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HashTagScouts

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HashTagScouts last won the day on July 20 2019

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  1. Our position for the past two weeks was to give everyone a break as we adjust to our new realities, whether it parents working from home that have not ever done that, to schools being relegated to online, etc. We let scouting not be on their priority list at this point, just gave them encouragement that if they had partials they could work on, they can feel free to do so. Going into next week, we will have a virtual meeting, but mostly for the scouts and/or parents to socialize for a bit, and ask questions on who the right person to help them with X MB is, which of our older scouts is available to FaceTime or Skype to go over a rank requirement, etc. I am going to offer a virtual Family Life MB session, as that one is 90% an at home MB to begin with, and where it involves helping their family out with projects, those are going to happen with the weather change anyway so it's a good usage of their time for all the kids at any age to start to work on. I have voiced my concerns on liberalizing requirements on any badge- life will resume its course in time, so lets not get sloppy right now was basically my message. When the requirement says "tour", and there is a very credible and complete virtual experience, I can agree the virtual can be a substitute. We had a RT commissioner post something on FB last week that this is a great time to get Scouts to work on Public Health MB- and, being both myself and the SM are counselors for it, we both pointed out that requirement 5 is a "visit", which means in person not virtual, so scouts will not be able to complete that MB during this time, so great if people want to offer it, just don't set expectations to the point that anyone is going to complete it right now.
  2. Agreed. The practicality of trying to keep them distanced and not touching each others items doesn't seem realistic. New York right now is an extreme, but it is the model that will likely be necessary in many other places, at any given time. Our understandings of this virus are changing by the minute, and secondary outbreaks are going to be the concern going forward.
  3. Please do not go forward with this. The loss of scouting activities is hard on many of us, but the right thing to do is stay at home and social distance as much as possible. Areas like NY are now employing extreme social distancing- "groups" no larger than 2, maintaining 10 feet distance whenever possible. We are in for months of this, especially as more people do not comply. An activity such as what your SM is considering would require sterilizing rake or shovel handles between users, wearing masks, etc. Then there is the other aspect that for everyone to get there, that likely means using gasoline in your cars, which promotes people going to the gas station more often than may be necessary. The way we get through this is to stay away from others as much as possible. We should avoid visiting others, even family members, or having others to our homes.
  4. That is a good idea to hold off on payments. Camps/Councils are going to likely delay any ordering/invoice payment as much as possible until they feel very certain events will take place, so continue on with the discussion and the sign-ups, but money should not be the priority right now. Having family and friends in Florida, I know the situation there may not be quite on the same timeline as other parts of the US, and it could change very much very soon. Stay safe.
  5. The biggest headaches to the process, for me at least, are: 1) the "online re-chartering" was/is nothing more than a form generator, that I have to print and obtain signatures on. In other words, it might save me some ink in my pen, but it still requires a lot of typing and clicking and so doesn't save me any real time. 2) the biggest one- the processes today assume that the COR and/or IH is daily involved (or at least regularly involved) in the scouting units business. I feel we've established enough through other threads that this is quite often not the case, and it is the challenge of having to obtain their signatures on everything that creates the most frustration and time spent. If we would just allow the IH/COR to designate Committee Chairs- whom they already have blessed to be in positions of "authority" to be incharge of financials, etc.- to sign on the COs behalf (if the CO desired), it would make life so much easier, whether through online process or not.
  6. It would be unfortunate for some that they had the double whammy. I hold my fingers crossed that we are not all going to be locked indoors through the summer. If we are, I am hopeful that these kids are going to be so bent on finally being outdoors when this is over that we are going to have them begging to go camping every weekend as long as the weather holds out!
  7. Have you seen the news reports of all the college students who have still showed up in Florida for Spring Break? At some point, major scaling back of services like the USPS, FedEx etc. may have to happen to alleviate the spread from one area to another. While in many areas restaurants are "take out only", that doesn't end the prospect of transmission, it just lessens it. Like I say, until a vaccine is developed, this will run a long course until humankind develops an immunity to this naturally.
  8. Based on the number of yahoo college students that are still spending Spring Break in Florida, I think the situation there is going to grow exponentially in the next week. We all need to start putting our contingency plans together with a reality that life is not going back to normal for several months, and it may get even more restricted for a while during that time. Until a vaccine is developed, there will continue to be flares of this virus in places until our bodies naturally develop an immunity.
  9. I'm fully expecting that this is going to happen here in the US very soon. Flattening the curve is the only way we can deal with this virus. Unless a vaccine can be found and put into mass production, it is going continue to be a pandemic for several months. Keep safe.
  10. As much I feel strongly that kids gain more in terms of bonding out of spending a week each summer with their patrol/troop members than they do from a handful of weekend campouts, I also appreciate that for some kids it just isn't a possibility. For some it may be about $, for others it just may be they have other activities that are important to them that they set summer aside for (working at a local Y or town day camp, for example). Based on our council membership #, and the numbers we know came to our council camp (and throwing in all the staff members, though some are over 18 and not really counted in membership #s), and estimating generously for those units I know go to out of council camps, I would say only about 60% of our scouts went to a week long summer camp last summer.
  11. MA schools are closed through the first week of April, but friends that our teachers and administrators are all telling me that it is expected that a deal will be reached to extend that. The teachers unions will want some assurances for their members to be considered, etc. Our camps had not been at 100% capacity last year, so I could theoretically see a point in April where it may be announced that the summer camp season will be reduced to the final 3 weeks only and units that normally attend the first 3 weeks will get squeezed into the later. Here's hoping that by mid-July this is still a possibility.
  12. While I respect that changing is unsettling, especially with the work and expense that has gone into existing regalia. Iroquois regalia does give a lot of pretty awesome options though. Chris from the Wandering Bull has lineage from Iroquois, so you'll find some really great ideas from his website. Wampum beading, gustoweh's, etc. Our Lodge Chief did speak with contacts from Region/National when this February update was released- it was not intended to wipe away the release from last year, but was to emphasize for those who have resisted that they do need to change their regalia to be regionally appropriate or they must go the uniform/black clothing route. So, yes, it is an order- but, I think some are confused on what that order is and are interpreting they must have a local tribe approve. They do not. From the Feb 2020 article (I am highlighting key words): Alternative Ceremonial Clothing should be used in situations where a lodge (1) does not have a relationship with a local tribe, (2) a local tribe has expressed concern with the use American Indian ceremonial attire for this purpose, or (3) limited resources preclude a lodge from developing historically correct and acceptable American Indian ceremonial attire. If lodges use American Indian attire, all efforts should be made by the lodge to depict the American Indian tribes that are native to the area. It is recommended that a lodge engage and work with the American Indian community to determine what attire would be appropriate and accurate. So, it is recommended that you work with a local tribe, but for tribes that there exists a great deal of source material to determine what can be/is accurate, such as Iroquois, it may not necessarily be needed to have the tribe give guidance.
  13. Curious to what others think: should IH/COR's have access to this database? I would say the intent right now is that new applicants will be screened by the Council office to the National database, but, what is the timeframe for that to occur? Say you have an adult approach the unit to become a volunteer. They hang around the unit meeting, then fill out an application. The unit submits the application say a week later to Council, and Council takes a week to screen it. Conceivably the unit has had this person around the youth for two weeks before you get any notification that this person is persona non grata. I would say protection of privacy is important, but I feel like the unit should want to get the response ASAP.
  14. I would say all the facts were not laid bare is a good way to put it. The original cost estimates to build the place were way off, and the BSA had put way too much stock into donations being received that had never been guaranteed. I hate to disparage the place, especially never having been there, but what they offer looks to be things our scouts can get here in New England (and I would say that is true for most of the US- there are some fantastic mountains, rivers, and zip lines elsewhere, with many guide outfits ready to work with you). If we were to think about rolling out of New England for a HA base, the Summit would be at the bottom of our list.
  15. While National and/or Council can't control unit activities, I think it is a good idea that we all consult our local and/or state public health statements. If the local officials are asking folks to avoid gatherings over a certain size, I would say it is best to not ruffle their feathers. Not worth staining your units reputation with your local community.
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