As the COVID pandemic drags on seemingly intermittently, we have gone from “Two weeks to flatten the curve” to coming up on a full year of severe restrictions on in-person gatherings.
Many nonprofit and public service agencies have simply had to shut down: Youth sports leagues have been able to hold limited practices, but not games. Volunteer auxiliaries for our public libraries, museums, and city, county and state parks have simply gone on hiatus as those facilities have been shuttered.
Others have switched to online “virtual” meetings on platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google, etc.
But more than 10 months into the shutdowns, it is getting more challenging by the week to keep our members – whether Scouting units or service club members – to participate in the virtual meetings.
The folks at The Events Calendar, whose website calendaring software we use here at Knights of Buena Creek for the Community Calendar, have put out a list of ways to help sustain enthusiasm for and participation in virtual events.
Among their suggestions are:
Send multiple email reminders, with embedded links
Include Q&A sessions at the end, or hold a raffle for those who attend
Make sure you have the right moderator – someone with the personality to hold the (virtual) room’s attention.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, opened up the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Awards to young people around the world a few years ago.
While youths 14-24 in the United States have been able to earn the award for the last few years, this year saw the first local winner – Stevin Latimer of Vista. A junior at Mission Vista High School, Stevin earned the Bronze and Silver DofE awards, and is working on his Gold.
Similar to The Congressional Award, participants in the DofE program set their own goals. In the DofE program, they work with a volunteer adult coordinatorin creating a game plan to meet those goals. The goals are set in the areas of volunteer service, skill improvement, physical recreation, adventure, and a residential project.
To learn more about this award and how youth in your organization can take part, visit the DofE site for the United States at USAward.org.
Four Eagle Scouts were installed into the highest rank of the Boy Scouts of America at a noon ceremony on Oct. 11 at the Escondido Moose Lodge (#1874). Troop 651, sponsored by the Lions Club of San Marcos, welcomed the Troop’s four latest Eagles.
The ceremony at the Moose was the result of a January breakfast between the Moose, the Lions and the Lake San Marcos Kiwanis Club on ways to coordinate their service to youth through their Scouting units. As the Lions Club and Kiwanis do not have their own lodges, the Moose has made its campus available for those clubs’ Scouting units alongside its own unit.
The Moose Lodge charters Cub Scout Pack 640, while the Kiwanis charters Pack 662. All three units – plus others – pitched in at two recent volunteer workdays at the Moose, helping clear brush along the creekbed to lessen this year’s fire danger.
Sunday’s ceremony was held under the County’s health order; only immediate family were present in person – while the ceremony was livestreamed via Zoom to the rest of the troop, the Lions Club, and extended friends and family. Those who attended wore masks, and practiced social distancing.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Carlsbad Fire Department Foundation will host its 7th Annual Golf Tournament to raise money to support the city’s firefighters. This year, the event is being held at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.
In the past five years, the tournament has raised more than $75,000 to support the mission of the Foundation – which is to supplement and enhance basic fire and rescue services, and to support public outreach, safety education programs, and to provide scholarships to dependents of firefighters.
Check-in begins at 10:30 a.m., with tee time at noon. Following the tournament there will be a dinner and silent auction.
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy resumed its monthly Volunteer Day at Monserate Mountain Preserve this past Saturday, Sept. 5 at the crack of dawn!
Board members and volunteers met at the trail head at 6 a.m. in a race against the heatwave. We hiked up the trail about a mile to where it meets an access road. This road is part of the MMP trail system, linking the peak to a lower portion of the trail and creating a challenging 5-mile loop.
However, this road also provides access to the Preserve for emergency vehicles, including fire and paramedics. Over the years, the road has degraded due to erosion and it is now overgrown with chaparral, making it difficult for large emergency vehicles to navigate.
The FLC was recently awarded a grant from San Diego County to make improvements on MMP, including funding to repave this access road. We are leveraging that funding by enlisting our volunteers to prepare the road for grading and repaving by cutting back overgrown brush. This will allow us to reduce the cost of maintaining the road so we can utilize more of the grant funding for trail improvements, which are also greatly needed.
Fallbrook Land Conservancy is taking a break from tradition this year with a week-long series of virtual events designed to bring you all the fun of our popular, community festival to the comfort of your own home. STAGECOACH SUNDAY UPLOADED kicks off on Monday, Sept. 28 with wildlife encounters, tours of our local preserves, and more. The event culminates on Sunday, October 4, at our FLC Facebook page as winners of our GO WILD photo contest are announced.
Boy Scout Troop 651 (San Marcos Lions Club) showed up Saturday, September 5, at the Escondido Moose Lodge to assist with fire abatement efforts. Working with Moose members, the Scouts helped clear away brush, gathered palm fronds being cut down, and stacked firewood.
Escondido Moose Lodge (#1874) is seeking volunteers for a brush abatement work day Saturday, Sept. 5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Light work cutting palm fronds, raking grass, stacking cut firewood. Water will be provided. The Moose Lodge is located at 25721 Jesmond Dene Rd, Escondido, CA 92026. Call 760-745-1874. Learn more on our Community Calendar.
FLC Volunteer Day is back! Saturday, Sept. 5 at 6 a.m. (please note earlier time to beat the heat) we will meet at the Monserate Mountain Preserve trailhead and hike up about a mile up the trail to work on trimming brush. Tools and training will be provided. Please bring water, sun protection, and a mask to wear when close to others!
County health orders (i.e., coronavirus) willing, this will be an event the first Saturday of each month.