I have three children in the Scouts; Isaac is a Scout, Eliza is a Cub and Sebby is in Beavers.
It is something that they really enjoy doing as they get to go on outdoor adventures, try new things, learn about the great outdoors and build their self-confidence.
This year has been very different for scout groups and they have been reliant on children joining in with zoom meetings during lockdown and my three were all disappointed to miss their annual camps.
Our own group had only just gone back to their scout meetings, albeit every other week to allow for bubbles and social distancing, before being thwarted by a second lockdown.
I was shocked to learn that 500 of the UK’s Scout Groups are now facing severe financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19. While the majority of the UK’s Scout Groups are back up and running face-to-face or online, the future of over 500 Scout Groups is bleak.
Social distancing regulations have prevented these Scout Groups from raising money through their typical fundraisers such as supermarket bag packs, firework displays, jumble sales and quiz nights. A recent survey conducted by Scouts has shown that if these groups don’t receive additional funding, they may be forced to close.
To help combat this shortfall in funds, Scouts across the UK have been challenged to travel at least 172,000 miles collectively in their local areas, in the Race Round the World Challenge and raise £300,000 in sponsorship and we joined in at the weekend with a walk around Arne Nature Reserve in Dorset.
Chief Scout, Bear Grylls started the race, challenging everyone to travel as many miles as they can (or complete an equivalent activity) towards their team’s total distance and asking friends and family to sponsor them. Four Scout teams are racing to complete the 43,000 miles each and are captained by celebrity Scout Ambassadors Tim Peake, Ellie Simmonds (Team Beavers) Helen Glover and Steve Backshall (Team Cubs) Ed Stafford and Saray Khumalo (Team Scouts) and Dwayne Fields and Megan Hine (Team Explorers and Network+), who’ll be cheering everyone on all the way.
The only problem we had was deciding which team to be on, so we decided that each child would complete miles for their own team and add sponsorship money to fundraising page set up by our scout group.
Eliza is rather pleased that Team Cubs is currently in the lead, although my three all logged 4 miles each from our walk at the weekend.
I realise that we are very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world, but you can take part in the Race Round The World challenge by completing the activities on the website, or by walking around your local area. Even the walk to school and back counts!!
Visit scouts.org.uk/raceroundtheworld to sign up to travel a mile or more towards #RaceRoundTheWorld and to find out more about the campaign.
Will you be joining in?