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Summer Camps and the Coronavirus

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Our council is going forward with summer camp starting in July.  Lot's of policy and protocol to follow to keep in line with CDC guidelines. I'm not sure how much "fun" it will be for the adult leaders and the camp staff, but I hope it will be a good time for the Scouts.  For the first time in many years, I won't be going there for a weekend visit or two due to a very strict no-visitor policy.

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On 6/9/2020 at 2:28 AM, WAKWIB said:

Our council is going forward with summer camp starting in July.  Lot's of policy and protocol to follow to keep in line with CDC guidelines. I'm not sure how much "fun" it will be for the adult leaders and the camp staff, but I hope it will be a good time for the Scouts.  For the first time in many years, I won't be going there for a weekend visit or two due to a very strict no-visitor policy.

Fred Harvey-ish tables of 8 in the dining halls of HRB and Naish, and mass picnic tables under the shelter of Bear Camp. .  I wonder how Camper Timmy and his leaders will eat?

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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.

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Massachusetts --Camp Squanto is planning on opening in July...One of the guidelines is there has to be 2 medical staff on duty 24 hrs per day ..Another guideline is NO out of state troops may come to the camp --that is very sad since we have a troop that fly's in from Texas and another that drives from CT ...NO merit badges for aquatics or shooting sports ..And their plan for meals is they will deliver all meals to the camp sites … All of this is contingent on the town of Plymouth giving them their permits  Comments ?  Opinions ?

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59 minutes ago, Ronmass said:

Massachusetts --Camp Squanto is planning on opening in July...One of the guidelines is there has to be 2 medical staff on duty 24 hrs per day ..Another guideline is NO out of state troops may come to the camp --that is very sad since we have a troop that fly's in from Texas and another that drives from CT ...NO merit badges for aquatics or shooting sports ..And their plan for meals is they will deliver all meals to the camp sites … All of this is contingent on the town of Plymouth giving them their permits  Comments ?  Opinions ?

What you are describing is what many camps had to consider and plan for, and many just declined to run this summer.

Once you take out the dining hall meals, aquatics, shooting sports, assemblies, and campfires...is it really summer camp?  Yes you are camping in the summer, but is it "camp".  Basically it is troops camping in the same area, but no interaction.  That is part of the fun of Summer Camp.  Seeing and being with the other troops.  Games in the fields, Ga Ga pits, trading post porch, etc.

Without all of that the expense and trouble is most likely not worth it.  Our camps cancelled and we are doing our own summer camp.  If the above had been the plan, we would have gone it alone anyway,

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Jameson76....My exact feelings … FYI  No formal first and last night campfire programs,  Apache Relay or Family night … "All or none" is my feelings for this year … Just having a regular year Summer camp is  stressful for the staff .. just imagine the stress this Summer..Not worth it … I always loved Summer camp because the scouts interacted with other scouts and adults … "Just not worth it "

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I expect in many areas, school will utilize virtual learning full or part time through the fall and possibly spring.  It is very possible the cases continue to grow and restrictions could return this fall and winter.  I'm looking at summer camp as simply an oasis in the middle of the pandemic.  Get the scouts out of the house and provide them an opportunity to do some scouting with their patrol & Troop. 

Yes, it is not traditional summer camp, but we haven't camped since Klondike (February) and due to local rules would struggle to do so this summer. We've lost out on multiple backpacking overnights, a couple of camp outs, a white water kayaking trip and 2 crews to Philmont.  The fall camporee was already cancelled and I have a bad feeling about Klondike.  We attempted to setup other camping trips but state parks are not an option.  In addition to summer camp, we are working to quickly get an short trip to BWCA to make up for Philmont.   

My ASM was down on our summer camp plans as well, but I emphasized that he should look at what is being offered vs what is not.  This maybe one of our last opportunity to camp until next spring or summer. 

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On 6/12/2020 at 10:34 AM, John-in-KC said:

Fred Harvey-ish tables of 8 in the dining halls of HRB and Naish, and mass picnic tables under the shelter of Bear Camp. .  I wonder how Camper Timmy and his leaders will eat?

@John-in-KC  I only know the plan at Bartle will be to have meals delivered to the campsites.  If/when anything is served in the dining hall it will be a limited capacity type of thing to allow for social distancing.

 

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On 6/17/2020 at 1:00 AM, WAKWIB said:

@John-in-KC  I only know the plan at Bartle will be to have meals delivered to the campsites.  If/when anything is served in the dining hall it will be a limited capacity type of thing to allow for social distancing.

 

The critters, which already actually climb on the cots at night, are going to have a field day with this “great idea”. 

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Just returned from Camp Freeland Leslie.  They kept our Troop together for the entire week as went through the weekly schedule (no mixing with other Troops/campers).  Scouts had 6 - 7 merit badges with 2-3 complete on average (so a lot of partials this year … but who cares).  We had 1 visit to shooting sports (a 2nd was cancelled due to storms).  3 trips to the water front.  Scouts were able to eat their fair share of ice cream.  Plus, CFL is a patrol cooking camp, so not much changed there.

The week was hot and rainy, but the scouts had fun.  Overall, a great experience given the circumstances. 

It will be even better if my test comes back negative (I plan to take a Covid-19 test later today and should get the results back in 3 to 4 … so hopefully that goes well).  I signed my son up for testing tomorrow.  Very minor symptoms that is typical of any time I go to camp (likely allergies).  I doubt I have it,  but National Guard is offering tests in my area and encouraging proactive testing so I thought I should go ahead.

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Our troop went to Summit Merit Badge Camp June 18 - July 4. I don't know if anyone got tested, but we're required to report back to Summit if anyone gets sick. We have no reports.

There were only 270 people there that week with 700 the following week. There were no reported illnesses during the week our troop was there.

WV recently reinstated some restrictions. Some sound like if they were applied to Summit, then Summit would have to close. I've seen no updates on Summit's site since June, so I assume they're still operating.

I've been searching for news stories, and I'm not seeing anything indicating Summit has to close.

They did just postpone the 2021 Jamboree.

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/07/14/bsa-postpones-2021-national-jamboree-because-of-covid-19-pandemic/

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We had a small group of scouts attend Camp Rainey Mountain in Northeast Georgia Council.  Everyone was required to take a Covid test prior to attending, so we knew that at least a week prior to camp everyone in attendance was ok.  That could have changed with someone being infected after testing, but it appeared that everything went well in that regard, on one sent home during the week after becoming ill or not being cleared during twice a day temperature checks.

There were things that were either modified or deleted from the program, such as shutting down ga-ga ball (although I am sure that the scouts would have all maintained social distancing in the pit 😁), no blob at the waterfront, no mile swim, area campfires with only a couple of units, no sharing of campsites (we had more than enough tents for individual tenting).

Programming was modified to only offer 4 blocks of instruction during the day, and there were things that were not offered that are usually available, but the scouts went from program area to program area pretty much the same as always.

Dining hall seemed to be normal operation, other than splitting into shifts to keep numbers low.  It looked to me as if we had maybe 30% capacity during meals.

Staff was tested weekly, and wore masks at all times when out of the staff area.  We were told on Friday that they had a couple of asymptomatic positive tests last week, who were isolated and then sent to the health department for retesting (they have evidently had this occur a couple of times, and after retesting found (hopefully) that they were false positives.

My scouts were happy with the trip, and everything about the camp other than the intense rain we had just about every afternoon.

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We are in the midst of our own "self" summer camp right now.  

Running merit badge classes and typical summer camp foolishness.  No shooting sports but many other things

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Camp Conestoga was a welcome break for our scouts.

The aquatics director did me a solid and helped me re-update BSA guard including my CPR cert and a thorough first aide review. I told him it was a little weird seeing the other side of their “little square lake” during swim qualifiers. He actually apologized for landing the black 10 pound weight on the black and marker. I thought it was the most visible weight I had to retrieve in a long time!

Their trades program area was a hit with four of our boys. I let the welding instructor know that he was the topic of conversation at many dinners (which the older scouts picked up at the dining hall and brought back to camp). Their handicraft area had stained glass, which if it weren’t for the recertifications, I would have jumped at. I did walk by one day and those grinders were humming! Funny how something that’s not a merit badge could be so popular.

The night sky was excellent. The food was good, although in retrospect we probably would have done better to bring our own and worked on patrol cooking.

I did miss chatting with SMs in the program hall. I was sad to see it empty. Their was sufficient space for distanced flag ceremonies and campfires. Because sanitizers were used at full strength, staff took responsibility for cleaning shower houses. Yes, I missed sending the scouts off to their day of latrine duty.

By day four and no fevers, you could tell the sense of relief.

 

 

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We did our own program. We did an activity based program instead of MBs. Activities included Canoeing, Cycling, Emergency Preparedness and Wilderness Survival. We were super flexible. Our emergency preparedness drill and survival shelter building took a lot longer than planned.  Cycling 22 miles wore them slammed out, and the afternoon was spend chilling out, advancement sign offs, and SM Conferences (5 total).

#1 complaint was no showers, they had to use spigots in the campsite. The PVC shower they created fell apart while the first scout was in it. So far no problems.

 

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