While every family has a unique set of considerations in deciding whether to participate in Scout activities during the pandemic, Troop 1128 is developing a phased approach to restarting our Scouting program, and we are currently in Step 3.
The guidelines that have come out thus far from the BSA, NCAC, CDC and the Virginia Department of Health focus on several key components for responsibly restarting Scouting activities:
Adequate and frequent health screening and monitoring
Social distancing and facial coverings
Vigilant hygiene practices
Keeping group sizes as small as possible
Our guidelines are an evolving set of practices that considers those key components along with everything we know today. New information and resources will likely come to light over the coming weeks that could further improve our plans. If at any time, we feel that we need to suspend troop activities or go back a step, then we will make that call in connection with our sponsoring organization, Andrew Chapel UMC.
As we forge ahead, we will do everything we reasonably can to protect Scouts and Scouters and the communities and families to whom they return after an outing or activity. However, ultimately, the decision to participate resides with Scout parents and individual Scouters. Each family will need to decide for itself when it feels comfortable participating in Scouting activities and is prepared to assume the risk of such participation. Scouts and Scouters will not be penalized for missing outdoor activities during this pandemic.
Additional resources on resuming outdoor Scouting activities can be found below:
George Washington National Forest (Bucktail Parking)
Sep 26-27, 2020
The first day we hiked for 7 miles but, there was no water at the campsite so we walked another two miles and found campsites with running water. Then in the morning we only had to hike miles because of the amount of hiking we did on the first day. Overall it was a good camp out and I think the new scouts learned from it and so did the new patrol leaders.
With Sea Base 2021 on the horizon, the St. Croix crew (6 scouts and 2 alternates) got their basic scuba qualification. ASMs Hindley and Baker supervised Gabe H, Andrew B, Joey P, Colin M, Athan Z, Zack D, Owen S, and Tyler B through the scuba course. Before getting in the water, the scouts had to complete an online training course, learning about the gear, skills, and science involved in scuba. After that, the crew got their personal gear, including fins, snorkels, and masks, as well as being fitted for wetsuits. The next day, the crew was split into two different groups and had their pool session, where they practiced flooding and clearing their masks, swapping regulators, and controlled ascents, among other skills. For the following two days, the crew travelled to a private quarry and completed 2 dives each day. Scouts dove down to a maximum of 35 feet, where it was undeniably freezing. They also learned how to use dive computers and how to dive safely with a buddy. The crew will do a refresher dive in January and potentially another dive after that, in time to travel to Sea Base in the summer.