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Unit, District & Council Operational Guidance

Updated 2/28/2022

  1. There is no longer a council-mandated mask policy. Please follow all local, state, and CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

    We are taking this opportunity to emphasize a few points regarding in-person, indoor activities:

    • Parents and leaders should carefully make individual choices regarding their level of in-person activities.
    • Please do not attend any in-person activity if you do not feel well, regardless of a recent negative test for COVID.
    • Continue to provide a Zoom option for meetings whenever possible.
    • Full refunds will continue to be given if a unit or person cancels a Council or District activity due to COVID-related concerns.
    • You can find further information regarding COVID-19 guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

    All local and state governments, both where the unit is chartered and where the meeting or activity is to take place, must permit the activity in terms of gathering size, location, and ability to maintain proper social distancing. All of these and the Federal CDC guidelines must be followed for all phases of the meeting or activity (such as feeding, housing/tents, activities, etc.).

    For face-to-face meetings & activities

    • Outdoor activities remain safer than gathering indoors.
    • Units may choose to camp overnight in indoor facilities when all the following conditions have been met (This policy also applies to allowing more than one person to share a tent):
      • All guidelines issued by the CDC and local governmental agencies are followed.
      • The chartered partner of the unit agrees to this activity prior to it taking place.
      • Parents have been made aware of both the face-to-face and overnight sleeping aspects of this activity.
      • All youth protection policies are followed.

    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

    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 most of the parents in the Scouting unit must approve restoring in-person activities.

    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, 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 the 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 crowding 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 on properly applying the three-pot method, please review this article by Brian on Scouting.

    Transportation

    • The safest transportation method 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. If possible, carpool with people who interact together in other venues such as sports teams or schools.