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Tenting during covid

Myself and other leaders in our troop swear there was direction that during the current situation parents could tent with their scouts even in Scouts BSA not just Cub Scouts. Now all we can find is that YPT must still be followed. Was it changed or are we just remembering wrong cause I find it odd that multiple of us remember the rule being relaxed.

I do not recall ever seeing the parent child tenting Scouts BSA rule lifted.

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I don’t recall any specific directions. Hopefully others will.
This might be a good year to learn tarp or hammock camping and the beauty of mosquito netting.

I would also note that if scouts keep their flaps open your real worry will be the food areas and the latrines.
Make sure you have soap and bleach!
These are very important skills for the scouts to master now before one of their family is sick. Sanitizing is exhausting work for a parent, children who know how to pitch in will be a Godsend.

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I found one of the places I saw it, the covid faq for where we were going to go to summer camp.


We are encouraging all participants to either tent with a member of their household or by themselves. Camp does have some equipment available for use, but we encourage units to utilize their own. If you are utilizing a 9×7 canvas wall tent from Camp, make sure you have mosquito netting! For the 2020 camping season, it’s okay for a parent and Scout from the same family to share a tent if they so choose.

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Sounds like they are outside the BSA guidelines

Q: What is BSA’s policy on social distancing in a tenting environment when camping?

Camping should only take place in accordance with guidelines outlined by your state and local health department and other local officials, as well as under the direction of your local BSA council and chartered organization. There is no formal national policy on social distancing in tents, just as there is no prohibition on tenting alone if logistics can accommodate that request. As always, all BSA youth protection policies must be followed.

From the YPP Link: In all other programs, youth and adults tent separately

Are you having parents wanting to share tents with their Scouts?

It came up as a topic of discussion between us and another troop at a camporee this weekend and they asked where I saw the info but since it was back in the spring I couldn’t remember, but other adults in our troop remembered seeing it as well.

We went camping this weekend and we put 3 boys to the tent as usual but we temp. checked and asked about symptoms.

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We had an OA reunion in GSLAC a couple of weekends ago.
The rule was adult leaders and their child could tent together everyone else was one person per tent.
The rule was from the OA lodge adult advisor and from GSLAC website.
Per BSA national says Units should look to their councils for guidance so councils guidence has preference of national guidence.

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well, at least I know I am not crazy in having seen it before even if the guidlines have changed now.Changes like this should probably be communicated to us better than just a site update and in an email that specifically outlines the changes.

That’s really up to your local Council. I know we received quite detailed direction from Michigan Crossroads on social distancing requirements in order to resume face-to-face activities via email and also at Roundtable.

That does seem risky given how nervous some people are and the lack of symptoms of many young people.

It’s odd to think how our old drafty canvas tents would be a source of comfort these days!

I have not had a chance to review all of the data, but camps that slept in cabins were hugely problematic.

Tents seem better. Small groups and close friends better yet.

Full disclosure: I got a virus last week. I tested negative. (Needed the test for work related reasons.) Don’t know if it was a campout or a meeting. So, let’s not whitewash risks. Were I taking care of a compromised relative, I would rethink my activities.
Oh, and I got my flu shot this weeks.


We are allowing families to tent together, full stop. One of the troops I am in is also asking for temp checks in advance of outings and day of outings, plus having a COVID waiver signed along with the regular permission slip. This is what Camp Easton did and it worked well. There will never be a 100% risk free protocol even if you never leave your house, so ensuring people are aware of that in advance and let them choose to attend and event or not seems the right way to go.

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Those were the days!
canvas tents, pup, walled, and council, you knew you had substance above your head.
Using our scout shovel to dig trenches to collect the rain.
Sleeping on the ground and on the snow. Dog tired
Hanging out in them while the wind blew and dealing with breaking tent poles.
Stuck it out in thunderstorms. No running off to the mess hall.
Encountering armadillos sharing our sleeping bag
We were fearless and our parents let us grow to become men

Covid-19 is a wimp compared to the Spanish flu.of 1918 and no worse than the common flu today.

I’m looking for more clarity too. Our council encourages “family camping,” YPT guidelines and to follow National’s guidelines but I have more questions.
Can anyone site written support or otherwise in these areas:

Can a leader tent with their scout?
Can a parent with current YPT training tent with their scout?
What if the family (parent, sibling, and scout) doesn’t have more than 1 tent to use? ( we are a new troop)
What if the parent works weekends and requests that their scout attend the camp out with a a close scout friend?

Scouts died in the 1918 flu, but many of those were helping front-line response.

We are a little more cautious about youth volunteers these days!

P.S. - Armadillos were in short supply in W.Pa. Skunk and raccoon on the other hand …

You are really stuck with policy of your council.
Our unit still discourages parents and children sharing tents. Such is the nature of troop life.

National’s guidelines merely leave it up to the councils to determine the guidelines.
If the council does not provide guidelines they are not doing their duty.
It then falls to the chartering organization to provide guidelines
If no guidelines are provided it is up to you to make the decision to do whatever you want.

Go with hammocks or tarp shelters or bushcraft.

The 1918 ‘Spanish’ Influenza Pandemic and the Boy Scout Movement


There is a risk of contracting an illness when people are closely quartered, including athletes foot and the common cold. These are rarely deadly while the flu and covid-19 are deadly for older patients or patients who are immune system compromised.

  • The mortality rates for covid-19 and the flu disease outcomes are similar.
  • The average incubation period for covid-19 and the flu are similar.
  • The asymptomatic carriers for covid-19 and the flu are similar.

The difference between covid-19 and the flu is that there exists a vaccine for the flu but none for covid-19.

Another difference is that there exists medications effective against the flu in its early stages, namely Tamiflu and Relenza. Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and zinc Proved to be Effective in Coronavirus Patients but has not been widely used because of side effects in certain patients.

Your body’s immune system fights covid-19 and the flu and the common cold infections. Your immune system can be fortified with Vitamins C, D, zinc, and B12 but also your immune system can be busted or boosted by lifestyle..

The takeaway -
The elderly and black population have suffered from covid-19 at higher rates then the general population because the group exhibits low concentrations of Vitamin D. B12 is depleted when a person is under stress. The younger population especially scouts have strong immune systems because of their outdoor activities. See busted or boosted by lifestyle..

The bottom line -
Get your scouts exercising out doors in the sunshine and having fun.
Get back to work, back to school, and back to scouting and use plenty of sanitizer.
Upon returning home keep away from the elderly or patients who are immune system compromised for up to the incubation period just in case.
The elderly should be conscious of asymptomatic carriers, were take your Vitamins , use masks and use plenty of sanitizer.
I’m OK with three scouts to a tent.

Here’s How COVID-19 Compares to Past Outbreaks

Please reread YPT Rules. It states that Parents are allowed to tent with their own children no matter their age.
Scouts by the nature of the program should be self sufficient but there are times that tenting with a parent is responsible and with COVID it is safer.