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Summer Camps and the Coronavirus

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Been attempting to impress on the Council that it must be manditory for all campers and staff be pre tested. Additionally, that staff must be quarantine at the close of camp and re tested before being release. It's a wait and see at this time as testing for the general population is currently not happening.

 

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We've never had this kind of situation before and I think summer plans could be really disrupted. Health officials are talking about an 8 week containment period, which puts us into mid May. A lot of K-12 schools and colleges are planning to be closed until the end of the year. It is not clear whether distance learning will work and in some cases, where labs or facilities are required in order to complete coursework, it won't. It is not clear if COVID 19 will demonstrate any seasonality, i.e., get knocked back by the warmer months. Certainly it's circulating pretty well in the Caribbean, so it might not. Academic schedules are being affected for millions of students and teachers. Education officials are talking about summer sessions which could significantly cut both the attendee and staffing pools for camps. I would plan to go to camp, but make sure there is a refund policy in case your district  suddenly tells you kids needs to finish Algebra l over the summer to be able to enter Algebra ll in the fall. A lot of camps rely on teachers, but if they are running summer sessions,. they may not be available to staff. A lot of unknowns. Make your plans, but think about the contingencies. We all certainly hope this will blow over in a month or two, but who knows. 

 

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So a big question was brought up with my committee today.  Summer camp requires a new med form that is dated no older then 13 months from summer camp's date.  Most doctors in our area are cancelling all non-emergency appointments with no reschedule date.  Assuming a doctors office wont fill out your part C without a recent enough physical, how are we supposed to get proper med forms in time for summer camp?

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13 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

So a big question was brought up with my committee today.  Summer camp requires a new med form that is dated no older then 13 months from summer camp's date.  Most doctors in our area are cancelling all non-emergency appointments with no reschedule date.  Assuming a doctors office wont fill out your part C without a recent enough physical, how are we supposed to get proper med forms in time for summer camp?

I think the answer is that you are not going to have them. We all know how far out many of those well visits need to be scheduled even in normal times. The idea of, once this is over,  being able to get an appointment in a timely manner is probably not realistic. 

I know camp deadlines are approaching and many people are in a quandary. I see two options: 1) go ahead and make plans despite the unknowns as long as there is a refund policy in place at the camp or 2) accept that a decision to camp will need to be made at a later date than normal give all the unknowns. The next couple weeks to month will give us a much better picture of what the summer will look like. No matter what I would be in close contact with your target camp so that they know who might be coming if things settle down enough this summer. Summer camps of all kind -- not just scouting -- are going to have to be flexible about this summer. If everything is a go but current physicals are a problem, camps may need to schedule days for campers to come get a physical from a camp physician the way they do with swim tests.  If it's safe to camp this summer, successful camps will innovate ways to get youth to their programs.  

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All Council activities here are shut down through April 2.  Schools are in a 2 week state-wide shutdown and one source told me today it will be at least 8 weeks.  No one is talking yet about Spring Break or Summer.  My niece just called and her wedding scheduled for May 2 has been canceled because the venue is owned by a college, which is closing for the remainder of the school year.  Frankly, I think in the coming weeks, Summer Camp will be the least of our concerns.

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1 hour ago, scoutldr said:

All Council activities here are shut down through April 2.  Schools are in a 2 week state-wide shutdown and one source told me today it will be at least 8 weeks.  No one is talking yet about Spring Break or Summer.  My niece just called and her wedding scheduled for May 2 has been canceled because the venue is owned by a college, which is closing for the remainder of the school year.  Frankly, I think in the coming weeks, Summer Camp will be the least of our concerns.

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. 

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All activities here are suspended till at least April 1.   

The summer camp we are supposed to go to this year was to have week 4 class registration this coming Tuesday 3/24.   We got an email a couple days ago saying registration for weeks 1 & 2 have now been pushed to April. 

Scouters and Parents,

With the current situation across our country and the world we have decided to push back merit badge registration three weeks. We hope this will allow you time to work with your Scouts virtually, with their parents, in order to get class schedules from them.

Weeks 1-2 will open April 13 at 9AM Eastern

Weeks 3-5 will open April 14 at 9AM Eastern

Our troop is up in the air on making any more payments till we see how this all pans out. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Jackdaws said:

All activities here are suspended till at least April 1.   

The summer camp we are supposed to go to this year was to have week 4 class registration this coming Tuesday 3/24.   We got an email a couple days ago saying registration for weeks 1 & 2 have now been pushed to April. 

Scouters and Parents,

With the current situation across our country and the world we have decided to push back merit badge registration three weeks. We hope this will allow you time to work with your Scouts virtually, with their parents, in order to get class schedules from them.

Weeks 1-2 will open April 13 at 9AM Eastern

Weeks 3-5 will open April 14 at 9AM Eastern

Our troop is up in the air on making any more payments till we see how this all pans out. 

 

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.

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Any org that sponsors summer camps is up against that hard place in front of the rock.   Our faith sponsors three resident camps and a traveling camp for older teens ( a couple hundred miles by bicycle or canoe or foot). Registrations are way down from what they usually are by this time.  Deposit Refund requests have come in.    Along with this, the camp directors have to plan for staff hiring,  training,  cabin prep, site rehab, gear purchase, state inspections and permits,  park entry permits,  ,,, with what cash?   

I have no doubt BSA and GSUSA camps will have the same concerns.  

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With this uncertainty, why not modify the summer camp business model to reduce financial risk, e.g., a rustic, patrol method camp (like a state park) .

Minimum staff - just camp director and lifeguards. Better yet have troops provide water safety plan with their own lifeguards. 

Mess hall closed. Patrol cooking.

No camp store, no nurse.

Troop does its own program.  Interactions, e.g. competitions, campfires with other troops lead by SPL's.

Flexible schedule. Troop can register campsite for weekend, 4 days, whatever.

My $0.02,

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I've posted about being the health officer at a summer camp for the upcoming summer. I'm sure council is doing their part in case we have to regarding refunds and everything as a "what if" scenario, but I haven't heard anything.

I'm not really focusing too hard on it since there's nothing we can do about it. This virus changes so quickly, so who even knows if it will last until June. There's no true studies that show how long the virus is going to last, it's still too early. I wouldn't be shocked if national puts some sort of extra screening process as a precautionary measure if camps are held.

If you look at China, their numbers are already going down. If the US takes the proper steps to prevent the spread (which I believe we aren't doing enough of) then it has a chance of being gone by the summer. 

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While it would be nice to think summer camps will happen I am not putting much faith in it. If the virus was lifted from the earth by end of April. The fear would still be there , The lack of money and other resources by parent who may be just getting back to work.  Finding supplies to open camp may not be possible or very expensive. Finding college age youths to be our staff may be also hard as colleges may be opening for the summer to help make  up for missed classes. This sadly may be the death of a lot of councils and scouting as we know it. All charitable groups fund raising is way down so is friends of scouting. Praying for a rebirth of was and is a good idea fill with good men and woman..

Fr. John 

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