Social Distancing and Cadets
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created some difficulties in completing our mission. How can we continue to grow and strengthen our clubs when our clubs cannot meet? How do we help boys grow spiritually in all areas of life when we don’t get our usual contact with them? We must use whatever tools we have at our disposal to maintain communication and continue to show cadets what it means to live for Jesus.
The usual club meeting approach is probably not going to work for a while, so we must look for alternative ways to maintain the relationships between counselors and cadets. Here are a few thoughts and ideas that may help you as a counselor.
Video conferencing and teleconferencing have become the go-to solutions for many meetings during this time of social distancing. These technologies may be too much to ask of the average cadet club, though depending on the age and technical ability and access of your cadets, it may be a way to connect with your cadre. Online video conferencing of the type offered by Zoom or Google Hangouts could be a very effective way for counselors to meet with other counselors.
- Use Facebook Live to do opening exercises – have cadets and counselors “tune in” the usual time to participate “together” (Be sure to give participants plenty of notice)
Other, more familiar technologies, like social media or email can also be effective ways to communicate with your club and cadre. If your club already has a presence on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, be sure to use these channels as often as possible to keep cadets – or at least their parents and guardians – informed.
- Record video of craft or badgework how-to’s and post/share online
- Encourage them to share pictures of projects or badges for your social media
Many cadets will not have their own smartphones, email, or social media accounts – and that’s fine. There are still ways of keeping in contact to keep social distancing from becoming social isolation. Think about giving the cadets in your cadre a phone call during the usual club meeting time. Touching base with your cadets shows them that they are a priority and that they are important to you. Encourage them to continue work on Bible studies and badge-related activities, many of which can be completed outside of a normal club meeting. You may want to propose that your cadets reach out to others – other Cadets, elderly relatives, or church friends – via phone or even humble (but reliable) snail mail.
- Set up pen pals within your club to keep boys connected
- Email a daily Bible verse as a check-in opportunity
- Send them a list of badges they can do at home
Communication is Key
Your communication with your cadets indicates that the Cadet ministry is important, even now. While social distancing is important for the greater good, we must be wary of social isolation and make every effort to stay involved and stay in communication with cadets and counselors.
We want to help you grow and strengthen your club. Do you have ideas or suggestions? Please let us know!