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Difference between revisions of "2020 Summer Camp Options"

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* Those youth with significant health issues seem to be at much higher risk than others.  This makes the significantly increases the importance of BSA Medical Form C. If a particular youth would be at high risk in a camp setting - he should stay home.
 
* Those youth with significant health issues seem to be at much higher risk than others.  This makes the significantly increases the importance of BSA Medical Form C. If a particular youth would be at high risk in a camp setting - he should stay home.
 
* Many are still worried that healthy children can be non-symptomatic carriers of Covid-19 and but elderly household members at risk from transmission.
 
* Many are still worried that healthy children can be non-symptomatic carriers of Covid-19 and but elderly household members at risk from transmission.
 +
* [https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doctors-raise-alarm-about-health-effects-of-continued-coronavirus-shutdown Doctors Raise Alarm about Shutdown Health Risks] - More than 600 doctors signed onto a letter sent to President Trump Tuesday pushing him to end the "national shutdown" aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, calling the widespread state orders keeping businesses closed and kids home from school a "mass casualty incident" with "exponentially growing health consequences."
  
 
== Reopening States ==
 
== Reopening States ==

Latest revision as of 03:43, 21 May 2020

The Covid-19 has led to major grief for all kinds of scouters planning for summer high adventure. In the spirit of Be Prepared - here is a list of possible options.

For all camps the biggest unknown is what county/state health code restrictions will be in place at the start of summer.

  1. No Restrictions
  2. Facemasks required in all settings
  3. Units not allowed to travel out of town (stay at home orders)
  4. No visitors allowed
  5. Gatherings limited to no more than ten scouts.

Contact your local BSA Council, Unit Commissioner or District Roundtable for more information on how recent changes in local quarantine restrictions impacts scouting activities in your community.

Official Statement from BSA : 19-Mar-2020

Read this statement 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.
  • Updated National BSA Guidelines 14-May-2020 - COVID-19 FAQ, UPDATED 4/13/20 and again 14-May-2020, In-Person Unit Activities

Health Risks for Youth

  • Many health studies shows that youth in age ranging 0-20 are by far the lowest risk category for dying from Covid-19.
  • Those youth with significant health issues seem to be at much higher risk than others. This makes the significantly increases the importance of BSA Medical Form C. If a particular youth would be at high risk in a camp setting - he should stay home.
  • Many are still worried that healthy children can be non-symptomatic carriers of Covid-19 and but elderly household members at risk from transmission.
  • Doctors Raise Alarm about Shutdown Health Risks - More than 600 doctors signed onto a letter sent to President Trump Tuesday pushing him to end the "national shutdown" aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, calling the widespread state orders keeping businesses closed and kids home from school a "mass casualty incident" with "exponentially growing health consequences."

Reopening States

California 4 Stage Reopening Standard

On Tues, Apr 28, 2020, Gov Newsom of California released the state plan for reopening for business. (Check to see how close your state is to this plan.) [1]

The information presented here is by no means authoritative - but just to help share information on possible plans for summer.

  • Stage 1 - Open Essential Businesses only:
  • Stage 2 - Open Schools and other Low- Risk Businesses with Open Space: "Stage 2 will be when some lower-risk businesses and public spaces can reopen, also with modifications to allow for distancing. Those include workplaces like factories, with more spaced-out work stations, or nongrocery (sic) retail stores, but with curbside pickup."
    • "Schools and child care facilities would also be reopened during this phase."
    • Scouting den and patrol meetings should certainly fall under Stage 2 -(School or child care program).
    • Smaller in-person Merit Badge or Activity Day programs - limits on class size.
    • Patrol/den Campouts and Field trips and nature hikes allowed - with appropriate social distancing.
    • Meetings to implement face masks and social distancing.
    • No large group gatherings.
    • How large is a Philmont Trek team?
  • Stage 3 - Major venues reopen: "Stage 3 will be when higher-risk businesses will be able to reopen — again, with modifications. This includes nail and hair salons, gyms, movie theaters and sports without live audiences, as well as in-person religious services.
    • This should cover most summer camp venues - except for large assemblies or meal lines?
    • Summer camps could require troops to hold own flag and meal service.
    • Do smaller sized cub camps?
    • "Sports without live audiences" - Is this where all youth programs (including contact sports) are allowed to reopen?
    • Most theme parks plan to reopen under Stage 3 Guidelines - A plan for reopening SeaWorld, Legoland and other San Diego attractions will include face masks for visitors, temperature checks for employees, reduced attendance, cashless transactions, social distancing and constant sanitization.
  • Stage 4 - Large Venues Reopen: "And Stage 4 will be the end of the state’s stay-at-home order. That will be when concerts, conventions and sports with a live crowd will be allowed to reopen."

States Already Reopened

Contact your local BSA Council, Unit Commissioner or District Roundtable for more information on how recent changes in local quarantine restrictions impacts scouting activities in your community.

  • Alaska: Late April - Most businesses and dine-in restaurants reopened in late April
  • Arizona: 04-May-2020 - Retail stores reopen.
  • Arkansas: 04-May-2020 No stay at home orders. Indoor fitness venues reopen but outdoor fitness venues still limited (does that even make sense?)
  • Colorado: Currently using "Safer At Home" Rules -that permit businesses to have upto 50% of workforce back on site.
  • Florida: 04-May-2020: Stores, Restaurants, Museums, Libraries can reopen upto 25% of original capacity.
  • Idaho: 04-May-2020: Schools Reopen in Idaho across the state - social distancing required.
  • Kansas: 04-May-2020: Businesses with no-physical contact can reopen.
  • Missouri: 04-May-2020: "Show Me Strong Recovery" launches. Stores, restaurants and other businesses open with reduced capacity
  • Montana:
    • 28-Apr-2020: Stores and Church services allowed to resume
    • 04-May-2020: Restaurants and other business allowed to reopen.
    • 04-May-2020: Reopen in Montana- social distancing required.
  • Nebraska: Reopens allow with 10 person or reduced crowd limits.
  • North Carolina (6-May-2020):
    • Day camps will be allowed to take place this summer with social distancing protocols in place.
    • Worship centers will be allowed to hold services outdoors if social distancing practices are in place.
    • Childcare facilities will be open to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work.
  • Ohio: 12-May-2020: Allows all businesses to reopen.
  • South Carolina: 04 May 2020: Restaurants reopen with outdoor dining
  • Vermont: 15-May-2020: End of Stay Home orders.
  • West Virginia: 04-May-2020 - reopens businesses with 10 or less employees and outdoor restaurant dining.

Other Early Reopen Conditions:

  1. Question: Can those counties and cities with low incident/mortality rates open up sooner than those areas with higher incident rates (ie hotspots). Would not communities with low incident rates be examples of example pandemic safety precautions successfully implemented.
  2. Question: And what about early reopen for those communities with nearly vacant hospital wards and no known cases of Covid-19?
  3. Orange County's Ultra low mortality rate - Orange County’s low death rate should be national headlines. Our population of 3.3 million is larger than 22 states. If it were a state, Orange County’s death rate of 0.0014 percent would be the 49th lowest, right behind Alaska.

Covid-19 and Children

  • Why Children Seem to Be Less Affected by the Coronavirus (Time.com 23-Apr-2020) - "If there was one glimmer of hope among the alarming number of cases of COVID-19 in the past few months, it was that young children seemed to avoid more serious illness."
  • Children are not super-spreaders (Vox.com 02-May-2020)- Scientists debate growing number of reports showing that a growing number of released reports from public health and infectious disease experts suggesting children spread the virus far less than adults.
    • They form part of the justification for why Denmark reopened its schools earlier this month
    • Why Spain this week allowed children 13 years old or younger to play outside.
  • Why Children are Less Affected by Covid (FoxNews.com 28-Apr-2020) -
  • Quarantines cause Depression in Children - Tips to Rescue Children (Philadelphia Inquire - 29-Apr-2020) - One in five children in China showed depressive symptoms after coronavirus quarantine. Here’s how parents can help. Children whose lives were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to feel a strain on their mental health, new research suggests. "...because of a combination of social isolation, economic recession, and a public-health crisis." “Kids may be reflecting some of the stress from their parents. If they’re more irritable, it’s possible that their parents are also more irritable. And kids are hearing death and illness being talked about in a way that isn’t normal in conversations, on the news.” Their suggestions include:
    • Fill children's daily routine with positive events
    • Talk with and listen to children about their concerns.
    • Regular mealtimes and bedtimes, etc.
    • "create an environment in which kids can thrive." (Isn't that what scouting presents?)
  • Children: The silent victims of Covid-19 (Bloomberg) - "Every parent is familiar with the day-to-day perils of the Covid-19 outbreak, with playgrounds closed, social interaction limited and screen time all too tempting. But the most consequential effects of this crisis are likely to come from two areas: health and education."
  • Prolonged Isolation increases mental health issues for kids (Dayton Daily News) - Kids are low risk of dying from Covid, but have a much higher risk for mental illness from quarantines?
  • Tucson School District worries about Children "Falling off the radar" (Tucson.com) - Educators’ inability to reach children even once since the closures went into effect raises concerns not only about academic achievement, but also about safety and social-emotional well-being.
  • When Parents Get Sick - Who cares for the Children? (NY Times)
  • Does Your Child have Covid-19 Anxiety Issues? (HuffPost.com)

Sample Camp Statements

Option 1 : Council Opens Traditional Summer Camp Program

Many councils are optimistically planning for some form of a full summer program, but are not in position to state what there plans are for summer.

  • By May 15th - everyone should have a much clearer idea of what to expect.
  • Watch carefully the order on "Social Distancing": If in a public area - either keep six feet apart OR wear a facemask if less than six feet.
  • Many local councils are planning for one or more of the following scenarios:

1A. Full Camp Program: Some camps can still provide upto 10 weeks of full programming with as little as of 1-3 weeks advance time to hire and train staff and sign contracts with service vendors.

1B. Modified Camp Program:

    • No time to setup tents - bring your own tents
    • Fewer merit badge classes available

1C. Shorten Camp Program: Camp cancels first weeks, starts later in the summer.

1D. Modified for Ban on large gatherings: Where social distancing is required (Quite Probable!)

    • Eliminate the combined assembly and cafeteria meals.
    • Meal service will be delivered to individual "patrol" campsites of no more than 10 boys per patrol.
    • Merit Badge classes require boys to sit six feet park. If not, then they must wear a facemask (sharing a canoe?)

1E. Modified for Facemasks Required: Even when swimming? But will make hiking a lot harder.

1F. Camp outside of Prohibition Area: Find a summer camp with availability where no social distancing rules are in place.

Option 2 : Council Opens Camp Without Program

Many councils are optimistically planning for some form of a full summer program, but are not in position to state what there plans are for summer.

  • Many local councils are planning for one or more of the following scenarios:

2A. Summer Camp Opens - Free use of Program Area: Camp is open and some program areas like the aquatics center and shooting ranges have sufficient staff for participation. Visiting troops must provide own merit badge and campfire programs. T

    • No time to setup tents - bring your own tents and own food.

2B. Troops run own Merit Badge program: - See Below

2C. Shorten Camp Program: Camp cancels first weeks, starts later in the summer.

2D. Modified for Ban on large gatherings: Where social distancing is required (Quite Probable!)

    • Eliminate the combined assembly and cafeteria meals.
    • Meal service will be delivered to individual "patrol" campsites of no more than 10 boys per patrol.
    • Merit Badge classes require boys to sit six feet park. If not, then they must wear a facemask (sharing a canoe?)

2E. Modified for Facemasks Required: Even when swimming? But will make hiking a lot harder.

2F. Camp outside of Prohibition Area: Find a summer camp with availability where no social distancing rules are in place.

Option 3 : Troop Run Summer Camp

Doing your own program is much harder with the following challenges:

  • Camping Facilities - Use vacant council campground, other "youth" campground or private facility
  • Food Service - Planning a week's worth of meals. Some Troops may assign this to an adhoc parent's committee. Coordinate with each patrol to participate in food prep, teach cooking skills.

Option 4 : Troop Run Summer Merit Badge Program

Some troops that run their program may schedule the morning time for merit badge work or service projects and then the afternoon for "open recreation". Actual activity options will vary based on location.

  • Activity Program - See our section - Patrol Leader Merit Badge Planning Guide for more info. The following merit badge offerings - can be fun and easy to do in a "Troop Camp Setting". Remember all MBC must bring up all supplies and worksheets that they need.

Option 5: CubScout Stay Camp

  • Palmetto Council BSA -has moved all of their Cub Scout camps to a four week virtual camp format for this coming summer. See this link for their format.

Social Distancing at Scout Camp / School

Almost every government agency wants to reopen schools and daycare centers as soon as possible. Running a scout camp is a trial experience of this and a case model for schools. Watch closely the government instructions on how to reopen school. Many agencies are reopening schools and daycares this month (May 2020).


  • No large group assemblies.
  • All activities / MB classes / campsites are limited to no more than 12 (typical scout patrol)
  • At MB Class - everyone sits 6 feet apart.
  • Meal prep workers must wear facemasks and gloves.
  • Each patrol cooks their own meal.
  • Scout and his buddy = one "household".
  • First aid medics need facemasks and gloves
  • Every scout must have his scout neckerchief/bandana with him at all times ready to use as a facemask for close contact events.

See Also

References