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Order of the Arrow


  1. Order of the Arrow

    Discussions for OA Members and those interested in Scouting's Honor Society. Also includes a private sub-forum for OA Members only.


    • I seriously doubt if summer camps, high adventure or just any scouting are happening this summer. It's just my opinion but here's my reasoning. All of the models, if correct, are only talking about getting things under control. None of them are talking about eradicating the disease. Herd immunity doesn't kick in until something well past 50% of a population becomes immune. Right now, immunity means getting the virus. Assuming that 10 times the number of people have it than have been identified with a test, we're still only at 10x330k, or roughly 3 million out of the 320 million that live in the US. That's 1%. Getting to 50% (and it's probably much higher that's required) would mean 160 million people get the disease and something like 2 million die. Without a herd immunity we'll be right back where we are now as soon as everyone assumes its over and we can get back to the old normal. The old normal will not exist for at least a year. Note that no other countries have gotten their cases to zero and kept them there. The models assume we stay away from each other. The only way that changes by September is if we have a vaccine, we have a medical way to help the body deal with the virus or we have a system in place to identify everyone in an outbreak and test them very quickly (or some combination of these). Just a guess, but that last one would require the ability to do millions of tests a day across the country. It would also mean tracking everyone's movement, just as South Korea is currently doing. I can see something like that happening but not by September. I barely see anyone talking about what happens after we get things under control. The big question is how does everyone get back to enough "normal" such that they can live; jobs, going to school, buying food, the basic necessities of life. I don't think scouts is on that list. I'd rather see all of the little businesses in my town get up and running before scouting. This whole thing makes me think year pins, patch placement and rank advancement just don't matter anymore. Broke councils, inbred leaderships, bankruptcy - it's all beyond a perfect storm. That all said, there's an opportunity here. At it's core scouting is about helping young people grow, become responsible, caring and helpful. It's about using the outdoors as a fun place to learn those skills but what we really want is scouts using those skills wherever they are - in the woods or near home. If we could focus on that, and scouts started helping our communities, everything else would take care of itself. What I don't see is who is going to lead that.
    • I'll add one more comment.  Only 1 of our 50 scouts going to summer camp dropped out due to Covid-19 (the rest already paid).  So, parents & scouts are more than willing to go if it is open.  I think that could change if our area infection rate shoots up, but so far so good...
    • I think its too early to know for sure.  Unless you are willing to do a 18 month to 2 year mandatory lock down of the entire country (until a vaccine is available), some activities will reopen with Covid-19 infections still out there.  I expect this may be a state by state call based upon density of the virus in their community.  What we need is sufficient testing to really determine the density of the infected in each community and then appropriate guidelines based upon that density.   It could definitely mean limiting camps to local scouts (with xx miles) to prevent spread between communities.  It could mean facemasks and end of some activities (big group fire ceremonies, dining halls and even water front).  We go to a patrol cooking camp and our troop has discussed use of biodegradable utensils (no personal KP),  additional monitoring/instructions of KP, additional monitoring/instructions for hand washing, face masks, etc.   The only real way out of this is a vaccine and there is no way the country will shut down fully until that is available (which in best case in large volumes would be 18 months to 2 years).  So, we will need to live with this and find ways to limit risk.  If summer camp is open, I'll be there with my Troop.  We will work to minimize risk.  If they close camp, I'm ok with that call.  I just hope they can ramp up testing further to see where this is really spreading and take appropriate action.  I tend to agree this summer may be too soon to have all of this in place … but one can hope.
    • If we are given the "all clear" in time for summer camp (and HA), and if councils are in earnest, they could take a page from our local school district: One Saturday before school starts, several volunteer doctors and nurses assemble at a central location and give free sports physicals for all the youth in the school district.  Many families avail themselves of this offer.  It meets the requirement, it's good for the school year, and it's free.  An enterprising council staff could set up something similar.  Alas, it may not matter. I too have the impression there will be no activities this summer.   I still believe that, if permitted, some camping could be done.  Fewer people jammed in campsites, patrols camping farther away from the troop, campsite boundaries pushed way out from the norm.  Emphasize patrol cooking and outdoor activities that encourage fresh air and small groups.   Waive the requirement mandating adults supervise every patrol activity.  Send the patrols on hikes by themselves.  Allow them to cook in their campsite, with the SPL stopping by now and again to see how things are going.  Trained and trusted, they can handle the responsibility and will have a better scouting experience.
    • I read somewhere that the old med forms for BSA were valid for 3 years. I believe it would suffice for a typical one week resident camp. I don’t believe there are many serious underlying, undiagnosed diseases or conditions in the average teenager without any symptoms. If they have prior medical conditions or worries, then they should follow up with their primary care provider. The problem may be getting a physical in general, for camp or not. Either way it may be a lose lose situation. 
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