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Virtual Campfires with Zoom

Virtual Campfires with Zoom
David Madison
/ Categories: Camping, Remote Scouting

Virtual Campfires with Zoom

Songs, Stories, Jokes and YES Multi-person Skits

Our troop joined a number of other troops this past weekend for a virtual campout.  Scout's and leaders camped in their backyard and we all connected via Zoom for events.  The big question we had was...

How to do a campfire that would include the typical variety of elements?

Songs - Ok... that can be done with one leader and everyone singing along.

Stories - Same thing.  One person telling a story.  Zoom would spotlight that person and everyone could easily focus on that one person.

Jokes - Same thing.

leading the Oath - Same

Leading the Scout Law - Same

Flag retirement - basically, the same thing.  Everyone focused on one 'screen'.

But what about Skits ... Multi-Person skits?

Skits - How can we do that?  How can we have a patrol present a skit over Zoom where the 'audience' can pick out the scouts that are performing the skit. 

Speaker View or Spotlight?... well, that kindof works.  The person speaking is highlighted and everyone watching will see that one person.

Gridview?  That falls a part quickly the more people that are in the Zoom call.

How do you get only the Scouts who are in the skit performing to be displayed on the screen all at once and only them?  

The short answer... There is a way to do this!!  And it works very well.

How to show only the Scouts in the Skit?

This can be accomplished by haveing everyone except those 'on stage' to turn off their video and mute their mics.  Then have everyone enable a feature on their video to 'Hide non-video participants'.  This will have the effect of everyone in the call (that has their zoom video configured this way) to only see the MC or the patrol that is performing their skit.

Zoom Video Settings - Hide non-video participants OFF
- with the setting 'Off' (not checked), participants with their video off will result in their video box still show with just their name in the box.

Zoom Video Settings - Hide non-video participants ON
- with the setting 'On' (checked), participants with their video off will result in their video box to be hidden from view.

At the beginning of the campfire, instruct your audience to do the following:

  1. Turn off their video
  2. Mute their microphone
  3. Put Zoom into 'Gallery View'.
  4. Open their video settings, and check the box to 'Hide non-video participants'
  5. As a person or patrol goes off stage, they are to turn off their video and mute their microphone.
  6. As a person or patrol is called onto stage, they should turn ON their video and un-mute their microphone

That's it... Zoom will now show to everyone only the people that are on stage.

And if patrols are clever, they can 'go on and off' stage' as their skit requires by turning on and off their video at the appropriat times.


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David MadisonDavid Madison

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