Message from Chief Scout Brendon Hausberger
As we go into the third week of the lockdown, I am sure many of you have also been through the various stages of dealing with this situation. From an initial resigned acceptance to some anger, either at the people breaching the rules or the apparent nonsensical nature of some of the rules. Then boredom as you look for something to do, and realise you don’t have and can’t get what you need to do it! Inevitably we are all going to have some down days when we feel lost, frustrated or like we are not as effective as we can be And that is okay, it is normal to feel like this. We have lost the comfort of our routines, and for many of us our usual coping mechanisms are not available. We are balancing work and family and our own dealing with the realities of the situation. To be less productive than usual and feel out of control is hardly surprising.
It helps to talk about your feelings, especially with the people with whom you are on lockdown. For example, in my home we have encouraged our kids to tell us some of what they see as the positives and negatives of the situation, and you will be surprised at what comes up! Sometimes you can do something to address the negatives, and sometimes just realising there are some positives helps you cope. Just remember how a few weeks ago you were complaining about the traffic, or the load shedding, or the million and one other niggles of work and life and you will find some positives. Also remember that you have a Scouting family that is there for you when you need to talk.
Just realising there are some positives helps you cope!
I also know there are many of you who are feeling challenged by an expectation that you should be using this time to learn a new skill or catch-up on something you meant to do. However you then find that once the day is over, you haven’t got through what you wanted to let alone a new skill. That’s alright, I planned to learn to play the piano over this period, and I haven’t managed a single session yet, let alone made any great progress. It will come in time and if for now being a dad and stand-in teacher takes priority, I am sure we can all live with that. Be gentle on yourselves under this situation.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our Scouters and Rovers again who have been working hard to prepare and deliver programmes to our youth members during this lockdown. From Zoom cooking lessons, to yoga and painting sessions, quizzes, daily badge challenges or distance programmes. We are seeing some incredible material! You can find them on the SA Scout Wiki. We also need to recognise the service of our volunteers who are working to deliver food and other essential supplies in Gauteng, Western Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga to the vulnerable and needy. Your contributions are valued and are making a difference in the lives of others.
The lockdown is making a demonstrable difference on the now infamous “curve”, but as we heard over the Easter weekend from experts, we need to keep on walking this hard road if the sacrifices we have made till now are to be impactful in terms of continuing to contain this virus. Hang in there, this too will pass.
Yours in Scouting,