the 16th East Bombay Zoroastrian Bharat Scout Group engages with cubs, scouts and their parents during the lockdown period
~ The 16th East Bombay Scouts go online to adapt to ongoing coronavirus lockdown
Social distancing may have put a stop to community meet ups but that hasn’t meant a break to Scouting for the 16th East Bombay Zoroastrian Bharat Scout Group, where scouts and cubs have gone online to adapt to coronavirus lockdown.
Technology may have changed, the scouts themselves haven’t, despite the current lockdown. The 16th East Bombay Zoroastrian Bharat Scout Group (a hundred-year legacy and counting) has been engaging the cubs and scouts daily through WhatsApp groups and on Sundays through meetings conducted on Zoom… From daily challenges and activities on the WhatsApp group like Snack Art, Dalgona Coffee, Improvise your Chapatis, Fork Painting, Safe Hands, Make a Mask, Clown Face, Musical Band with Household Things, Floss Dance, Paper Toss, Bottle Flip, Scavenger Hunt, Singing Tree Pose and multiple Puzzles/Quizzes to First Aid, Knot Tying and Observation like sessions during the Sunday scout meetings on zoom.
The Scout Group successfully conducted a Virtual Entertainment Programme for Parents & Family Members (of Scouts and Cubs) on Friday, 1st May which included fun activities like Queen of Sheba, Bollywood Buff (guess and sing the song), Antakshari Party, Dumb Charades and Double Trouble (Fun Games for Couples including thread the needle with one hand, peeling onions and potatoes without knife, dress the child in a saree etc).
Replacing the annual summer camp scheduled to be held from 1st to 5th May, the Zoroastrian Scout Group took up the challenge to conduct a one-day virtual camp for the scouts and the cubs on Sunday, 3rd May. The schedule of the virtual training camp included Prayers, Exercises, Breakfast Preparation & Eating Together, First Aid & Disaster Management session (attended by the boys and their parents), Recreation Activities (Scavenger Hunt and Making T-shirt, Pant & Cap from newspaper and wear the same), Scouting Games (Kim’s Game – Observation) and an Online Campfire with one round of family performances (Skits, Singing, Dancing etc) and the other round of boys singing together patrol wise.
“Our Scout group, the 16th East Bombay Zoroastrian Bharat Scout Group (ZBS), was founded on 1st August 1920 to train our Parsi youth in various physical, mental & other skills so as to become good citizens and positive human beings and contribute positively to society. We are in our Centenary year and will complete 100years on 1st August 2020! Under normal circumstances we conduct our activities on Sundays as also hold outdoor camps normally at least twice a year! We have a dedicated team of Scouters & Rovers who have been trained during their scout days & are now devoting their time to train the younger lot! Kudos to them!”, Scout Master Mr. Freddy Khapoliwala elaborating on the origin of the scout group, the activities conducted and the benefits of Scouting.
Highlighting the steps taken by the Zoroastrian Bharat Scout Group to adapt to these times, he further adds “This has been a unique situation and our Scouts/Cubs/Scouters have risen to the occasion by having Virtual activities over laptop, phone & videos through zoom & other mediums. Besides upgrading skills through web-sessions, demos etc., they have been lending a huge hand in household chores making us & their parents proud. We have also conducted a virtual entertainment programme for parents on 1st May evening and a virtual camp day on Sunday 3rd May besides our normal troop & pack meetings at our normal Sunday meeting times! This is over & above at least 2 activities and homework done every day!”
Parents of the scouts and cubs have appreciated the activities conducted:
“My son is really enjoying the daily activities and challenges which are fun, creative and fitness oriented. Thank all the Sirs for their motivation and encouragement and the efforts they have put in especially during this lockdown period.”
“The energy and enthusiasm the cubs and scouts brought to the screens during the virtual camp was awesome. The inspiration, guidance and the encouragement towards the young minds was simply fantastic”
“The one-day Virtual Camp and the Parents Entertainment Programme were so well organised and engaging, with laughter and fun making us forget the current situation”
“During this lockdown period, the cubs and scouts have learnt and are helping in household chores thanks to the motivation and encouragement from the Scouters & Rovers.”
The 16th East Bombay Scout Group, under the arch of Young Zoroastrian Society (YZS), welcomes all young boys between 5 to 17 years of age (join before 14) who wish to join the group and fill their lives with excitement while growing into independent adults leading happy lives and having a group of good Zoroastrian friends for life.
Scouter Khapoliwala adds “We invite all to have their youngsters join us during/after the lockdown. We have our meetings on rainy days from 8am to 10.30 am at Gamadia School & on non-rainy days we also have a game of baseball starting 7am at Parsi Gymkhana grounds before proceeding to Gamadia school to end at 10.30. We are sponsored by & belong to the (YZS) Young Zoroastrian Society & are happy to also say that 25 years ago our society has also started a girl guides group- the 71st Guide Company (ZBG) who are doing an excellent job in training the girls of age 6 years up in similar skills! They also celebrated Silver Jubilee on 1st August 2019 amid a great Celebration year! Look forward to Parsi families of Mumbai taking full advantage in training their children through the 16th & 71st Scout & Guide groups!”
For further details, visit http://www.yzsg.in/ and may call: Scout Master – Mr. Freddy Khapoliwala – 9820153066 / Cub Master – Mr. Pesi Patel – 9819937318 / Asst. Scout Master – Mr. Firdous Satha – 9167626268 / Asst. Cub Master – Mr. Burzin Tavadia – 9892176624
Mr. Kersie Khambatta is a semi-retired lawyer practising in Auckland, New Zealand. He is also a part-time writer of articles, short-stories, and illustrated books for children. His writing is recognizable by his simple style, with short sentences and carefully-chosen words. He has a diploma of Associateship of the British Tutorial Institute, London, in English, Modern Journalism, and Journalism in India, and a Certificate in Comprehensive writing awarded in October 2005 by the Writing School (Australia and New Zealand).
He has written five illustrated books for children and a book of short stories.
(1) Chetan and Lollipop
(2) The monkeys of Matheran
(3) Sam and Snowy
(4) The broken bullock cart
(5) The horse, the hare and the cat
(6) Pandu the Dabbawalla and other simple short stories.
On Monday June 24, 2019, he received the writers award from His Worship the Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff, at the 6th Annual Indian Newslink Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Awards 2019, Auckland, New Zealand.
He has received good reviews of his books in Parsiana (21st April 2019) and FIRES May 2019, the journal of FEZANA.