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2021 COVID-19 Summer Camp Policies

Click on the below links to go to the pages highlighting our COVID-19 polices and procedures for the 2021 Summer Camp season.

Day / Twilight Camp Policies and Procedures

Overnight / Resident Camp Policies and Procedures

June 2, 2021 Update – The CDC has issued updated guidance for the operation of summer camps. In accordance with these changes, the guidance for the members and activities of the Greater St. Louis Area Council have changed.


Unit, District & Council Operational Guidance

The health and safety of our members, leaders, and parents continues to be our highest priority. The following is continued guidance on meeting safely during the COVID-19 pandemic for the use of units and those planning council and district events.

The safest method for meeting is virtual and this is strongly encouraged. If, however, you plan to meet face to face, the policies below are in effect.

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, location, and ability to maintain proper social distancing. All of those and the Federal CDC guidelines must be followed for all phases of the meeting or activity (such as feeding, housing/tents, activities, etc.). Masks are to be worn at all times.

In-Person Council & District Events Update

In person Council and District meetings and events may resume. CDC and local guidelines must be followed including the use of masks that cover the mouth and nose, and social distancing. Everyone is encouraged to make their own decisions regarding the level of their participation.

Event and meeting organizers are encouraged, whenever possible and practical, to offer both in-person and virtual options to encourage as much participation as possible.

Consult the BSA’s Restart Scouting Checklist and Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist for additional guidance on safe operations. Leadership is also encouraged to consult local or state health related websites for further information.

COVID-19 Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist
Restart Scouting Checklist

Restrictions are in place for the following:

  • Use of overnight indoor facilities is prohibited
  • One person per tent unless they are from the same household (see BSA Youth Protection policies)
  • For evening meetings, we encourage them to be held without a meal in order to shorten the meeting and lower the risk of transmission

If you have questions, please contact Steve Hammonds, Director of Support Services, at 314-256-3040 or at steve.hammonds@scouting.org.

In-Person Unit Meetings Update

The Greater St. Louis Area Council is ending the prohibition on face-to-face unit meetings to allow in-person Scouting activities. Leadership must secure approval from the unit’s chartering organization prior to resuming in-person activities.

CDC recommendations must be followed including the use of masks that cover the mouth and nose and social distancing. Parents are encouraged to make their own decisions regarding the level of their child’s participation.

Units are encouraged, whenever possible and practical, to offer both in-person and virtual options to encourage as much youth participation as possible.

Restrictions are in place for the following:

  • Use of overnight indoor facilities is prohibited
  • One person per tent unless they are from the same household (see BSA Youth Protection policies)

Unit leadership is encouraged to consult local or state health related websites for further guidance on safe operations.

Approval for Face to Face Activities

  • Chartered organizations must approve in-person activities and/or meetings prior to restoring them.
  • Parents should be surveyed and a majority of the parents in the Scouting unit must approve restoring in-person activities.

Suggested Meeting Location & Procedures

Outdoor meetings are encouraged. Ensure those participating have dressed appropriately for the weather. If meeting indoors units should, whenever possible and practical, to offer both in-person and virtual options to encourage as much youth participation as possible.

  • Prior to the meeting, participants should complete the COVID-19 Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist
  • Masks that cover both the mouth and nose are to be worn at all times and social distancing of a minimum of six feet practiced at all times.
  • Sanitize shared materials between uses if practical. Some surfaces are not suitable for effective sanitation or may be damaged by the chemicals used for such purpose.
  • Participants utilizing shared materials are to sanitize their hands before and after each use.

Use of Cabins Overnight

  • Use of overnight indoor facilities, regardless of location, by units is prohibited. There is a significant risk of the passing of COVID when unmasked and indoors. This risk increases with time, as is typical in an overnight sleeping arrangement.

Camping

  • Tent camping is to be done one youth in each tent unless they are household members, the same gender, and less than two years apart in age. Adults are also one to each tent unless they are spouses that live together. Tents are to be spaced at least six feet apart.

Cooking

For Cub Scouts, a small group of adults should do the cooking in a safe, socially distant manner.

Patrol cooking is a key part of the Scouts BSA program.  It fosters team building, cooperation, and supports the development of the patrol as a cohesive unit.  The continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities and the need for social distancing can create challenges for patrol cooking.  However, careful preparation, starting with pre-outing meal planning, can help reduce these challenges.  When preparing for a return to patrol cooking, units should:

  • Educate Scouts on the importance of proper use of masks that cover the nose and mouth, the importance of social distancing, and washing their hands before starting meal preparation.
  • Whenever possible have an adult observe one or more patrols to correct them when social distancing fails or masks slip down, including throughout the clean-up process.
  • Reassess cooking gear available to the patrol, including patrol boxes.  Additional work surfaces such as folding tables can provide multiple distanced work surfaces, reducing crowding in the cooking area or around the patrol box.
  • Consider menus that allow for use of multiple cooking methods (camp stove, box oven, dutch oven, backpacking stove, reflector oven, etc.)  This allows spacing of individuals who are working with the different elements of a meal.  Your PLC may be able to support this by issuing a “menu challenge” that requires a meal plan to include elements prepared in two or more different ways. The goal is to have one person cooking on a stove at a time.
  • Consider allowing longer times for meal preparation and clean-up activities, to reduce the crowding that can happen when scouts are in a hurry.
  • Encourage Scouts and adults to bring individual camp chairs to aid in eating in a socially distanced manner.
  • Proper cleaning, rinsing, and sanitization of all dishes, utensils, and cooking wear is critical. For instructions in how to properly apply the three-pot method, please review this article by Brian on Scouting.

Group Size

  • Group size limits vary throughout our council. The largest permissible group size is the size allowed at the location of your chartered partner. Group size for a larger event is the most restrictive guideline from the area where most of the participants live.
    • This guidance has not changed.

Transportation

  • The safest method for transportation is that only household members are in a vehicle. This may not always be practical. When necessary, people outside of a household may travel in a vehicle together. Unless the vehicle is a large van, (4 rows of seats) there should not be more than four people in a vehicle, and they are to sit as far apart as possible. Masks are to be worn at all times. If possible, carpool with people who interact together in other venues such as sports teams or schools.