Scouts Canada, one of the country’s leading youth organizations, launched Scouting at Home, a new initiative that encourages families and youth to stay connected and active while practicing physical distancing from others. As children have been out of school for more than a month, families are continuing to seek ideas to participate in thoughtful, educational, and fun activities together that develop well-rounded skills – and of course, maintain safe physical distancing.
Each week, Scouts Canada is sharing a new list of tips and activities that are easy for Scouts and non-Scouts alike to put into play at home or online. The activities encompass Scouts Canada’s principles of learning by doing, ranging from community service to STEM, and are designed to encourage physical activity, curiosity, creativity, confidence, social connection and wellbeing.
Here are eight inspiring examples of community-focused efforts Canadians can take on to help those in need. Everyone can participate, engage with friends and family to join, and encourage others to help these efforts grow. Visit Scouts.ca/GetInvolved to access resources to join in.
Maple Ridge Scout Quinn Callander responded to a request to make ear guards for local healthcare workers suffering from face mask pain. With his 3D printer operating 24 hours a day, he has created hundreds of ear guards and delivered them to hospitals and senior care facilities in Vancouver, across Canada, in the United States and the United Kingdom. Demand for the ear guards is high and attracting global response, so anyone with a 3D printer is encouraged to join Quinn’s initiative by accessing the template. Each costs nine cents to make. Scouts Canada is helping distribute thousands of donated ear guards.
Canadians with no official residence or living in shelters are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 as they have limited opportunities to access facilities to wash their hands and are less able to practice physical distancing. The most in-demand items right now are ones we normally take for granted such as toilet paper, soap, and cleaning supplies. If you have extra supplies, consider donating them to your local shelter.
To help encourage regular hand washing, Calgary Scout Troop 264 made simple hand wash stations using water buckets, tubes and soap dispensers at local construction sites. Hand-washing stations or hand sanitizer can also be placed on your front porch for delivery workers.
There is currently an unprecedented need at food banks across Canada. Help by donating or delivering food and supplies to a neighbour who may be unable to go to the grocery store or is food insecure. You can also find others in need via the app NextDoor – just be sure to follow proper physical distancing procedures and wash hands before and after delivering supplies.
Scouts across Canada are creating handmade thank you cards as a way to show appreciation to the healthcare, frontline and essential service professionals who work tirelessly every day during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure our safety, wellbeing, and keep our cities running. Many provinces and organizations have initiatives for distributing these letters to hospitals and healthcare centres; or you can give a personalized card to the grocery clerk, fire station, your superintendent, or leave a card in the mailbox for your local postal worker.
COVID-19 has also had a significant impact on our furry friends, with many animal shelters in need of help to care for rescued animals. For those who have been thinking of fostering a pet, there’s no better time than now, as being at home helps to give them the care and attention they need. Plus, many local shelters offer online applications.
There is always a demand for life-saving blood and plasma donations. Canadian Blood Services has strict safety protocols in place. Make an appointment and find out requirements to give at blood.ca.
N-95 and surgical masks are in high demand and short supply. Instead of purchasing a mask, make one for personal use and make extra for healthcare, nursing home and other critical workers too. The 392nd Muslim Scout Group are making masks for healthcare professionals using a pattern provided by Michael Garron Hospital Foundation.
Visit Scouts.ca/ScoutingAtHome for more information and sign up for the free newsletter to receive new activities each week. Those who participate are encouraged to share Scouting at Home activities and their own ideas on social media using the hashtag #ScoutsDoStuff to stay connected and inspire others.