridge
      • Something red
      • Something you use for camping
    3. Watch everyone disappear from their screens
    4. After everyone returns – Shout out next item
  • Find It – Scavenger Hunt Variant
    • Post a list of random item
    • You have one minute to find as many as you can 
    • Player with the most items wins
  • Toss the ball – yup tossing the ball from one to another
    1. Have everyone get a ball
    2. Start by yelling out someone’s name
    3. Toss your ball 
    4. They catch a ball
    5. Repeat 
  • Web Quizzes– google “question ideas”
  • Jeopardy
  • Charades
    • Basic Charades are just fun
    • Animal Charades – Act out animal from A to Z
      First player acts out an animal starting with “A”
      Winner gets to act out an animal starting with “B”…
  • Pictionary
    • Draw a picture and people try to guess it
    • Consider using themes
  • Draw It
    • Everyone places paper plate or sheet of paper on their head
    • Everyone gets one minute to draw object – such as a bicycle
    • Best drawing wins
  • 5 second guess app
  • I Spy it 
    • Pick something in the background of someone’s screen
    • Example – red vase – “I spy something red”
    • Players rush to guess what you spy
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors
    • Various group rules can be used
    • Cubmaster/SPL rules – Everyone throws at same time.  Anyone who beats or is same as leader stays.  Repeat until single winner
    • Pair off in twos.  If there is an odd number, do quick face-off.  Continue until only a single player remains.
    • Score Keeping – loose one point per loss and gain one point per win in each round.  Tally up points after a time limit is met.
  • Simon Says aka Cubmaster Says or SPL Says
  • ABC Story Game
    • First player – I’m going to camp and I’m bringing an “ax”
    • Second player – I’m going to cam and I’m bringing an “ax” and a “bag of chips”
    • Third player – I’m going to camp and I’m bringing an “ax” and a “bag of chips” and a “camp stove”
  • Story teller
    • Start with “Once upon a time…” or “In a galaxy far far away…” 
    • Next player adds something short – “there was a prince…”
    • Next player adds to story
    • Consider mixing up the game a little by using
      • Pictures
      • Story Cubes
      • Story cards
      • Other visual or audio aids
      • Different rules or themes
  • Scattorgories – pick a category and everyone tries to list as many items from that category – example Fruits
  • Talent Show
    • Does not and should not be formal
    • Can be preplanned
    • Can be off the cuff and silly
    • Talents can be anything
      • Stand on head
      • Do trick with fingers
      • Show how to do something
      • Show a magic trick

Luckily, there are more ideas out there for you to consider:

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnWUvpMQOpw
    1. Zoomed in  – save pictures of animals.  Zoom into image and slowly zoom out until someone guesses it.
    2. Inside scavenger hunt – Just like what Audrey did List
    3. Animal charades – act out an animal
    4. What’s that sound – play a sound and let people guess
    5. Story teller – start with “once upon a time…” then each player added to story
    6. Silly faces – “tongue sticking out” “touch your nose” “eyes wide open” “ tongue out” “fishy face” “ who can lick their elbow”
    7. Singing whisper challenge – Mute singer.  Sing song and other guess
    8. Draw it – take turns drawing animal – other guess it
    9. I Spy it – “I spy something red” “I spy something red” other find it in zoom windows
    10. Quarantine would you rather –  https://youtu.be/wFSJjnFwWKs
    11. 2 truths and a lie – take turns guessing what is the lie
    12. Read my lips – Mute and speak – other guess
    13. Simon says –
    14. Rock paper scissors
    15. ABC Game – “I’m going on a beach trip and I’m taking an apple”  “I’m going on beach trip and I’m taking an apple and a ball”
    16. Memory game – use cookie sheet with magnets
    17. Mad libs – http://www.madlibs.com/printables/
    18. ???- there is no number 18
    19. Talent show vs On the spot Talent Show –
    20. Name that emoji – share an emoji and you have to name it
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjNHuDs7XZE
    1. Emoji line up – who can type line of Emojis – phone game
    2. Words within words – leader types in word – other try to list as many words as you can find in 1 minute
    3. Tic Tac Toe – with white board
    4. Famous for 2 minutes – “when was the last time you ate a Bugles” “who are you wearing”
    5. Guess who? – board game
    6. Mind meld – 3 2 1 – 2 people try to guess the same word
    7. Farkle – 6 dice https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Farkle
    8. Boggle Game – use overhead camera – camera pointing down
    9. Guess Who Game
    10. Memory Matching Game
    11. Scattorgories – pick a category and everyone tries to list as many of that item – example Fruits
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMCTUAd5b3c
    1. Freeze dance party
    2. Animal call – assign motion to animal, call out animal and everyone does motion
    3. Catch – take ball and pass it on – call out name and pass ball to each other
    4. Alphabet 4 square – white board – square with 4 boxes Name, place, animal, thing – everyone draws something per where your “finger” stops on boxes
    5. Musical stomp –
    6. Roll the dice! Lets get moving –
    7. The wave
    8. Movement memory – make movement – pass on and do movement and add on
    9. Silent mirror – text a person – they are silent mirror –
    10. Where am I – change the background
    11. Go find something – go find something “pink” or “plastic” or “square”
    12. Clapping rhythm – do a clap and everyone claps
    13. Show and Tell – take turns and show and tell – have mute on standby
    14. Watchcha snackin – https://youtu.be/qJSWdoKZU2c
    15. Name a Country – hold up a map – name a country , next player names a country at starts with last letter of last country – Canada, Africa, antartcia,…
    16. Taboo – use whiteboard
    17. Dots and Boxes
    18. I spy game – Pile Up – https://deeperkidmin.com/product/pile-up-i-spy-ppt-game-for-kids/
    19. Coloring on whileboard
    20. What’s the theme – everyone gives hints to one person – that person has to guess
    21. Draw it – place paper on head and draw something on head – animal, beach scene, etc.
    22. Picture story – use pictures to build a story
    23. Success stickers – need post it notes – ask what successful at – write down and post on wall or face
    24. Name that tune – hmm and guess
    25. Goats in the grass – Ants in Antarctica, bees in Brazil, etc.

Virtual Meetings and In-Person Meetings can be enhanced with themes.  Why not a Pirate Meeting or Star Wars Meetings?  Dress the part, play the roles and ham it up!

You are online and have online resources and tech at your fingertips.  Don’t be afraid to use them.

Consider using:

  • Homemade videos and animation
  • Scout made videos can be pretty fun!
  • YouTube clips of fun stuff
  • Boy’s Life and other How-To videos
  • Music
  • Memes

Skill Demonstrations are just fun, especially when it is from someone you know.  We have demoed all sort things on virtual meetings.  These have included:

  • Fire Demo – scouts yell out “FIRE” each time you make a flame
  • Pioneering skills – filmed live from your backyard
  • CPR – with scouts pressing on a roll of toilet paper while listening to Staying Alive 
  • Wood carving – make sure scouts have their Totin’ Chips
  • Cooking – live televised cooking demos date back to the 1930s
  • Dance moves – some scouters have been known to cut a rug
  • Knot tying 

The advantage of prerecording is that you get everything just right and share it over and over if needed.  That said, there is something special about being LIVE.  Scouts can interact and ask questions, which makes them part of the demo.  Things can also go wrong, like you goof up something, or have tech issues, or the weather turns on you and that’s just fine.  Just go with it, it makes it so much more real than having everyone watch a video.