The Risk Management Committee of the VAC, headed by Chairperson, Stacey Dennee, has met and reviewed all of the imformation available to us. Following are the policies, regulations, and recommendations associated with this second phase of re-opening. A reminder: policies and regulations are absolutes and cannot be broken; recommendations are the best advice we can give at this time and should be followed if at all possible.
The second phase relates directly to “in person” meetings facilitated by Cub Scout Packs. (The phase one policies, regulations, and recommendations related to Scouts BSA, Sea Scout, and Venturing meetings remain without change.)
- Local units are chartered to the BSA and must ahere to BSA policies, rules, and regulations.
- Local units are chartered through the local council, the Voyageurs Area Council, and must adhear to VAC policies, rules, and regulations.
- As citizens of the United States and, in particular, the state we reside in, we are subject to official standards as set by those government officials who have authority to set policy. This may be applicable to county and local governments as well.
- Additionally, local units are chartered to local organizations. Units are also subject to restrictions placed on them by their Chartering Organization.
- The responsibility for managing the health and appropriateness of a Scout, Scouter, or family member in allowing participation in meetings and activities lies with the leadership of the unit – with primary responsibility for each child resting with the parent or guardian.
- Safety is first before all other considerations.
- Cub Scout Dens (as noted by the CDC designated as “pods”) may begin meetings in-person again on June 15, 2020.
- The full Cub Scout Pack is not yet approved to meet together as that would require more than one den or “pod” in one place as one time.
- For the time being, Cub Scout meetings are to consist of only one pod/den of no more than 10 total people.
- Meetings and activities are all to be on the outside of buildings or in the out of doors until further notice.
- Within pods, Scouts and Scouters are to maintain social distancing rules of six feet apart.
- The unit is to provide an adequate amount of hand sanitizer or hand washing space and require all participants to use them. The unit is also to provide disinfectant for surfaces.
- There are to be no “pot luck” meals for the time being. Scouts and Scouters must provide their own food.
If community food is provided it must come from a single source (Pizza comes to mind) and be handled by someone that is wearing disposable gloves. If cooking is part of the program, the participant must handle their own food after it is cooked.
- Overnight camping is not approved at this time. We are working toward a potential start date of July 1.
- If a Scout or Scouting family is unable or unwilling to follow social distancing rules they will be asked to leave the meeting or activity.
- Post signs at the location you use that encourage frequent hand washing, use of sanitizer, and other good hygene methods. Remind participants that the signs are reminders only and that they do not take the place of policies or regulations.
- Have a check-in procedure that allows for screening of participants. Ask generic health related quesitons and use your best judgement when someone seems under the weather. (Note: be careful to not be invasive into the personal life of the participant.) Appropriate questions include:
- Have you done any travelling where you might have come into contact with anyone that has a communicable disease, including Covid-19?
- Have you had any prolonged close contact (within 6 feet) with anyone that could be infectious?
- Have you been ill, or do you feel in any way under the weather now?
- Have you been advised to self isolate at any point since mid-March?
- Do you feel like you pose no risk to anyone else here or anyone they might be in contact with at home?
- Use part of your first meeting together to openly discuss the pandemic and how it has affected your Scouts.
- At all times remember and practice the Scout Oath and Law. Regardless of how an individual feels about what is going on in the world around us they must feel safe and welcome. Personal protection practices, though they may differ, must not become a source of contention or bullying.
- The wearing of masks and face coverings is recommended, though not required. It is best that each person have one in case the group agrees that it is needed. Some may not wish to participate without them or if others are not wearing them. Be sensitive to each other.
- Come up with a device or gimmick to help the Cubs remember social distancing. A couple of examples are included here.
Example 1: Use a pool noodle or similar toy and make a “helmet” or shield for each Scout (or have them make one) extending 3 feet in each direction from their body. Explain to them how they will help each Scout to follow the Scout Law.
Example 2: Have a hula hoop for each Scout. Discuss a signal of some kind, that, when sounded because a social distancing “flub”, all Scouts go back to their hula hoop. You may have to consider that some kids may do this on purpose to get the signal to go off.
Please note: State and Local governments may have more liberal or non-restrictive rules in place at any given time than we do. So long as we are not breaking any rules or regulations ourselves, we reserve the right to pace our re-opening as we see fit and as we are prepared to do.
Michael Jenkins – Scout Executive
Stacey Dennee – Council Risk Management Chair