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New 2020-2021 Scouting Year - How are you doing?

With schools in some part of the country starting up and others soon to start, every corner of the U.S. is going to look very different this fall. How is your Troop gearing up to start up? Are you sticking to a virtual program? Is it safe in your community to start in-person activities? What challenges you see for the upcoming Scouting Year?

Start up? Scouting is a year-round activity!

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I presume he ment as in in person meetings, we started 4 weeks ago, our school starts next week, we plan to follow the the same guidelines ( if they shut down show will we)

Our Scouts (and adults leaders) are sick and tired of Zoom. It’s very impersonal and really limits what you can do. People need to interact with people in person. Our meeting place has been shut down due to Covid and that’s making things challenging. Fortunately, we have a lot of State and County parks in our area that we’ve been able to utilize but with school starting we will have to see how that affects meetings. We will probably have to continue Zoom meetings for regular Troop meetings but we will start doing much more weekend activities as everyone’s schedules will allow. I would rather take a Saturday or Sunday and have a day event where we can spend 6-8 hours working on Scout skills, Merit Badges , Leadership, hiking and just good old fashioned fellowship so the Scouts can have some in person people-time in between Camping events.

Getting these young boys and girls together and in person is essential to their emotional health and the health of any Troop in my humble opinion.

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Community parks are letting us use their pavilion.
We went to summer camp, and this gave our scouts (especially four of our five first year scouts who could attend) a real boost. It also gave them practice with masks and social distancing. We will meet weekly and are scheduling a camp out every month.

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I know, but some levity is always needed.

With that said, we did Zoom meetings for a couple of months, until our governor relaxed the rules about meeting outdoors and our local council authorized face to face meetings again.

We normally meet outdoors at a local hunt club from April to October, so we immediatetly resumed that. Our council’s plan included new COVID-specific waivers for each family; we did those on our first face-to-face meeting, and we had an adult take over the attendance-taking from the Scribe, since it’s now a compliance issue instead of just seeing who’s at which meeting. The biggest challenge we’re having is enforcing social distancing… We are reminding Scouts continually about it, and it still doesn’t seem to stick.

Our next decision point is at the end of September, when I meet with our Pastor to decide if we can resume meeting in the parish activity center during the colder months. If we can’t, we may be able to meet at the hunt club a little bit longer, but you’re starting to get into pretty iffy weather in Michigan in October.

Our girls have been meeting/camping since May. Our council put out to follow local guidance and we just hold our meetings outside. We’ve camped every month and have added 3 scouts to the troop since May.

As the district recruiting chair, I can tell you that it will be a challenge but not impossible. I plan to increase the number of scouts, in the district, by 200%. But, I love a challenge. It requires thinking outside the box and trying new things.

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It is not safe anywhere in the world,

Kids and adults can have COVID-19 with mild symptoms or not knowing that they have it. Going back to school without maintaining social distance, wearing masks, and washing hands, is a major health hazard,

This month in the US we are seeing schools opening then having to shut down because kids and or adults are found to have COVID-19.

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It is safe many places in the world.
We just don’t know with 100% confidence what those places are.

Those of us who’ve said from time to time that scouting would be he death of us might be a little closer to the truth.

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I agree. Everyone has comfort levels that they have to come to terms with. I think politicians and the press have done society a great disservice in muddying the waters about what is safe and what is not.

The only things I’ve been able to accept is that young people are far more resistant to Coivid and if they get it the mortality rate is a fraction of one percent. The other is that older people with a history of health problems and obesity seem to be much more susceptible to the virus.

At this point I’m truly concerned about the emotional health of these young people. I think shopping for groceries can be potentially more dangerous than Scouts getting together. We can’t spot living. Existing is just not enough.

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It is safe if done correctly. Covid-19 is winding down and we need to get back to life.

My Pack has had a flag retirement ceremony, an outdoor raingutter regatta and two campouts this Summer. Like @SteveCagigas mentioned about emotional health of a Troop, these activities have been all that some of the kids have had outside the house all Summer. I’m in a very rural community. We live social distanced by default.

A reduction in the count does not mean COVID-19 has gone away. HOWEVER NATIONWIDE THE COVID-19 COUNT CONTINUING TO RISE.

The count is dependent on who is being tested and how the results are reported or not reported,

Currently we are seeing spikes (upward) in the data due to children returning to school. – Then there are young people (older teenagers and young adults) who do not follow safety rules, having large parties in close quarters without wearing masks.

Start up this year will go on as planned, however it will depend upon what happens with our local school district. Currently plans are to have partial in school and partial virtual. The situation could change at any time making our plans change as well. Parents are understandably cautious and still have yet to return the necessary restart documents. I respect their right to hold their Scout out during this time of uncertainty even with all the precautions taken at our meetings. To be honest my overall concern is that Scouts being out of the “active program” will loose interest in the program. Virtual programming does not keep my guys engaged regardless of how I package it. That would be just one more casualty of the coronavirus toll.
Keeping my Scouty fingers crossed for a resolution to a corona virus issue that will get us all back on the right path.:fleur_de_lis:

Our Troop is in Los Angeles County. We are still under a safer at home order so no meeting in person now and for the foreseeable future. If things keep improving, we may get small groups back in October. Our last Troop camping trip was Camporee in March, then the shutdown started. We’ve been doing Zoom meetings since then. The outing has been taken out of Scouting. We are a strong Troop but without outdoor programming, we are going to struggle with retention of our families that have lower engagement with the program. Hard to sell re-chartering for a Zoom meeting based organization.

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Have you looked at something like this:

It seems to me as a layperson like it complies with the (current as of this post) public health orders down here in San Diego county, but I’m not sure what the extents of the public health orders in LA County.

agreed about in person meetings i’m involved with 5 different units - 2 boy troops, a pack, a girl troop and a crew. my small boy troop has not only been regularly meeting at a park but camping there too every few weeks. the girl troop just began meeting. the pack has not met but is planning to get going again in the fall. the crew just held two summit award BOR’s and will also be resuming meetings in the fall. the big troop had an in-person/virtual hybrid COH but otherwise has not met, but has had a few hikes, a campout coming up, and eagle projects have resumed for both male troops. so, that’s where we are - units that don’t meet in person are going to bleed members. Zoom was a band-aid and/or a good bad weather supplement but should not be used regularly for unit meetings.

Two units dead. Council sent out an email to all parents telling them that all Scouting activities were cancelled. Except for my son and one other Scout, I’ve been unable to establish contact with any of them since. Thanks, Council.

Good grief! What you’re describing seems almost unconscionable. “Scouting is cancelled. Take your friends and go home.” :man_facepalming:

We got emails from our council saying that all in person activities were prohibited due to the county public health orders. At the same time, they emphasized that virtual activities were still feasible. Our district was pretty active in running and getting the word out about virtual events. The commissioners were actively trying to reach all of the units and get them on board. Kudos to our district folks for the hard work that they put in.

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Yeah, we were struggling as it was. We had JUST re-chartered our pack after about 10 years of non-existence.

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