How the Scouts reacted and delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic – #TheGreatIndoors

The COVID-19 pandemic made the Scouts rethink its traditional practices and services

The 113 year old charity recognised how past practices would prohibit the charity from thriving in a pandemic and in the future, thereafter. So the charity began brainstorming on how to utilise digital platforms in an effective and immediate way, while still preserving the Scouts’ values, integrity, and experiences.

The first step to this new chapter was to examine and transform each component of the charity, including the outdoor experiences the Scouts were infamous for. So let’s begin this deep dive into the Scouts branding and messaging with the innovative digital transformation of the Scouts adventures via the new initiative, #TheGreatIndoors.

One way the Scouts transformed themselves digitally during lockdown was to produce #TheGreatIndoors.

The Great Indoors helps UK Scouts and families stay active, learning, and happy.

In March 2020, the Scouts found themselves in an unusual position. The prior ways of keeping youth, their families, and volunteers engaged through outdoor activities needed a revamp. The charity had a creative meeting regarding how to incorporate digital into their messaging, branding and activities. Out of this marketing session, The Great Indoors was born.

The Great Indoors is an online package of ideas and activities developed to inspire young minds at home. As of May 2020, the online content featured over 280 activities and received over 750,000 views from 500,000+ different UK families.

The celebrity face for the campaign and personal advocate of The Great Indoors is Bear Grylls. Having Grylls part of the initiative increased national interest and momentum, driving more people to the site.

Grylls says about The Great Indoors, “There’s something for everyone here to keep learning and having fun, while warding off cabin fever. They’ll help families stay busy, focused and cheerful. It’s not often you’ll find me talking about the great indoors, but this is the exception.”

The Scouts use digital to host meetings, weekly volunteer events, fundraising events, and conduct daily business

According to Lara Burns, the chief digital officer, “Staff are working remotely. Board meetings have gone all-digital, and will not go back to earlier ways of working any time soon.”

By adapting digital, there is no disruption to charity operations

One move forward proving the value and time efficiency of using digital in the charity sector was the Scouts Zoom Leadership Team. In 2 days, the team was formed and presented a live Q&A to a minimum of 14,000 Scout volunteers. The aim was to outline the digital platform options available to local volunteers wanting to offer services remotely, as well as vital information regarding online security for users, volunteers, and families.

Using digital proves to the masses you are present, growing, adapting and still providing services, regardless of social and outdoor restrictions

Here are some tips on how your charity can make the switch to digital and create messaging to match

  • Take a look at your current operations. Think about what can be done remotely. Once you decide on how to present your services remotely, develop messaging and visuals to convey this to your target market.
  • Apply and repurpose the content and systems you already have in place. For instance, convert helpful information into downloadable guides and actionable steps.
  • During lockdown you may have moved your regular team meetings online, and are now planning to incorporate and develop these capabilities ongoing. To go along with this, make sure you prep your team and volunteers through sending them communication on how to use the digital tools, safely and securely. Provide opportunities for individuals to learn and develop skills.
  • You can use a visual illustration or infographic to get this information out there. It is a double benefit having the graphics to go along with it. Receiving communication about the changes, reassures your team and clients and helps them to feel safe and valued. By strategically using specific branding colours, fonts, and styling can also reinforce the emotions you wish your team to feel through the transition, and empower them in their role.

With digital, the goal is not to entirely change your operations, systems, values, and services. It is an extension. It is to enhance your organisation.

Digital platforms are a way to get your information out to your target market and stay relevant

To create visuals, messaging, and branding design to match these new changes to your charity then feel free to reach out anytime. We can talk using Zoom, Skype, What’s App, audio call or whatever you prefer. Design to tell your story.

Contact Becks


Design: Becks Neale

Becks Neale is a Dorset Designer & Brand Consultant, working alongside charities, community initiatives and purpose-led organisations to achieve a brand they love and live, by distilling their brand story.

Design to tell your story.

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