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Everything posted by SteveMM

  1. My father was in a similar situation as the OP many years ago when I stupidly decided to leave Scouting as a Life Scout. My brother had already Eagled and aged out, but my father didn't feel like his Scouting days were done. He was, as I recall, a very good Scoutmaster. He ended up staying involved by becoming a Woodbadge trainer and assisting our local troop when he could.
  2. We didn't have that situation with APL, but our SM did at one point use the role of Assistant Quartermaster and counted it as a leadership position. Part of the reason was that he knew the elected Quartermaster would miss a number of meetings and campouts. The assistant ended up doing more than the Quartermaster. For the "project" he asked the assistant to do a full review of all of the gear, remove damaged goods, and put together a spreadsheet of what was in good shape. It's something the Quartermaster should probably do anyhow.
  3. Update: Heart of Virginia Council sent out a note yesterday that said their plan, mentioned in my earlier post, has been rejected by the county health department. Unless they can find a way around it, there will be no camp whatsoever this year.
  4. Heart of Virginia Council announced on Friday that Camp T. Brady Saunders will not hold normal camp programs this summer. Instead, they are making campsites available to troops to "rent" out for one to 14 days at a time during the summer. Program areas such as shooting, STEM, etc. will be staffed for an additional per-troop fee. The dining hall will not operate. Our troop is evaluating the options, but probably will not camp there this summer.
  5. Camp T. Brady Saunders in the Heart of Virginia Council already delayed the camp start date to July 5, which basically gave them more time to decide if they want to cancel. I don't see it happening this year.
  6. Heart of Virginia Council just announced they're cancelling their Cub Scout multi-day camp options for this summer. As of right now, they still are hoping to hold the Boy Scout summer camp. Here's what they said about the BSA camp. I just don't see it happening. We are currently working with our Council Program Committee, Risk Management Committee, and Camping Committee to modify our Scouts BSA program at Camp T. Brady Saunders to meet the health guidelines expected by the state. This will include social distancing and changing the way many of our traditions and merit badge station ha
  7. Very good points that I will store away for my case to our troop. Perhaps a mix of the type of things you're suggesting for breakfast and lunch, and full-on freeze dried meals for dinner, might be the way to go.
  8. Our troop in Virginia is still planning to go to summer camp starting on July 5, but I'm against it and have my doubts it will happen anyhow. I'm planning to suggest to the troop something like what your troop is doing. For meals, I'm going to suggest we go full freeze dried. It cuts WAY down on food prep and handling, and one person can be in charge of cooking for each patrol. Obviously, the person in charge of cooking will be required to wear a mask and gloves, but there's really no reason they'll need to touch the food.
  9. My daughter is about to age out of Girl Scouts, so we still get notifications from their local council here in Central Virginia. They just announced that they are closing down their local camp activities for the summer. They don't do a full week-long overnight camp like Boy Scouts, but they do a week-long evening camp. Because it's just an evening camp, they don't have to deal with things like meals.
  10. Heart of Virginia Council in Virginia just announced they're opening camp on July 5. Our troop was supposed to go in the last week of June, but supposedly the camp will accommodate us. Our SM wants to go July 5-11. Without some kind of specifics on how they're going to handle things like meals (our dining hall, like most, is packed to the gills at mealtime) I'm not sure I can commit one way or another. The council said they're implementing the following: • Developing pre-travel protocols • Pre-arrival screening • Extensive on-site screening • Increased cleaning and san
  11. We do actually use the left-hand shake in our troop, but usually only at the end of a BoR or when handing out merit badges and awards at a CoH. To the original point of the post, though, I think things like handshakes are, for many people, gone for good. I was having a discussion with a friend of mine just the other day about this. There will likely be a segment of the population that still does it, but after months of not touching anyone who doesn't live in your house, it's going to seem very, very weird to shake hands and I suspect a lot of people will just stop doing it.
  12. Great information. Those breakout rooms may come in very handy. We plan to do patrol meetings weekly, rather than trying to have the whole troop on at once. With the breakout rooms, we could start with the Pledge and Scout Law or Oath with the whole troop, and then send each patrol off to do their things. I like it.
  13. After some discussion, our troop decided to go with Zoom. The troop is going to pay for a couple of months of a basic license, so we don't have to deal with time limits. If the shutdown goes beyond a couple of months, I and a few other parents have said we'd each donate another month.
  14. My son (who is SPL) and I have been investigating options, and I'm planning to have him test them out. Right now, I'm thinking Skype could be the answer. Their free option allows four-hour calls with up to 100 people. That solves any meeting length issue. I've never liked Skype, but it's pretty flexible. I'll report back after my son has tested it with a couple of boys from the troop.
  15. Our troop is trying to get online meetings set up starting next week. Zoom is one possibility, but the free version only allows 40 minute meetings. Google Hangouts is another we're looking into. What's everyone else planning to use?
  16. This is exactly what a reasonable leader should be thinking right now, in my opinion.
  17. Update on our troop situation: I sent a note to the committee chair and assistant scoutmaster, expressing my opinion that we should cancel the meeting this week and then explore video options. Basically, I did an end-around on the SM because he seemed to be dead set on meetings outdoors while doing service work. The ASM responded that he was on board with my plan. I haven't heard from the committee chair, but based on my conversation with him last week, I think that's how things will go.
  18. There are Scout leaders out there still who want to do some kind of meeting in person, either because they believe this is all hype or because they feel it's important that the boys continue seeing each other face-to-face. They're wrong, of course.
  19. I haven't heard it come out of the SM's mouth, but my suspicion is that you're right. He seems like the type who could be listening to many of the people who have been downplaying this crisis.
  20. I completely agree with you, and have stated my concerns to the committee. The SM said the tool cleanliness issue would be solved by everyone bringing their own tools from home, but frankly I just don't trust the younger Scouts to stick to that. We're in Virginia, where the limitations are currently a bit different than New York. Here, they're recommending no groups more than 10 and 6-8 feet distance. But, again, I just don't trust the Scouts (particularly the younger ones) not to be climbing all over each other the minute no one is looking. It's just what boys do.
  21. Our Scoutmaster has come up with a plan to do outside service during the COVID-19 shutdown. Our CO is a church that could use some landscaping work, and there's a trail in the woods next door that could use some cleanup. While in theory this seems like it could work, I don't believe there's any way that it could be done without the boys climbing all over each other or potentially passing the virus if one of them has it. We had an outdoor Greenbar last week and told the boys to keep their distance from one another, but one Scout (the SM's son!) immediately jumped on the back of another. I'm
  22. My son's BOR was held in a meeting room at a church that the district uses for some meetings. I would describe it as slightly formal. I wasn't in the room with them, but I was across the hall and heard a good bit of laughter, so they seemed to keep it somewhat loose.
  23. What about making videos to send to elderly folks who have to stay out of sight of family for the time being? My mother-in-law is 80 and has a compromised immune system. Even my wife doesn't feel all that comfortable visiting her apartment. My kids are going to start making short videos to send her, to keep her connected to the outside world. I'm sure some folks who don't have a lot of family (or even those who do) would love to receive those things from Scouts.
  24. Thanks for your thoughts. I have had many discussions with my son since I made the original post. He is not going for his Brotherhood, and says the incessant nagging from the SM and his son are part of the reason. There's another Scout in the troop (Life Scout and just finished his term as SPL) who is in the same boat. They were both so turned off by the pressure that they aren't interested. I disagree with my son's stance, but it's not something I'm going to push further because I know it clearly won't do any good. He's only 15.5, so he might change his mind later.
  25. I just saw this on Facebook. I don't deny that many people were hurt before youth protection policies were put in place, but the lawyers are now trolling as a way to make money.
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