Summer Camping Update May 13,2020

Dear Scouting family,

It goes without saying that we are living through an unprecedented and concerning time.

As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is the Boy Scouts of America’s top priority. As such, we have taken a careful and informed approach in evaluating whether to run summer programs this year. Since the spread of this pandemic, we have been continually monitoring the situation, and consulting with health experts, government officials and other camp professionals. We have guidance from our national office, draft guidance from the CDC and we have created a local panel of experts to help guide us as we safely re-open Scouting.

We know there are questions and concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect day camps and summer camp programs. The following is an update:

Cub Scout Day Camps:

We have simply run out of time to prepare our Day Camps for whatever guidance the State and local health departments will eventually suggest.  As of this writing, we still do not know if Day Camps will be allowed, or what precautions they will expect.  With the start date just several weeks off, we are compelled to cancel our upcoming Cub Scout Day Camps.  We strongly encourage all Cub Scout Packs to attend Cub Scout Resident Camp, July 23-26. By then we will have received the necessary guidance from the State and have enough information to prepare a safe, exciting outdoor adventure.

Scouts BSA Summer Camp:

After a thorough evaluation, we are still preparing for a successful 2020 summer camp at the Muskingum Valley Scout Reservation.  Any day now, the Governor will provide the guidance we need to open camp safely.  We had hoped to have this guidance already.  However, the delay in getting this information from the state compels us to delay the start of Scouts BSA summer camp until June 28th(Pending approval of local health officials)

We are very serious about making this the safest summer camp ever!  By delaying the start of camp, we gain more time to embrace the state’s guidance, prepare camp, and train staff. 

All Troops scheduled for Week 1, beginning Sunday, June 14, and Week 2 beginning Sunday, June 21st will be given slots in the remaining three weeks of camp beginning June 28, July 5, and July 12.    We will be reaching out to these units over the next week, but we also encourage unit leaders to call the office (740-453-0571) and speak with Jeff Pickett to expedite this change. 

Scouts BSA leaders will also be receiving an invite to a leader ‘ZOOM’ meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, at 6:30 PM where we will be able to provide additional information.

Cub Scout Resident Camp:

Plans for Cub Scout Resident Camp have not changed.  We are adding additional safety and hygiene protocols, and are prepared to adopt any additional guidance received from the state.  We will be emailing a survey to Cub Scout Leaders in the coming week to gather your input as well.

We understand these decisions will have a significant impact on individuals and families, and we are striving to communicate changes as we learn them.

While camp may look different in some ways, we know the experience of camp will be one your Scouts will not forget.

We are committed to keeping you safe as you experience camp and have already adopted the following changes we would like to share with you:

Prior to camp, units will receive a pre-camp screening guide.  You will be asked to screen all participants prior to your departure for camp. 

Arrival at camp will be scheduled and staggered throughout the day, this will prevent a large gathering of scouts as they wait to check-in.  Upon arrival each person will be screened by our summer camp staff. 

Troops will be asked to bring a tent for each person.  We expect single occupancy tenting will be part of the guidance from the CDC to help with social distancing.  Camp tents are available on request for those units who may not have enough of their own. 

We plan to have handwashing stations located throughout camp.

Campers will be expected to have a face covering with them at all times.  Whenever entering a building, or gathering in close proximity, face coverings will be used.

We plan to send out any additional health and safety information on June 12th to prepare you for your camp experience.

We look forward to providing the full range of Scouting programs as soon as the situation allows. We hope all our Scouting families stay healthy and positive in our current environment and join us in preparing for great 2020 summer camping experiences.

This is an evolving situation and this information is subject to change. We are working closely with our local health department officials, our Council Health Supervisor and our council’s Enterprise Risk Management committee to make informed decisions as efficiently as possible that prioritize the health and safety of our staff, participants, and communities.

It’s going to be different- this whole year has been uniquely challenging.  We will, however, have an awesome summer camp experience for you and your Scouts!  We all know they want to get out of the house – let’s do our best to get them out to Summer Camp!

Yours in Scouting,

Amy Pinson                Linda Udischas                       Ed Mulholland

Council President       Council Commissioner           Scout Executive