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Camping under canvas despite Coronavirus

Abigail, Charlotte & Georgina Richardson outside their tent.

Staying in to help slow the spread of COVID 19 hasn’t stopped three Scouts from Carlisle seeking adventure, they’ve challenged themselves to camp out every night in April.

Abigail, Charlotte and Georgina Irwin have challenged themselves to spend every night of the month out of their own beds after seeing the Camp at Home challenge advertised on Facebook.

Being limited to their own home hasn’t affected the girls’ imagination – as well as transforming their garden into a campsite they’re also planning indoor camps in the dining room when the weather turns for the worse.

Georgina (5) says “Camping is good as you get to toast marshmallows. Being off school because of Coronavirus means I get to have late nights & sleep with my sisters in our sleeping bags.”

Her sister Abigail (13) adds “Now I’m a Scout I feel I have grown up & I have lots of great experiences with others that I’ve known since being in Beavers or Cubs with them & I’m very close to them.

Whilst home I’m trying to use the time to do more crafts like knitting & painting stones/pebbles. It passes the time, it’s enjoyable & I find it therapeutic.

Camping for 30 days gives me, during this incredibly odd time, a new sort of constant to my ever-changing routine.”

Charlotte (11) says “Being a Scout gives me opportunities to do things that I wouldn’t get the chance to do at home. I’ve also made new friends & had lots of fun times. I like camping as I love the outdoors & nature – even just the sound of the waterfall in our pond in the garden. I’m still keeping in touch with my friends to make sure they are ok. I am also using this time to sew my old cub badges onto my camp blanket.”

The Scouts’ mother, Christine Ferguson, says “We learnt about Camp at Home on Facebook and when I mentioned it to the girls, they all jumped at it! They’ve always loved camping with Scouts and even though they can’t go far it hasn’t stopped them enjoying themselves.

“They’re missing so much due to Coronavirus, including the group’s St George’s Day parade and Cub Camp. It’s been a real help to have something practical to focus on, Scouts has really given all three great foundations for the future and it’s fantastic to see them adapting to this new order of things.”

Scouts and volunteers across Cumbria and the UK have been stepping up to explore new ways to keep active and find adventure after all face-to-face meetings were suspended to help halt the spread of the disease.

“I’ve been really impressed with how our young people have been adapting to major changes” says Eddie Ward, Cumbria Scouts County Commissioner. “Resilience is one of the key skills for life we focus on and it’s never been more important than now. With schools closed, travel restricted and more and more families sadly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic activities such as this can really help provide a sense of normality.”

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