Dear Scouting Family,
As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in the Greater New York Councils. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally with our Council Health Supervisor and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.
Status of Council Events
Our camps remain open for use. 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.
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.
Decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines.
Likewise, district leaders should make decisions about district activities in consultation with the hosts of the activities. As circumstances evolve, we encourage district leaders to stay in contact with units.
BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness
The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.
Everyday Preventive Measures
Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Stay home when you feel sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Should you have any questions or concerns about a specific upcoming event or activity, please reach out to your local district executive. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us.
Yours in Scouting,
Ethan Draddy Scout Executive
Joseph Schiltz Director of Field Service