Grand Blanc Boy Scouts troop goes camping online



GRAND BLANC — You might be able to keep the Boy Scouts out of the campsite, but you can’t keep the campsite out of the Boy Scouts.

Social distancing and a gubernatorial stay-at-home order weren’t enough to keep Grand Blanc Boy Scout Troop 106 from having a campout last weekend. But this wasn’t a typical camping trip for the Scouts – it was all done from the safety of each one’s home through the use of technology.

Scoutmaster Chris Stockman said despite the pandemic, his Scouts are continuing with activities and events through the use of social media apps like Zoom.

“Even though the Scout motto says be prepared, we were not prepared for this,” said Stockman. Still, the troop made the best of the situation and spent the weekend working on completing badges and working on other achievements they’d normally do as a group during a campout.

He said all of the activities were collected and shown on Zoom, with the older Scout demonstrating things they’d learned to the younger Scouts.

Stockman said everybody still got together for mealtime, shared pictures and they inspected one another’s campsites – all done virtually with Zoom.

“It went pretty well,” he said. “We created an agenda like for a normal campout and all activities had to be done at home and document with parents.”

Some aspects of the camping trip were easy to do online, others, like helping Scouts learn to tie ropes while watching on a computer screen, weren’t as easy.

Stockman said Troop 106 has been holding virtual troop and patrol meetings the past three weeks. He said members of the Troop sometimes meet daily to keep everyone up to date with what’s happening.

“We’re keeping them progressing in ranks and achievements,” he said. “We’re keeping them engaged.”

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for the Boy Scouts to meet, but he said the Troop was fortunate that its upcoming Eagle Scouts were one step ahead of the stay-at-home order the two soon-to-be Eagle Scouts having finished their projects just weeks prior to the governor’s order.

Troop 106 is based out of Kirkridge Presbyterian Church in Grand Blanc. Stockman said the group has 40 scouts total – 30 boys and 10 girls, ages 11-17.