Jump to content
WisconsinMomma

COVID fears stalling troop - suggestions?

Recommended Posts

My spouse recently started in SM position.  The dilemma is that the SPL and ASPL are both very concerned about COVID and do not want to have meetings.  It sounds like the objections are -- can't meet in person, can't meet outside, it's getting cold, Zoom meetings don't work.  So, there is no momentum at this point and my spouse wants to honor youth leadership but not have troop life grind to a halt.  The Troop skipped summer camp due to COVID fears.  They've attempted small patrol meetings in a park, and they had a very brief outdoor court of honor.

But, it is very hard when the youth leadership does not want to meet.  Any suggestions?  Thank you.

Side note that many in the Troop got together for an Eagle project and Eagle court of honor.  There is another Eagle COH coming up.  So the fear seems to be uneven. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fears are always uneven.

The small patrol meetings might be the best compromise.

How spread out are you all geographically? Is there a farm or local park where you could camp? What is your school district doing?

All are driving factors. If you could walk to a park and meet with the PLC, that would help.

Edited by qwazse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

My spouse recently started in SM position.  The dilemma is that the SPL and ASPL are both very concerned about COVID and do not want to have meetings.  It sounds like the objections are -- can't meet in person, can't meet outside, it's getting cold, Zoom meetings don't work.  So, there is no momentum at this point and my spouse wants to honor youth leadership but not have troop life grind to a halt.  The Troop skipped summer camp due to COVID fears.  They've attempted small patrol meetings in a park, and they had a very brief outdoor court of honor.

But, it is very hard when the youth leadership does not want to meet.  Any suggestions?  Thank you.

Youth all over are having a hard time with this and are coping with it differently. Be aware some kids are not so much afraid of getting it themselves but may be living with high risk adults and are very fearful of bringing anything home to them. They may not want to verbalize that they are freaked out over losing mom or dad, especially if they are teens. The cold might be more of a convenient excuse in that case.

Many kids are also totally done with zoom.   

Maybe encourage them to think less 'meet' and more is there anything safe and fun they can do as an outdoor activity at least for bonding where they'd be moving around and staying warmer? Social distance hike or outdoor service project like a trail clearing...  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A hike or a bike ride are both great ideas.

Do keep in mind temps are dropping below freezing at night, thus beginning the winter cycle, as far South as Kansas City to St Louis.  Be prepared

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fears are real and founded.  We need to be empathetic to the kids.  

In my experience, what is needed is to pose the problem of not having meetings being a problem that needs to be solved.  Let them know the problem and maybe even some solutions that have worked for other units.  Ask and listen to their ideas and solutions.  I am not doubting that your husband is already doing this BTW.  In my experience if they feel they own the problem they will come up with a solution that they will fight for.

We are much smaller than a troop but we have been able to meet in small groups, masked, socially distanced, and activities following CDC guidelines. Zoom meetings every so often.  So I don't pretend to say our situations are the same.  but there are ways forward.  All our units are hurting and recruitment is almost impossible.  Honestly the biggest problems with people following guidelines have been the adults complaining and not following them.  I pull them aside and have private conversations, normally there is denial and grumbling but they come around.

Here are things I have seen that have worked:

  • Small group camping, youth stay in their own tent.
  • Hikes, masks on whenever they are six feet or closer.
  • meetings in camp chairs in a circle chairs six feet apart learning a scout skill.  
  • Playing scout games like charades. 
  • canoeing, sailing, bicycle rides

Just some ideas.  good luck

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leadership Development is a method of scouting. Here is an opportunity for SM and ASM's to develop leadership skills in their SPL and ASPL and set expectations*.  Breaking down a problem and competition between groups to solve a problem could help ...hmm Patrol Method.

Boy Scouts emphasize "Zoom free" activities during pandemic

http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1418/print/Boy-Scouts-emphasize-Zoom-free-activities-during-pandemic.html

* If there is not a safe, well-planned, and executed outdoor activity in next 30 days, the troop will need a new SPL, ASPL.

Scouting is not about cursing the darkness, it is about lighting the candle...leadership is about where you light the candle under.  :eek:

My 0.02,

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Leadership Development is a method of scouting. Here is an opportunity for SM and ASM's to develop leadership skills in their SPL and ASPL and set expectations*.  Breaking down a problem and competition between groups to solve a problem could help ...hmm Patrol Method.

Boy Scouts emphasize "Zoom free" activities during pandemic

http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1418/print/Boy-Scouts-emphasize-Zoom-free-activities-during-pandemic.html

* If there is not a safe, well-planned, and executed outdoor activity in next 30 days, the troop will need a new SPL, ASPL.

Scouting is not about cursing the darkness, it is about lighting the candle...leadership is about where you light the candle under.  :eek:

My 0.02,

I could not find the quote you posted, but it's been a long night in an ice storm. You are right about lighting the candle instead of curing the darkness. 

When I was teaching SM Specific, the two questions that came up often during the course  were discipline and dealing with bad leadership. The challenge for adults is developing the patience to not take over before the scouts learns enough about themselves to know where they have to change. It's not just leadership that is the challenge, it's personal habits of behavior.

I found that most scouts will accomplish the will of the adults if they are pushed hard enough. But, giving the adults what they want doesn't help the scout grow or change. In fact, the scout is likely to resent the adults so much that they react in the opposite direct and rebel. Rebellion is typically the reaction of being forced to do something that they don't understand.

The adults, as you say, need to give just enough light to the darkness to give confidence for the next step forward. The scout must be the one who decides to take another step forward, or a step back. A positive step forward maybe when the scout decides to withdraw from the responsibility because they found their limits. Maturity isn't instant, it has to grow. It has to be the scouts decision to have a positive impact on their growth.

Barry

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish you the best of luck.  Follow your council and local rules regarding meeting sizes and locations.  Don't feel bad if you can't meet in person for a while.

We are currently operating a Troop in Wisconsin, whose Covid #s are off the chart (my town is now at over 1,000 cases per 100,000 and all schools are switching to virtual).

We were doing "ok" until one of our scouts had Covid-19 and exposed 20 others during a hike.  As our local contact tracers are overrun, I ended up emailing & texting parents informing them of the exposure.  Not fun, but for the most part parents understood. However, our participation dropped given the scare.  

Then, at an outdoor Troop meeting, another scout told some others that he was supposed to be in quarantine but decided to attend our event.  I need to follow up with the scout's parent (who is also a ASM).  

Wisconsin is simply a mess.  Some hospitals in northern Wisconsin are now medevacking severe patients to hospitals in southern Wisconsin.  (My wife's aunts brother was one … 65 years old, vented and airlifted out).  

Our Council has now banned all indoor meetings and said Troops/Packs are essentially on their own for outdoor meetings.  We plan to restart zoom/online meetings.  I expect to lose >25% of our registered scouts.

I hope other states are doing better … use masks, follow social distancing guidelines, don't get into the mess Wisconsin is in.  Whatever you do, do not violate local/state laws, CO or council guidelines.  When I called parents, my only saving grace was that we followed all laws & rules.  I couldn't imagine calling parents if we had violated any of these rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This past Summer, Covid was an issue, but not a terribly imposing issue, and although help is on the way, there are 5 very dark months ahead. 

There is an appropriate time for "program", and citizenship training, but it makes no sense to sit about, and watch power points of fire behavior when the classroom is on fire.  We should all know what to do in this situation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/16/2020 at 10:30 AM, Eagle1993 said:

We were doing "ok" until one of our scouts had Covid-19 and exposed 20 others during a hike. 

Do you know if any of the 20 got covid? We're talking about replacing meetings with patrols doing outdoor activities on weekends or after school if we can get the adults. Great excuse to do patrol activities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hoping by next summer that we can begin to do things.  Our troop has been mostly suspended for the last six months.  

My family caught covid through my son's job.  His co-workers follow the rules, but he deals with 15 - 20 customers a day that don't believe it's real and refuse to wear masks or stay home and quarantine.  By the time we knew he was sick, we were all infected.  Most everyone in the family had minimal symptoms.  I've been the hardest hit.  I was very sick for two weeks (fever, cough, exhaustion, etc).  I'm still feeling fatigue and other minor symptoms after five weeks.  This needs to be taken seriously.  

I'm sad our troop has not been very active, but I'd hate for our troop activities to be a cause of a parent or relative getting sick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I'm hoping by next summer that we can begin to do things.  Our troop has been mostly suspended for the last six months.  

My family caught covid through my son's job.  His co-workers follow the rules, but he deals with 15 - 20 customers a day that don't believe it's real and refuse to wear masks or stay home and quarantine.  By the time we knew he was sick, we were all infected.  Most everyone in the family had minimal symptoms.  I've been the hardest hit.  I was very sick for two weeks (fever, cough, exhaustion, etc).  I'm still feeling fatigue and other minor symptoms after five weeks.  This needs to be taken seriously.  

I'm sad our troop has not been very active, but I'd hate for our troop activities to be a cause of a parent or relative getting sick.

I'm sorry to hear that you experienced this first hand and hope you are fully recovered soon. I know. Many people do not take this seriously. Be well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, MattR said:

Do you know if any of the 20 got covid? We're talking about replacing meetings with patrols doing outdoor activities on weekends or after school if we can get the adults. Great excuse to do patrol activities.

I've been concerned because the documented youth transmission cases that have occurred in our area have mostly been during outdoor sport practices, not in class and in school. In practice, even if they are doing socially distanced drills and eschewing locker rooms, they are not wearing masks. This virus does not like heat, humidity or  sunlight, so as winter temps cool and become dryer. wear your masks and forget about 6 feet social distance stay 12 feet away even in open air. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I suspect different sports carry different risks. That's why I was wondering about hiking in particular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reduce the size of the pod. Go for patrol activities. Let the adults be within earshot but outside the activity area. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...