As the Group entered the 2020s – none of us realised what a unprecedented year it would turn out to be. January began normally with planned activities going ahead as usual. Green Pack held a Winter Camp at Broadstone Warren at the end of the month. At about the same time The Richmond District Beavers had their New Year’s Party in Teddington. In mid- February Yellow Pack Cubs visited Gravity Force Trampoline Park for an overnight sleep-over. Yellow Pack Cubs also paid a visit to Doctor Chocs Chocolate Factory in Windsor. The first Group social event of the year took the form of a Quiz ad Curry Night at the HQ. Patrol Leaders from both Troops attended a District PL’s Training Course. In the middle of March, the scouts visited The White Spider Urban Climbing Centre whilst Yellow Pack and the Animal Troop ice skated at Guildford’s Spectrum Rink.
On the 17th March 2020 Scout Headquarters announced that due to the Covid 19 Pandemic all face to face Scouting activities would be suspended. A new way of delivering Scouting to our many members needed to be found and quickly. 2nd Whitton Leaders began to devise online weekly meetings and deliver virtual events to many who were eager to receive them. The Group Executive Committee agree to suspend payment of subs until further notice, as Scouting activities as the Group would wish to provide normally could not be done so.
One April weekend the first major online activity was Scout and Parent Mega Challenge. Scouts with their parents undertook a series of 5 challenges. Although remote from each other much fun followed. On the 8th May all Sections of the Group part in The Global Camp at Home. It was the largest virtual camp involving 93,000 members from 63 countries. 100 families from 2nd Whitton took part in the weekend. Whilst the HQ was being not used for meetings, our HQ Heroes (A few Group Officers) undertook essential tasks to maintain our building and land in a first class condition. During the Summer the Group suffered a sad loss when Sylvia Catt-Camfield, wife of our Vice-President, passed away. Sylvia was a Cub Scout Instructor and then an Assistant Cub Scout Leader, a position in which she served loyally for a number of years. After this service finished she continued to serve the Group as an active Supporter at Our Show and our other major events.
In September some of the Lockdown restrictions were lifted by the Government which meant face to face meetings could resume. Due to reduced numbers to enable social distancing – sections split down into groups of 15 with half meeting one week and the other half meeting the next. Many of the Beavers took part in the District Beaver Virtual Fun Day, which was a great success. Marion McLaren, who served for a number of years as an Assistant Cub Scout leader with Green Pack and was a regular member of the Our Show cast sadly passed away. Beavers and Cubs took part in the Whitton High Street Poppy Quiz for Remembrance Day. Following the Beavers Xmas Party on the final meeting of the year – l6 Beavers were presented with their Chief Scout Bronze Awards before Going up to Cubs.
2020 had been an unprecedented and challenging year for Scouting with many Groups struggling to survive. 2nd Whitton had been kept alive by the perseverance of a small team of dedicated leaders and group officers who recognised the importance of providing a constant in the lives of our young people during this turbulent time and for that – they should be commended.
We pray 2021 will see Scouting return to near normality.