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COVID-19 COMMUNICATION FOR OUR SCOUTING FAMILIES

May 28, 2020

This communication contains important information on the following:

  • Unit Activities
  • Summer Program Opportunities
  • Traveling with your unit
  • ScoutFest2020
  • Revised Ranger Program
  • Reopening of Service Centers and Scout Shops
UNIT ACTIVITIES

As Scouting is local, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America has left determining responses to COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic up to local councils. This includes whether Scouting units can hold face-to-face Scout meetings, activities, events and trips as well as when those meetings may resume. Throughout this pandemic, our Council has made the health and safety of our Scouts, leaders, staff and their families its number one priority.

As local and state restrictions related to COVID-19 have been eased and extensive protocols have been put in place, we are now ready to ease the suspension of in person local unit meetings and activities under the following criteria;

  • All local and state governments, both where the unit is chartered and where the meeting or activity is to take place must clearly permit the activity in terms of gathering size and ability to maintain proper social distancing. All of their and the Federal CDC guidelines must be followed for all phases of the meeting or activity (such as feeding, housing/tents, swimming etc.).
  • Chartered organizations must approve in person activities and/or meetings prior to restoring them. Units should also consult with their chartered organization to determine the best path forward for the unit’s Scouting programs.
  • Parents should be surveyed and a majority of the parents in the Scouting unit must approve restoring in person activities.
  • All meetings and activities are to take place outdoors.
SUMMER PROGRAM OPPORTUNITIES

We plan to continually evaluate our program offerings and policies related to COVID-19 on a daily basis and immediately communicate any changes and additions. In the meantime, please stay safe, follow recommended precautions and utilize the camp facilities and programs we’ve made available. They include Outdoor Family Campingweekly challengescamp kits and STEM projects. All details can be found on our website, www.stlbsa.org and our council Facebook page. As of June 3, all Illinois camp properties will be available for the Outdoor Family Experience!

TRAVEL

CDC guidelines state that traveling increases chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between people outside of the home. To practice social or physical distancing, a distance of at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) needs to be maintained from other people. During travel, it is not always possible to follow this CDC guideline.

SCOUTFEST 2020

Once in a decade, the Greater St. Louis Area Council celebrates Scouting by hosting a major Scouting event in Forest park. More than 23,000 people preregistered to attend ScoutFest2020 this October. Staff and volunteers have been working since 2017 to put together a first-class program with over 300 activities. As mentioned earlier, our council has made the health and safety of our Scouts, leaders, staff and their families our number one priority. Therefore, it is with great disappointment we announce the difficult decision to postpone ScoutFest2020 until October 1-3, 2021. By postponing the event, we can follow through on our promise to deliver a spectacular event with once-in-a-lifetime experiences for Scouts and families. All existing registrations will be automatically transferred to the 2021 date. Refunds are available for those who cannot attend the new date by request to  scoutfest2020@scouting.org. We look forward to celebrating Scouting together in October 2021!

RANGER PROGRAM

We are happy to announce that the Ranger program, an exciting older scout program that has been enjoyed by scouts for decades, has been revised to be conducted in a socially distant and safe manner. It will take place over the course of three days at various backcountry locations at S bar F Scout Ranch. Scouts will live in outpost camps, carry all equipment necessary for camping, and walk portions of the Three Notch Trail. Scouts who are at least 14, or in their fourth summer camp, will enjoy this small group program. Scouts must be transported to and from camp in private vehicles containing household members only. BSA’s annual health and medical record will be required. We understand that physical exams may be difficult to obtain because of COVID-19. In light of COVID-19, guidance is being provided and will be in effect until August 31, 2020. For more information visit https://stlbsa.org/ranger-program/.

REOPENING OF SERVICE CENTERS AND SCOUT SHOPS

All service centers and scout shops will re-open to customers, on Monday, June 1. Customers will be required to wear a mask to enter the buildings and for the duration of their visit. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you. Plexi-glass barriers have been installed in the lobby of each service center and Scout Shop customer service desk. Safety guidelines will be posted and entry and exits clearly marked. High-touched areas will be sanitized frequently, by our staff. The service center phone number will be posted on the front door for customers to request entry.

Social distancing will be enforced. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing, a distance of at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) needs to be maintained from other people. The number of customers allowed in the building may be limited to facilitate social distancing protocols. Service centers are open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Decatur, Cape & Herrin service centers will close from 12 to 1 p.m. for lunch.) Please be respectful of our staff and other people by complying with these requirements.

Contact-free item pick-up

Contact-free item pick-up is available at the MacArthur Service Center for Eagle certificates, training awards, etc. For service, please press the intercom button at the front door, and notify the receptionist that you have an item-pick-up. The items will be placed on a table between the front office glass doors. You will then be contacted to retrieve your items. This system is for Eagle certificates, training awards, etc. A sign will be posted for where items can be retrieved. For all other service centers, please call to arrange a contact-free pick-up.

The Greater St. Louis Area Council has six Scout Shops to serve its members. For current store hours visit the Council website, https://stlbsa.org/scout-shops/. Scouts and volunteers can also shop online at any time at ScoutShop.org.

Self-Screening

Before entering any of our properties, service centers, or Scout Shops, we ask that you self-screen (in accordance with State guidelines) for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Cough:
    • Do you have a new cough?
    • Do you have a cough that you have had for more than a month, and if so, is the cough worse in frequency or severity?
  • Fever
    • Have you felt feverish or had a fever in the past 24 hours?
    • If your current temperature is greater than 100.4, you may not enter the Council offices.
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
    • Do you feel short of breath or are you having difficulty breathing that is not normal for you?
  • Contact
    • Have you had exposure of more than 10 minutes and closer than 6 feet to anyone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, please do not enter into any of the offices.