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Scout On Through Covid-19

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This Article is evolving currently - but we already have lots of scouters asking this question!
Unit Meetings Canceled? Everyone please share your ideas here. Try some Alternative Scout Activities. Now available - 20 Plus scout activities to do right now:

DONT FORGET - Scouts should work these activities by themselves or with their buddy or patrol. Covid-19 forces us to do scouting the way it was meant to be!!

The current Covid-19 Pandemic resembles in many ways the Spanish Flue of 1918-1920 - which lasted almost 3 years, but was especially fierce for a nine month window of Oct 1918-June 1919. Will the Covid-19 shutdown your scouting unit for an extended length of time or will you find ways to "Scout On".

The current pandemic is similar to the Spanish Flu in that both instances, the virus appears to have very little effect on little children. But with Covid-19 - our high risk groups are the elderly and those with chronic health and respiratory issues.

Here are suggestions for activities during this very unique episode our children's lifetime. The memories created here will be repeated to many future generations.

All listings here are generic suggestions. Discuss with your unit parents committee beforehand on any special restrictions or modifications applicable for your community.

Many Scouting Parents are now getting a crash course on how to be a Scout Leader! Please share these tips and give them lots of encouragement.


Official Statement from BSA : 19-Mar-2020

Read this stetement first:

To our Scouting community, In Scouting, we vow to help other people at all times. Now, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Scouting community must do its part to slow the spread of the virus, which will save lives and avoid overwhelming our local healthcare infrastructure. The safety of Scouts, volunteers, employees and our communities is our top priority.

With safety in mind and based on guidance from national health officials, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is strongly advising that in-person meetings, activities, events and gatherings of 10 or more people be suspended through the end of March. Please also follow any restrictions outlined by your state and local health department or other state and local authorities. This applies to youth and adults out of an abundance of caution.

  • See Here - for the rest of the statement, FAQs and other official resources
  • #ScoutAtHome : Follow BSA blogs and social channels, as well as #ScoutingAtHome, for great examples and ideas of how to continue Scouting.

Official BSA Scout at Home Websites


Notice from Local Councils

From SDIC : "Even though live Scout meetings have been cancelled due to the constraints of the COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) crisis, the Scouting program continues. We have developed a Scouting At Home set of pages with information so that youth, parents and leaders can work together to facilitate advancement while adhering to the Guide to Safe Scouting and following the rules of Youth Protection training."

Live organized events are restricted - but there is still lots to do from home on the web or with your own family. Ask your scout leader about rules for your community.:

2020 Social Media Recruitment

2020 Recruitment.PNG

2020 is the year to turn life's lemons into lemonade!

Virtual Meetings

There are several free sources for hosing a virtual tele-conference. Check out these free resources - many adult members already have an account and experience already from their employment. Ask us about limits on time or # of users -- And many Scout leaders and parents are subscribing for $19.95/month to get the professional version of one or more the falling - it has better quality and less restrictions.

Most work on both your phone-app or on your laptop computer that has both camera and microphone.

Warning: Beware of ZoomBombing and know how to stop it. (Limit controls on Screensharing)

Warning: Videoconferencing is great for just a few participants, but the more you have online degrades both the quality of the interface - and also gives reduces the opportunity for other scouts to "discuss" their thoughts on the subject. (Merit Badge Activities emphasize "Discussion", not "Lecture"!)


The ideal size for a Virtual Merit Badge Class is 3-6 Participants. GotoMeeting is an example of quality visual interface where if any participant has something to say, they can raise their hand and can be quickly called upon. Or the scouts can speak directly to each other.

Sample Meetings:

Virtual Birthday Party

Do you have any scouts with a birthday coming up?

"Can I ask a favor of a few of you? I have a scout who's mom sent a plea for help out... He's turning 9 tomorrow, most of his birthday celebration has been postponed or canceled due to the virus, he's concerned everyone will forget him. She was asking for birthday wishes for him... I've asked many of the area scouts I know to send me a video message wishing him a Happy Birthday. I'm combining these to make one large video for him from his "scout family".

Small Gatherings and Social Distancing

Latest recommendation from the CDC is to cancel events of 50 or more people for the next 8 weeks. This probably rules out many Pack and Troop Meetings.

However(!) The typical Den or Patrol should only have about 4-12 participants. Can a group this small still meet, learn about and practice "social distancing"? (Requires Parent/Leader Approval/ Charter Org!)

Also Note: Youth with serious health problems do fall into the high-risk group for Covid-19 and should avoid any activity that involves interaction with others. Many of the activities here can be done by a lone scout, at home, or with his family.

This Article however will focus on scouting activities that scouts/scouters can do individually, as a family, with a buddy or in a virtual format.

Family Service Projects

  • Do A Good Turn Daily - This is needed now more than ever. Now that scouts are spending more time at home - now is time for a spring cleaning or other major service project. Report your service projects in Scoutbook or to your unit leader.

Project Linus

This is an organization that makes and accepts homemade blankets to give to children all over the world. You can make 1 or more no-tie fleece blankets to donate to Project Linus. You will find the directions here: https://www.projectlinus.org/ You may purchase the materials for the blankets from the following companies:

Video Conference with Grandparents

Not just your grandparents, but check our senior care homes in your neighborhood. Lots of lonely senior citizens could use your letter, email, text or phone call right now!


You can interview your grandparents other relatives. You can also record your interview. Begin with the following questions to interview and start on a life history: 20 Questions to Ask Your Grandma & Grandpa

  1. What is your full name, and what are the names of your parents and siblings?
  2. How did your parents choose your name, and does it have a special meaning?
  3. Did you have any nicknames?
  4. When and where were you born?
  5. When and where were your family members born?
  6. What kinds of things did your family do together when you were young?
  7. Who were some of your friends, and what are your fondest memories of spending time with them?
  8. What schools did you attend?
  9. What were your favorite subjects in school?
  10. Who were your favorite teachers, and why were they your favorite?
  11. How did you meet Grandpa/Grandma? How did Grandpa propose?
  12. When and where were you married?
  13. What are your children’s names, and when and where were they born?
  14. What are some special memories you have about your children?
  15. Where have you lived?
  16. Who have you worked for, and what jobs did you do?
  17. Has faith or religion played a role in your life?
  18. What did you do to get through the difficult times in your life?
  19. What are your favorite holiday memories and traditions?
  20. What are some of your favorite things (such as favorite colors, flowers, books, songs, foods,

or pets)?

Lifting Hands International

This is an organization that makes quilts and pillows for refugees. They need 75,000 handmade cards that say “YOU ARE LOVED” with handmade decorations (hearts, stars, rainbows, etc.) to place in packages they deliver. The ONLY words are to be “YOU ARE LOVED” with whatever design your desire. No size requirements but 3x5 cards work well. Requirements for cards: 1) 3x5 cards or cut up pieces of paper; 2) colored markers; 3) desire to make cards to help someone in need feel loved. Once completed you will mail the cards you make to:

Dollies for Covid Children in Hospitals

AKA: Dollies 4 Doctors This is an organization that makes dolls for children in hospital. They need help with cutting, sewing or stuffing the dolls. Requirements: a) Cutting out patterns – using a pattern to cut fabric. Requires good scissors and good hand eye coordination. b) Sewing - requires a sewing machine and sewing skill or a parent or sibling at home that could help you sew. c) Stuffing - stuffing the sewn dolls with batting. (Contact information: Dollies4Doctors.com

International Scout Spirit Award

  • International Scout Spirit Award - Scouts BSA - The International Spirit Award is a temporary emblem that is awarded to registered Scouts and Scouters who have completed the necessary requirements, have gained a greater knowledge of international Scouting, and have developed a greater appreciation and awareness of different cultures and countries. This award serves as a replacement for, and therefore eliminates, the International Activity emblem and the Youth Exchange emblem. The International Spirit Award emblem is $4.00 each and is purchased from the International Department.

Good Neighbor Service Project

Have any of your neighbor's been adversely affected by the current crisis? Maybe they could use a cheerful face and extra hand.

  • Send an email or letter to a senior stuck in a nursing home. Or email a video or make a phone call!
  • Send a thank you message to a local hospital.
  • Donate Blood - Severe Blood Shortage, Donors Urgently Needed (Age 18+) Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to provide lifesaving blood products to patients. Please give now.

Scouting for Food

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Scouting for Food does not require face-to-face contact and can be done anytime of the year. Charities are in very dire need of food and other household supplies - especially those hard to find paper good. Scouts deliver flyers announcing their day of curb-side pickup.

Covid-19 Modification: Scouts wear gloves and wipe down all donated packages with sanitizer wipes and wash their own hands frequently.

Contact your local scout commissioner or executive to get the new 2020 generic handouts.

If your community is in a 100% lockdown - supplying food to the needy still counts as an essential service. Scouts should have a letter from their scoutmaster affirming that the scout is participating in an essential service!

Scouting for Food can be done with ZERO human contact:

  1. Prepare door hangers/flyers to drop at everyone's doorstep/doorknob accouncing time and date of pickup.
  2. Ask for need food, canned goods and other common household products that are in extreme demand by our shelters right now.
  3. All donations must be in a bag on their porch/doorstep.
  4. Scouts and their adult driver wear gloves when they pick up donations.
  5. Cover the car truck area with a plastic sheet
  6. Drop donations at the doorstep of the food bank without going inside. (Call them first for appointment)

DONE - 100% Safe / 100% Social Distancing

Trash Bash 2020

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Virtual Campout

Don't miss your monthly campout. Organize a "Virtual Campout" for your patrol, troop, district, etc.

From BSA Camping Merit Badge - Req #9A: "Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events."


  • Very Scout must pitch a tent in their own backyard. Then they connect by Zoom / Social Media / or other edevice to share camp stories or what they cooked for dinner. In the morning they can then jointly work one of the many other activities listed here.
  • Virtual campsite inspection. Judging for tent location, background, camp accessories and more.
  • Who is your Camping Buddy? Parent, sibling, scout buddy, family pet, mascot, etc?
  • Post your Virtual Campfire to #CampfireFridayBSA and share with other scouts around the world!

Virtual Talent Show

Stuck home - get the camcorder out and record your favorite scouting talent

  • music
  • juggling
  • trick shots
  • cartwheels
  • scout skills
  • family skits

2020 Virtual District Camporee

Organize and participate in a multiple unit activity practicing proper social distancing and scout spirit. Contact your District or Council Activities Committee to arrange a joint activity with other packs and troops in your area.

  • 2020 Virtual District Camporee - Activity for two or more troops
  • 2020 Virtual Council VentureFest - Modified version just for Crews, Ships, OA Chapters and other groups of older scouts in your area - Use the 2020 Virtual District Camporee as your model.
  • 2020 Virtual District Cub Camp - Modified version just for Cub Scouts and other groups of older scouts in your area - Use the 2020 Virtual District Camporee as your model. Bonus for your incorporating older scouts into this activity.
  • 2020 Virtual Webeloes Woods - Modified version just for Cub Scouts and other groups of older scouts in your area - Use the 2020 Virtual District Camporee as your model. Bonus for your incorporating older scouts into this activity.

Cooking

Challenge every scout to cook a meal for their family. Remember: Good Cooking takes some good practice! (Would that count for service hours?)

  • REQ'D for Cooking Merit Badge (Required for Eagle)
  • REQ'D for Cooking Scout Pin.

Cyber Chip Training

More scouts will be online this season. Designate a special week for cyber chip training for youth and adults.

Book Zone

BookZone111.jpg

Patch Contest

Design and order your new pack or troop patch / Class-B Shirt / Neckerchief. Each scout writes up and submits his design. Take the votes online.

Scouting Video CampCraft

Over 100 ScoutCraft Videos to watch from home. Learn some fancy camping tricks and tips here: Knots, Lashings, Firebuilding, Navigation, Pioneering,

More Zoom Meeting Games

Cub Scouts

CovidKnot.jpg
  • Help the scouts make the new Covid Scout Knot (see diagrahm)

Pack Meetings

Use "Share Screen" feature in Zoom to show lots of colorful exhibits like the 30 day cub scout challenge, silly videos and more.

Virtual Derby

Did your spring Pinewood Derby, Rocket Derby or Sailboat Regetta get cancelled/postponed?

Scouts can still complete their vehicle and get them judged in other ways.

  • Design & Art Contests - awards for artistic creativity
  • Name That Car - Online voting contest
  • Guess that car's maker. Put picture's of all vehicles online but then have a contest to guess which car belongs to which scout.
  • "Be Prepared" for the next derby.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Game 1 : I am holding a virtual pack meeting tonight. Considering a timed scavenger hunt where all items have to be placed in front of the webcam in 5 minutes. Working on a list now (with point values). Planning on doing highest score in 5 minutes entered in the chat window rather than completing the list as that might take a long time. Game 2 : Everyone is at the ready. Gamemaster calls out an item - first scout to find that item in his house and show it on screen to the gamemaster wins that round. (Banana peal, staple remover, pink hi-liter, baseball, etc.)

Nova Awards

The Boy Scouts of America’s NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA members, and Venturers. The hope is that the requirements and activities for earning these awards stimulates interest in STEM-related fields and shows how science, technology, engineering and mathematics apply to everyday living and the world around them. Counselors and mentors help bring this engaging, contemporary, and fun program to life for youth members.

Check out the big list of NOVA Awards for opportunities:

  1. Nova Awards -
  2. All About NOVA -

Scouts BSA

Merit Badge Activities

HomeBadges.jpg

DONT FORGET - Scouts should work these activities by themselves or with their buddy or patrol. Covid-19 forces us to do scouting the way it was meant to be!!

  1. Virtual Discussion: Note: Most merit badge requirements say "Discuss with Counselor". This does NOT mean filling out and turning in a worksheet (but could be one option.) Another option is do a phone call, virtual group conference chat (See virtual meetings below). Group email. Reminder for every discussion group per YPT -there should not be any 1-1 Adult/Youth discussions. Always include more than two (parent, scout buddy, another leader, etc.)
  2. Merit Badge Research: - All merit badges require individual study before hand. See Wikipedia. Get the Merit badge booklet from your troop library or Amazon.
  3. Suggested Merit Badges:
    1. Family Life MB - Two major family service projects. (Required for Eagle)
    2. Personal Management MB - Do your 90 day tracking and budget now. (Required for Eagle)
    3. Personal Fitness MB - No more school PE? Start your home/family 90-day exercise program now. (Required for Eagle)
    4. Genealogy MB - Do online as a patrol - explore your family history. Swap your discoveries in a virtual meeting. Great Family Activity!!!
    5. Art MB - Lots of time now for each scout to produce a 2-3 really nice pieces of artwork
    6. Reading MB -
    7. American Heritage MB - Read some more books / watch a history movie / write a report.
    8. Pets MB -
    9. Citizenship MB - Scouts can work on some of the requirements, learning and writing a report about the history of their community and nation.

Covid-19 Merit Badge Work

  1. Citizenship in the World: (Required for Eagle) - some scouts may be fascinated to track the evolving news developments of Covid-19 Virus and different parts of the world.
  2. Emergency Preparedness MB: (Required for Eagle) How is your family faring in the current health pandemic? If this pandemic goes another 6 months, what do you need to prepare?
  3. Public Health MB
  4. Gardening MB - Now it's spring. Plant that garden with your family. (If the Pandemic goes much longer, you might be living off of the food you grow!)
  5. Medicine MB - Medicine, Vaccines, Testing and more are urgently needed to fight Covid-19 Pandemic.
  6. Radio MB - Contact other scouts around the world and find out how Covid-19 is impacting their community.

Virtual Jamboree

Oct 16-18, 2020: Jamboree-On-The-Air and Jamboree-On-The-Internet (JOTA-JOTI) is an official international event of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). JOTA-JOTI is a youth programme event intended for young people in Scouting of all ages.
April 3-5, 2020: Jamboree on the Internet (https://www.jotajoti.info) - special edition to allow connections, skill building, and friendships

Venturing Challenge

Unit Committee for Pack/Troop/Crew

There are several free sources for hosing a virtual tele-conference. Check out these free resources - many adult members already have an account and experience already from their employment. Ask us about limits on time or # of users:

  • Zoom.us
  • GotoMeeting.com
  • FreeConferenceCall.com
  • Discord

Virtual Unit Recruitment

Nyscouts1.gif
  • Virtual Unit Recruitment - A steady flow of youth into a each scout unit is essential to maintaining unit health. New Scouts bring energy and enthusiasm to the program. To avoid the pitfall of shrinking membership, aim to add at least 10 new Scouts every year. Having a year-round growth plan in place will help attract new Scouts. This includes many virtual activities that you can launch now!
  • Plan #2 : Encourage each scout to make a video for Facebook or Youtube of why they like scouting. Especially this year.

District/Council

Virtual Meetings

There are several free sources for hosing a virtual tele-conference. Check out these free resources - many adult members already have an account and experience already from their employment. Ask us about limits on time or # of users -- And many Scout leaders and parents are subscribing for $19.95/month to get the professional version of one or more the falling - it has better quality and less restrictions.

Most work on both your phone-app or on your laptop computer that has both camera and microphone.

  • Zoom.us
  • GotoMeeting.com -
  • FreeConferenceCall.com
  • Discord

Warning: Videoconferencing is great for just a few participants, but the more you have online degrades both the quality of the interface - and also gives reduces the opportunity for other scouts to "discuss" their thoughts on the subject. (Merit Badge Activities emphasize "Discussion", not "Lecture"!)

The ideal size for a Virtual Merit Badge Class is 3-6 Participants. GotoMeeting is an example of quality visual interface where if any participant has something to say, they can raise their hand and can be quickly called upon. Or the scouts can speak directly to each other.

Sample Meetings:

Virtual Roundtable

Roundtable1.jpg

Virtual Roundtable directions here.

District Recruitment

Start a publicity campaign. Many leaders have no idea what roundtable is or who may attend. Be sure to promote roundtable on websites, newsletters and using email and Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Digital Newsletters

Newsletter are great for telling the scouting story and motivating others to come to your next meeting so that they can create their "own story" too. The newsletter should always a big announcement for the next roundtable and it should go out several days in advance.

A really successful newsletter does a lot of positive personal interest stories with pictures such as successful eagle scouts and their projects, unit camping adventures, charter organizations, etc. These people, when they see themselves featured, will save the copy and share it with all of their friends, neighbors, contacts, etc.

And now we are in a major age of fiscal belt tightening where each council and district has a very tight budget and no extra dollars to spare to print up mass quantities of nicely done newsletters. What a few newsletter are printed are taken by the faithful that already show up to Roundtable. Those are not the people you need to reach with your invites. Promoting Roundtable (and other District scouting events) is huger argument for doing foremost a nice e-newsletter.

Facebook Page

NCScout1.png

Every District should have a dedicated Facebook page administered by a member of the District Communications Team. That page should have a "welcome" post "pinned" to the top of the page with open invite to Roundtable - the big monthly scouting meeting of the district. This FB page can help you collect a lot of ideas to share at Roundtable (ie outstanding troop adventures, cub activities, eagle service projects, special awareds, etc).

When done right and proactively, the District Facebook page can be a most powerful tool to highlight your outstanding scouts, scouters and scout units and their service projects and fun adventures in such a way that scouters will "Share" your district page with other family and friends in the community. That then becomes a huge tool for recruiting youth and adults to the local programs.

There should be a new post monthly with featured highlights of the upcoming roundtable to generate fresh interest and attention. This is a huge must and should be a key part of the monthly planning.

Wood Badge Ticket Project on ScoutWiki

Are you a Adult Scout Leader looking to complete five Wood Badge tickets to promote Scouting? Please consider writing one or more Scouting themed articles on the ScoutWiki. Good luck with your Wood Badge training!

Scouting Commissioners

Duty to God

ChaplainAidePatch.jpg

Duty to God as a part of the form of the Scout Promise has varied slightly from country to country and over time, but must fulfill the requirements of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) to qualify a National Scout Organization for membership



Duty to God as a part of the form of the Scout Promise has varied slightly from country to country and over time, but must fulfill the requirements of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) to qualify a National Scout Organization for membership

End of Covid Quarantine Celebration

And This too shall pass!

Plan now for what super activity you will do as a patrol when quarantine ends.


See Also