As we approach the coldest months of the year it seems appropriate to give you all an update as to where we stand on meetings and activities.
The most recent Covid-19 letters – the letter produced on August 4, 2020 regarding re-opening plan step 3 and phase 3, and the memo produced on August 21 clarify the number allowed inside at 15 and not 25 – are still in effect for units chartered and meeting in Minnesota and Michigan. Those letters can be reviewed on the Council website at www.vac-bsa.org.
The governor of Wisconsin has recently changed the rules related to indoor meetings in that state. For units that are chartered and meet in Wisconsin the following regulations apply: 1.) If the building has a known capacity (defined as in the definition of the facility on file with the municipality), you may meet in up to a 25% capacity of the facility, still obeying distancing guidelines. 2.) If the building does not have a known capacity, you are limited to meetings of 10 people or fewer. This policy currently has an expiration date of November 6, 2020.
These are government guidelines and we cannot be less restrictive than these.
Another subject of concern is the use of Council properties during the winter. We understand that many units want to use our properties for outings.
- Beginning November 1, 2020, overnight camping at both Camp Horace Johnson and Camp Barksdale will accommodate indoor sleeping arrangements. (We have checked all available government information sites and find no specific regulations – only recommendations and suggestions.)
- The sleeping capacity of the lodge at Horace Johnson and Barksdale will be limited.
- BSA guidelines for youth and adult accommodations must be strictly adhered to.
- A diagram of the sleeping facilities and how they are to be used, including the maximum number of campers allowed, will be posted on the website and included in the information given to units that reserve the facility.
- Mattresses will be removed from bunks that are not to be used.
- If the unit anticipates using additional sleeping space at Horace Johnson, a plan for that use must be submitted to the Council and approved prior to use.
- It is recommended that campers sleeping adjacent to each other alternate body position to have their heads and feet at opposite ends of the bunk. (Camper 1 has their head on the East end of the bunk, Camper 2 has their head on the West end of the bunk, and so forth.)
- Rules for tent camping have now changed to allow a parent or guardian to approve their child to share a tent with another Scout (of the same gender). Those arrangements are to be recorded for possible contact tracing.
- When sharing a tent with another Scout we recommend that the campers alternate body position to have their heads at opposite ends of the tent.
- Also new, we are now recommending that when units are filling out the tracking sheet for taking temperatures they record only a check mark for “okay” and not an actual temperature reading. This is for privacy concerns.
We recognize that we cannot anticipate every possible scenario that may arise in these unusual circumstances. We are doing our best to stay aprised of new developments, rules, and regulations and share that information with you.
We hope that you have found ways to use these circumstances to teach Scouting ethics and ideals. There are many opportunities in front of us and we can become an even greater organization if we take advantage of them.
At all times, remember the Scout Oath and Law and be diligent in the way you follow them.
Michael Jenkins, Scout Executive
Stacey Dennee, Council Risk Management Chair