As you are likely aware, the tri-state area, and largely the entire country, is preparing for an outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID-19. The Greater New York Councils staff are monitoring the situation closely. We are operating as usual but are also working on contingency plans for programming and other events to be prepared for changing circumstances. We are actively following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Health, World Health Organization (WHO), and local health departments where our camps and office are based, so we can respond quickly to any shifts in their recommendations.
Public health authorities’ current guidance does not include closures or cancellations of functions such as the program events that are scheduled across our council and camps. As always, participation in Scout activities is up to the discretion of parents and guardians and of unit leaders. While our facilities are operating as usual, we are also working on contingency plans for program and camp events to be prepared for changing circumstances.
For the protection of the community, please follow the CDC guidance and ensure that Scouts and adults stay home when sick and do not attend Scouting activities. Sick is defined by the CDC as having a temperature above 100.0º F (38.7º C), not feeling well, or appearing weak or ill.
As units make decisions about attending weekend camping events and placing deposits for summer camp, the following adjustments to our practices are being implemented.
1) If a unit would like to postpone a weekend camping trip, scheduled for March or April, at Alpine Scout Camp, Ten Mile River Scout Camps or William H. Pouch Scout Camp, the unit should email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. A non-refundable credit will be issued and the unit can transfer the credit to another reservation scheduled later in 2020 at any of the three council camps. In April we will consider the need to extend this practice to May reservations and in May we will consider the need to extend this practice to June reservations.
2) Individual camper deposits for summer camp are due by March 31. The deadline remains in place and is vital to providing a safe and enjoyable summer camp experience. The camper deposit has been considered non-refundable. For 2020 summer camps, we will consider the camper deposit as refundable if the Department of Health mandates the closure of summer camps.
Please follow all of the steps recommended by the CDC
(see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf). The same simple steps that prevent the spread of ordinary flu viruses work against coronavirus and other illnesses:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand). Then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick. Do not attend Scouting activities when you are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick, with temperature above 100.0º F (38.7º C) or do not feel well, appear weak or ill
• Consult your health care provider if you have special health conditions that put you at increased risk.
Please monitor the council website (nycscouting.org) for up to date information and guidance as recommendations may change to follow recommended practices. The Greater New York Councils are here to support you and your Scouting programs. If you have any questions regarding this please reach out to our camping team by emailing email@example.com.
Yours in Scouting,
Director of Support Services