Troop 285 Status – Well, Troop 285 has been pretty quiet since COVID-19 came to New Mexico. In mid-April, the troop stopped holding its traditional in-person meetings until further notice. Thanks to Liam, our senior patrol leader, and Henry, assistant SPL, for taking their leadership role in a new direction. They were able to set up weekly virtual meetings on Zoom…and hand-walk the entire troop, especially the adults, through the steps to get online. Further, they set up a Google Classroom account where any of us can post photos, instruction and any other documents needed to keep the troop connected. Since our Scouts are at various levels of advancement, Henry sets up separate “rooms” to meet in during our meetings for instructors and Scouts to work on various merit badges.
In addition, the troop is blessed with eleven Scouts in its Basic Skills program so Henry sets up a separate room for them as well. After the troop’s traditional opening ceremony, announcements and a troop-wide instruction, the new guys break out for about 30-40 minutes to cover skills needed for them to earn their rank requirements through First Class.
To be sure, conducting virtual Scout meetings has been a learning situation for all of us. However, as we await permission from our New Mexico governor to begin meeting in person again, we are proceeding to plan for upcoming campouts and high adventure expeditions in the hope that we will get the “go ahead” from her. In the meantime, we all practice “Staying Home and Staying Safe”.