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COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Updates
Updated November 17, 2020
Fickett Center/Scout Shop/Camps hours and operation
- Camps – We have opened our council camps to council- and district-level activities. Each event must be pre-approved by our council Covid-19 Task Force; please see this page for more details.
- Fickett Center – The Fickett Center is open for in-person business, with social distancing practices and limited accessibility. You may still drop off paperwork and forms in the brown drop box in the north end of its parking lot.
- Scout Shop – Our Shop is open for limited in-person business. Please see our Shop Info page for more details.
- Staff Support – Many staff members are working remotely but remain available to assist volunteers and members. You may reach all staff members by email and most by cell phone; please see contact information at www.bsacac.org/our-staff. Note that if you call an office phone (those with a 617 prefix) you may leave a message that will be forwarded to that staff member.
Council/District/Unit activities and meetings
- Can/Should our Scout unit meet/do activities? – Yes, but the question is how. Units should consider conducting small-scale meetings or outdoor activities. First, review these specific preventative guidelines and consult with your chartered organization.
- Outdoors is safer than indoors – the Texas Medical Association’s Covid-19 Task Force has rated seasonal activities by the likelihood they will contribute to Covid-19 transmission. While distancing and mask wearing is a given, they note that activities that are outdoors are much safer than gatherings indoors.
- More on outdoors vs. indoors – scientists have learned a lot about how the virus spreads since the summer. Here’s a review of their findings to this point, which again give preference to doing things outdoors where there’s lots of space and fresh air.
- Council events – We have scheduled a few council-level events with strict Covid-19 protocols. Visit our Cub Scout Activities page or Scouts BSA Activities page for listings.
- Purchase an event gift card – We had to cancel or postpone a lot of events due to Covid-19 and the financial impact from refunds has been devastating. If you can help, please purchase a gift card to use for payment of future Scouting events. The electronic gift card will be sent to you via email and can be redeemed during check out for future events through our online registration system.
- BSA Digital Safety Guidelines – Which online conferencing platforms does BSA recommend from a Youth Protection standpoint? You can find that, plus other guidelines, on this page from the Boy Scouts of America website.
- Learn How to Conduct a Zoom Video Conference – Here are video tutorials that can teach you how to conduct your own Zoom video conference.
- Need Zoom Help? – Want to hold a meeting via Zoom video conferencing but don’t have experience? Volunteer T.W. Cook is willing to help get you started. Send him an email at [email protected].
- Learn How to Use Google Hangouts – Here are instructions for using Google Hangouts to conduct a video conference, whether you’re using a computer, iOS device, or Android device.
- Learn How to Use Skype – Here are instructions for using Skype to conduct a video conference.
- No “One On One” Contact Online – Remember that any electronic communication involving a youth member must adhere to BSA’s Youth Protection policies; no one-on-one communication between a youth and an adult.
Additional program-related announcements
- Camping Nights Requirement for Order of the Arrow Eligibility – Virtual camping (i.e., backyard or solo camping) may be counted toward the required nights of camping for OA election eligibility if some stipulations are met. See this page on the national OA website.
- Refund policy – Our council’s refund policy has been updated to give you an option when events/camps are cancelled of requesting a refund for the full fee you’ve paid or a gift card for the full fee you’ve paid that may be used for future event/camp registration. Please see our refund policy for details.
- Advancement – Scouts can and should continue working on advancement. Parents are allowed to sign off on the completion of Cub Scout Adventures and Webelos Arrow of Light requirements. Some Scouts BSA rank requirements have been temporarily changed an youth may complete some merit badge requirements through electronic communication. General questions and answers about COVID-19’s impact on BSA advancement.
- Award Extensions – BSA has given local councils temporary authority to grant extensions for Scouts working on the Eagle Scout rank, Quartermaster rank, or Summit Award to complete all requirement if COVID-19 disruptions are the reason why the Scout can’t finish requirements before his/her 18th/21st birthday. See this post for more details for Eagle candidates and this post for Quartermaster/Summit Award candidates.
- Boards of Review – Boards of Review for Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting advancement may be conducted by videoconferencing without council approval; see this post from Scouting Magazine with details
- Eagle Boards of Review – Eagle Scout Boards of Review may be conducted by videoconferencing but must have prior council approval. Read the BSA rules for this here, then contact our council Advancement Chair by email stating you have read the rules and agree to follow them.
- Eagle Board of Review Extensions – Eagle candidates may ask for an extension of time to take part in their Eagle Board of Review; see our Eagle Scout page for details from our council Advancement Committee
Ideas from Scout units in our council
Virtual Meetings – How do you keep video conference meetings from becoming boring and passive? Sea Scout Ship 911 Skipper Dave Aronson shared how his unit is finding answers from their youth members:
Virtual Campouts – Trying to plan a virtual campout or other online event with you unit, but don’t know where to start? Scouts BSA Troop 365 Scoutmaster Tim Williams shared how his unit is working through planning their event:
How did Troop 365’s campout go? Read this story from the Austin American-Statesman.
Virtual Blue and Gold Banquet – Volunteer leader Scott Green shared with us how he’s working as Cubmaster with fellow Cub Scout families to plan a Blue and Gold banquet done remotely, as well as how his son’s Scouts BSA patrol is keeping Scouts active and ready to advance in rank.
Merit Badge Challenge – Scouts BSA Troop 685 has started its own troop merit badge challenge (see the message from their Senior Patrol Leader to troop members below). Could your unit consider something similar to keep your Scouts active?
Can Our Unit Meet?
Guidelines and requirements
Postponed or Cancelled Events
Events and activities impacted by COVID-19
Scouting at Home Ideas
Ideas and resources to help you while #ScoutingAtHome
Stay Healthy and Safe
Tips and news to avoid getting sick from COVID-19
State Health Information
Testing info, FAQs, more from Health and Human Services
Helping Kids Cope with COVID-19
Tips on helping children understand what's happening