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Scouting Goes On!

The Greater St. Louis Area Council has released updated operational guidance for Cub Scout Packs and Scouts BSA Troops.

These guides provide unit leaders with resources and specific program ideas on how to continue Scouting programs beginning in January 2021 in a COVID environment.

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.

Gathering size and composition restrictions vary throughout our council. If your chartered organization has approved face to face activities, please note the following:

  • Throughout the council no indoor activities are to take place.
  • In Illinois, in an outdoor setting, group size is limited to ten or less. This allows for den or patrol meetings, preferably in outdoor settings. Additional Information
  • In St. Louis City, group size is limited to ten or less, and the members of the group can be from no more than two households. Additional Information
  • In St. Louis County, units are to meet virtually. Additional Information
  • For all other areas in Missouri, in an outdoor setting, group size is limited to ten or less.
  1. 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.
    • This guidance has not changed.
  1. Suggested Meeting Location & Procedures

Due to the dramatic rise in cases only outdoor meetings are encouraged. Ensure those participating have dressed appropriately for the weather.

  • 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.
  • This guidance has been updated.
  1. Events Involving Meals Eaten Indoors
    • Events that include people eating indoors are prohibited. These include unit dinners, district dinners, and Order of the Arrow dinners. The risk of a group of people indoors with no masks is significant and not worth the reward.
    • Recognition events, when allowed, can still be held with a renewed focus on the recognition, simply without a meal as a portion of the event, or virtual events may be held.
    • Another option for events that include meals is to postpone them until the spring of next year when it could be held outdoors.
    • This is new guidance.
  1. 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.
    • This is additional guidance.
  1. 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.
  • Preparing and serving food is limited to the fewest number of adults practical who prepare and serve individual portions to the entire unit. Youth are not to be involved with food preparation or cooking unless doing so only for him or herself.
  • This guidance has not changed.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
    • This guidance has not changed.

A PDF of the updated guidelines can be found HERE.