Coronavirus and Stourbridge District

Stourbridge District Scouts resources for dealing with Covid-19


Online Badges

Online badges was launched soon after lockdown was announced and face-to-face was stopped. Online Badges is provided by Online Scout Manager [OSM] and allows members to access and complete badges whilst at home, allowing parents and members to choose to do more whilst they may have the time.
For leaders: it is a great way to keep your members engaged and for them to earn their badges whilst not meeting face-to-face. Make sure that you’ve switched it on in OSM, it’s free at the moment! It does require the parent portal addition so if you do not already use this now is a perfect opportunity for you to start.
For Parents: If you are stuck for things to do then you can see all the badge requirements for your beaver, cub, scout or explorer scout and encourage them to work towards any of the badges for their section. Speak to your leader if you do not have access to the parent portal or to online badges.


 Online Meetings

Whilst we are in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis 80% of our sections in Stourbridge District are known to be providing online scout meetings – virtually,  ensuring the well-being of both youth members and adult leaders and keeping the spirit of scouting alive. There are two main pieces of software being used:

MS Teams is available for free to ALL leaders within Stourbridge District. MS Teams allows you to hold video meetings, audio calls and share files and conversation with anyone that you choose.

For those interested in leadership meetings, training validation and Exec’ committee meetings where documents can be viewed, edited and updated simultaneously, this is a serious winner.

If you are a leader in Stourbridge and you do not yet have access contact us or speak directly to your GSL for more information.

Zoom is proving very popular, with section leaders using it increasingly for their meetings, probably because it allows you to see more than 9 video feeds at a time.

Security has been enhanced over the past few weeks and with the right settings it is possible to set up sectional meetings that are secure.

The free version gives you 40 minutes free. It’s simple enough to restart your meeting again after that.

Some of the settings are a little buried but overall this is a good choice for most leaders who require sectional meetings.

Which one then?

There is little between the two pieces of software in real terms. If you want to collaborate using files and chat then MS Teams would be higher on the list than Zoom. MS Teams is free to us and has no time limits. Ultimately it would be the software of preference.

Zoom does have the ability to organise attendees into ‘breakout’ rooms where they can have separate discussions away from the main area. However, this is possible in MS Teams, albeit in a more clunky manner.

More guidance on the use of any of these pieces of software can be found on the West Mercia County Website

West Mercia Scouts Info


The Scout Association are now offering licenses of Zoom to elegible units. This is the Pro version of Zoom which overides the 40 minute time on a free account.

The Scout Association have allowed for the provision of 1 license per group. The details have been provide to our GSL so please contact them directly if you would like to know more.