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 1.
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:
Sport Rock, Manassas, VA
Feb 29 – Mar 1, 2020
This February, the Troop returned to Sport Rock for our second overnight lock in. The Troop gathered at Andrew Chapel and after a quick role call, jumped into cars and travelled to Sport Rock. Scouts signed in and, after a while, began the training session with the instructors. This training lasted about an hour, during which scouts learned how to tie a figure 8 knot, belay, and climb safely. After that, Scouts were allowed to climb on the belay assisted courses and the bouldering courses. Scouts expended a lot of energy climbing the different walls and completing different runs. Soon, lots of the older scouts ran out of steam and sat down to play cards and talk, while the ever energetic new scouts continued on. Throughout the night, scouts climbed and tousled and talked and played, while the adults were probably hoping to fall asleep.
The next morning, some people woke up and others hadn’t even gone to sleep. The Scouts quickly packed up their gear and cleaned up the climbing gym. Afterwards, everyone got into cars and returned to Andrew Chapel. At the climbing gym, scouts were respectful and obedient to the staff and rules.
Seven Springs Resort, PA
Jan 24-26, 2020
In January, the Troop had it’s annual Ski Trip. However, this year, instead of spending Saturday skiing and Sunday snow tubing, the adults were able to organize two days skiing. The Troop left timely on Friday night, with two full vans and many other cars. After a roughly three hour car ride, the Troop arrived at the cabin and settled into rooms. SPL Simon briefed the Troop on the plan for the slopes and then Scouts relaxed, playing ping pong and cards.
In the morning, the Troop woke up early and made it over for breakfast. After a hearty meal, everyone drove to the slopes and got their rental gear. Upon getting onto the slopes, Scouts quickly realized there wasn’t much snow and that it was quite warm outside. Even so, everyone had a great time and, after stopping for lunch, got back out again until the planned meeting time. Then, Scouts piled back into cars and returned to the cabin until dinner. After dinner, Scouts returned to the cabin to do as they wished. Some played cards, others played video games, and some played ping pong. Simon debriefed the Troop on a successful day of skiing and representing the Troop well.
The next morning, Simon hurried everyone to pack up all of their gear and make their way downstairs. Gear got packed into cars and the Troop ate breakfast before returning to the slopes and skiing and snowboarding for the rest of the day. Luckily, the weather improved and more snow was on the ground. The adults drove through the evening while most of the Scouts slept in their cars, returning right on time.
Shenandoah River State Park, VA
Dec 6-7, 2019
For the December campout, on the 7th and 8th of December, scouts travelled to Shenandoah National Park to practice their scouting skills in preparation for the Klondike Derby on February 8th. SPL Simon Kassis assigned stations to patrol leaders for organization and
maximum focus. The Amazons and Bobwhites represented the Dead Horse camp, in charge of navigation and orienteering. As such, there was a map quiz entailing measuring distances and calculating directions. Andrew and Dani lead the exercises, The Arctic Wolves took the miscellaneous challenge camp, Big Skookum Gulch, and did fire building, something the Troop
always seems to be eerily good at. The Bison tackled Bonanza Creek and had a knots test to test Scoutcraft. The Sharks, recreating Cripple Creek, gave scouts First Aid situations and asked the scouts to fix all the issues. Finally, the Zeus patrol went on down to Dawson City to test scouts pioneering skills with lashings and spars.
After the long day of prep, everyone was more than happy to simply set up tents and relax. The trip hopefully prepared the troop for the Klondike Derby, where Troop 1128 will get to showcase our skills and spirit, with individualistic patrol flare intertwined!