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ItsBrian

Are your Resident Camps/Summer Camps opening?

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Posted (edited)

I’m just trying to get a feel to see if any councils have canceled their summer camp programs yet. I’m hoping it doesn’t last that long to where camps can’t open.

I did the other post about high adventure, but I’m wondering overall summer camp programs.

Edited by ItsBrian

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38 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

I’m just trying to get a feel to see if any councils have canceled their summer camp programs yet. I’m hoping it doesn’t last that long to where camps can’t open.

I did the other post about high adventure, but I’m wondering overall summer camp programs.

I doubt it. This is an unprecedented situation so it's hard to say what the future holds. Councils will wait until they have to make that decision. 

Lets take my home state of Ohio for example: This is the latest model from University of Washington: https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections This is assuming our state continues to have the discipline to stay in the very deep shutdown we are in currently. Ohio has been one of the nations leaders in aggressive response tactics to the virus. We're also fortunate as "flyover" country, that we haven't had as many travelers to spread the virus to us. 

According to this model the peak of infections for the State will likely be mid April. Ohio has closed our schools until May 1st. There should be very few cases by June. So far so good. 

For my council, NYLT starts June 6th. Summer Camp Starts June 14th. Here are the challenges:

  • Is the model accurate? Will we still have a stay at home order come late May/Early June when cases are declining? Or do we need to stay home till cases hit zero for a certain period of time? Will there be a second surge of infections over the Summer?
  • Will testing be more widespread by May? Will there be an anti-body test to determine who was exposed to the virus and now has immunity to it? 
  • Does this give us enough time to recruit, hire, train staff? What about getting participant sign ups and collecting money from them? Buying supplies? Sending staff to National Camp School? Will all the staff and participants be able to get their annual physicals done? Will the camp be able to be inspected by the State/County Health Department?
    • Ohio is in a tough spot economically. Many businesses were closed two weeks ago, and all non essential business were closed on the 23rd. 
    • Many Troop leaders might have to use PTO at their jobs to keep some income coming in while they are off work without pay. They may not be able to spare holding it for the summer.
  • How will Troops prepare for Camp if they can't meet until late May? 
  • How will we handle out of State Campers from States that are still battling the virus when camp starts? The virus will be still active in the United States by June, short of a national shutdown order from the Trump Administration asap. That shutdown order is unlikely to happen. 
  • Will the School systems extend the school year to catch up on academic work? Many states have rural or inner city areas where home internet access is unstable or not strong enough for online school. Online education will continue to widen the gap between high performing school districts/students and lower performing districts/students.

There are a ton of unanswered questions here, and its still far too early to answer most of them. I could see a shortened summer camp season for us, if things follow the model I cited above. If the situation deteriorates here in Ohio, I doubt we'd be able to have camp at all. 

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The likely scenario for some areas is it will come down to local authority as well.  Here in MA, we've had some statewide mandates, but the Governor has given local health agents some flexibility for modification on what is "essential".  Some towns/cities have closed parks, others have not.  The state has closed some public parks, but not all.  There is the other potential that our camps might be able to open, but with some modifications.  Local Board of Health could allow the camp to open but require X # of sinks with hot water to maintain handwashing protocols for example.

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22 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

I doubt it. This is an unprecedented situation so it's hard to say what the future holds. Councils will wait until they have to make that decision. 

Lets take my home state of Ohio for example: This is the latest model from University of Washington: https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections This is assuming our state continues to have the discipline to stay in the very deep shutdown we are in currently. Ohio has been one of the nations leaders in aggressive response tactics to the virus. We're also fortunate as "flyover" country, that we haven't had as many travelers to spread the virus to us. 

According to this model the peak of infections for the State will likely be mid April. Ohio has closed our schools until May 1st. There should be very few cases by June. So far so good. 

For my council, NYLT starts June 6th. Summer Camp Starts June 14th. Here are the challenges:

  • Is the model accurate? Will we still have a stay at home order come late May/Early June when cases are declining? Or do we need to stay home till cases hit zero for a certain period of time? Will there be a second surge of infections over the Summer?
  • Will testing be more widespread by May? Will there be an anti-body test to determine who was exposed to the virus and now has immunity to it? 
  • Does this give us enough time to recruit, hire, train staff? What about getting participant sign ups and collecting money from them? Buying supplies? Sending staff to National Camp School? Will all the staff and participants be able to get their annual physicals done? Will the camp be able to be inspected by the State/County Health Department?
    • Ohio is in a tough spot economically. Many businesses were closed two weeks ago, and all non essential business were closed on the 23rd. 
    • Many Troop leaders might have to use PTO at their jobs to keep some income coming in while they are off work without pay. They may not be able to spare holding it for the summer.
  • How will Troops prepare for Camp if they can't meet until late May? 
  • How will we handle out of State Campers from States that are still battling the virus when camp starts? The virus will be still active in the United States by June, short of a national shutdown order from the Trump Administration asap. That shutdown order is unlikely to happen. 
  • Will the School systems extend the school year to catch up on academic work? Many states have rural or inner city areas where home internet access is unstable or not strong enough for online school. Online education will continue to widen the gap between high performing school districts/students and lower performing districts/students.

There are a ton of unanswered questions here, and its still far too early to answer most of them. I could see a shortened summer camp season for us, if things follow the model I cited above. If the situation deteriorates here in Ohio, I doubt we'd be able to have camp at all. 

All good points and I didn’t think of a few of them. My main question was if any council already made the decision. That website you provided is interesting, I haven’t seen it before! 
 

I’m the health officer at a resident camp and I’m wondering how (like you said) the physicals, staff background checks, and all that stuff can be completed in such short time.

You provided very good points, thanks!

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6 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

The likely scenario for some areas is it will come down to local authority as well.  Here in MA, we've had some statewide mandates, but the Governor has given local health agents some flexibility for modification on what is "essential".  Some towns/cities have closed parks, others have not.  The state has closed some public parks, but not all.  There is the other potential that our camps might be able to open, but with some modifications.  Local Board of Health could allow the camp to open but require X # of sinks with hot water to maintain handwashing protocols for example.

This is what I was thinking since each state is handling it differently. We shall see!

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19 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

Lets take my home state of Ohio for example: This is the latest model from University of Washington: https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections 

I've been watching those models and they have been swinging all over the place because we're so early in the epidemic (!). I found another model that shows both okay cases (people stick with the recommendations) and bad (people get lazy, angry, whatever). Here it is for Ohio: https://covidactnow.org/state/OH.

The bad cases tend to peak mid April and tail off early to mid May and the okay cases peak mid May and don't fall below the point where there are enough beds in hospitals until June. They're all really bad for the hospitals.

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1 hour ago, MattR said:

I've been watching those models and they have been swinging all over the place because we're so early in the epidemic (!). I found another model that shows both okay cases (people stick with the recommendations) and bad (people get lazy, angry, whatever). Here it is for Ohio: https://covidactnow.org/state/OH.

The bad cases tend to peak mid April and tail off early to mid May and the okay cases peak mid May and don't fall below the point where there are enough beds in hospitals until June. They're all really bad for the hospitals.

Ohio actually has it's own model online. Ohio State and the Cleveland Clinic: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard/forecast-model/ . It's still way to early to say where this is going to go. I'm mentally prepared that camp will be cancelled, that way I can be surprised and pleased if we go forward. 

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Dates are coming on when payments need to be made, so not sure when all the worlds collide.  Also the troops getting the fees will be problematic as all units are not meeting.

Lots of moving parts and as the current "social distancing" will not be lifted until maybe May 1 (+/- a few days) that only leaves 5 to 6 weeks to get everything in gear.  That means staff disengaged from Schools etc and on-hand for camp, maybe completion of hiring the staff, filling staff holes with folks that were going to but due to circumstances but will now not be able to be there, etc etc etc.  Also camp schools that certify staff have likely been delayed.  Many of the typical bureaucratic BS stuff will need to be cut back so camps can run.

Tough calls that will have to be made.  Local troops can likely stand up a camp much quicker for a week on their own than a council can for multiple weeks if rules are not updated to conditions.

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Posted (edited)

It's going to be interesting.  It can be done; as @Jameson76 mentioned, councils will have to cut the BS to make it happen. 

To summarize thoughts that have been expressed by others here and in other threads:

- Delete a bunch of non-outdoor MBs such as the Citizenship Trio, robotics, etc.  Less staff needed, less time campers are sitting around other people.

- Focus on traditional outdoor activities--boating, orienteering, hiking, shooting.  More fresh air!   Encourage patrol hikes to camp property that is never explored, or was abandoned years earlier.

- Patrol style cooking in the campsite.  Troops bring their own supplies or have food issued through a camp commissary for preparation in the campsite.  Less public health risk than a centralized dining hall.  (And in most cases, better quality meals.  Camps have been trending to the "heat/serve" processed food/pre-school menus.)

- Reduce camp fees to the lowest level possible.  True, this will impact the council's bottom line (already in the red), but it will garner much goodwill and loyalty from families and units that are hurting financially.

- Push back the boundaries of the campsites--more distance between patrols and tents. 

There will be issues to work through.  Big gatherings like flag ceremonies and opening/closing campfires--might have to adjust these a bit. 

The silver lining:  this may be the right time to bring back the more traditional elements of summer camp.  And a more memorable camping experience for all.

 

Edited by desertrat77
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Posted (edited)

This is part of the email that was sent out on 4/3 to unit leaders in Crossroads Of America Council, regarding summer camp at Ransburg Scout Reservation which is located south of Bloomington, IN.

Quote

First and foremost, I hope you, your families and Scouts are all well and staying healthy.  We understand there is a lot of concern and questions about how COVID-19 could affect summer camp.  Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding this health crisis with our Council Health Supervisor from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

We continue to prepare for summer camp and look forward to welcoming all our Scouting families this summer!

We have recently sent contracts to our camp staff, we continue to secure supplies, and we just finalized a dining hall menu with our new food service provider. 

At this time, our goal is to operate camp on the published calendar as originally planned. In order to do that, to the best of our ability, we need to maintain the schedule in place (reservations, merit badge selection, payment structure, etc.)  

**We are keeping the early bird deadline set to April 15.**  

....

After 4/15 the fee goes up by $20, and $20 more after 5/15.   This year the summer camp season is scheduled for 5/31/20 to 8/1/20.

 

Since our troop is also not meeting in person,  I've told our families to contact me and we can work out a time when they can either drop the payment off at my home or I will come to them if need be.     We'll see how it goes.....

 

 

 

Edited by MacBrave

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, MacBrave said:

This is part of the email that was sent out on 4/3 to unit leaders in Crossroads American Council, regarding summer camp at Ransburg Scout Reservation which is located south of Bloomington, IN.

After 4/15 the fee goes up by $20, and $20 more after 5/15.   This year the summer camp season is scheduled for 5/31/20 to 8/1/20.

 

Since our troop is also not meeting in person,  I've told our families to contact me and we can work out a time when they can either drop the payment off at my home or I will come to them if need be.     We'll see how it goes.....

 

 

 

Interesting. Dan Beard pushed back the early bird deadline to 5/15. Our Stay at home order runs until 5/1.

Edited by Sentinel947

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40 minutes ago, MacBrave said:

This is part of the email that was sent out on 4/3 to unit leaders in Crossroads American Council, regarding summer camp at Ransburg Scout Reservation which is located south of Bloomington, IN.

After 4/15 the fee goes up by $20, and $20 more after 5/15.   This year the summer camp season is scheduled for 5/31/20 to 8/1/20.

 

Since our troop is also not meeting in person,  I've told our families to contact me and we can work out a time when they can either drop the payment off at my home or I will come to them if need be.     We'll see how it goes.....

 

 

 

I’m actually shocked the camp is planning to start at the end of May. That’s very close if you think about it. I have a feeling it will not be starting until later in June. 

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5 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

I’m actually shocked the camp is planning to start at the end of May. That’s very close if you think about it. I have a feeling it will not be starting until later in June. 

I agree.  I can't see that working.  Our state (VA) is on a stay at home order until June 10.

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Our council, Patriots' Path, is planning on moving forward as of now.  The early bird deadline is April 24th.  For the first time ever, the camps will be offering 100% refunds, right up until the day camp starts.  I believe the first week of camp is July 5th.

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