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49 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

I WISH it was a "pol."  But BSA has clearly said it's a POR.  😐

Either way, just pause it. Or end it and restart it. Talk to the scouts and ask them what they think is right. I have a hunch they'll understand. And for those that are so driven for check boxes, this could be a blessing for you as you'll get them out of the way.

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44 minutes ago, yknot said:

I think you have to adapt to your demographics. I hear about troops in other parts of the country that are very active in the summer but it in our area it's almost impossible to pull off.  Very few people are around enough to do much more than summer camp and some ad hoc stuff. We are also perennially short of adult volunteers, most of them are two career families, and most of them seem to want to kick back some over the summer. Summer is really not that much of a break in family activity anymore. 

As far as the OP, I think the key is to set expectations ahead of time. Our unit has never held fast to the idea of six months fully active. However, even with a summer let down or during a Covid pause, there are tasks that can be done related to the POR. Same thing with a scout that took a POR but found out he had a conflict with some of the meetings. We didn't extend his term, we just made it clear he needed to delegate so his job was done even when he couldn't be there. Every troop seems to do it a little bit different. The only approach I don't like is the no show POR -- the scout who gets credit for having his name down on a piece of paper but never actually does anything. 

I agree.  Demographics and also the culture of the troop. If your troop has always done it, the parents and scouts know what to expect and that could be part of why they're in your troop. 

If you try to make a large cultural change, it could meet resistance. Sometimes that's necessary, but sometimes it's tilting at windmills.

We have HA in June and summer camp in July, so August is really our only no activity month. Meetings end in June when school ends (we usually meet at an elementary school in normal times).

Do your best to deliver the BSA program to your troop. This Covid year+ has made us adapt to having meetings at 2 homes outside. Camping, when we could, was different. Nothing in life has been ideal, but we play the cards we're dealt as best as we can. Same is true for summer scout meetings and activities. Do what works best for your troop.

I'm an avid concert goer and bought tickets this morning to see Genesis in November, so let's kick this pandemic's butt and get back to normal. :)

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1 hour ago, 69RoadRunner said:

... Keep in mind this is shot 2 for me. The other adult is fully vaccinated. Shot 1 of Moderna for me 4 weeks later does provide good Covid protection. Clearly 2 shots does much better and I'll be happy when I'm fully vaccinated.

My son is 17 and gets shot 2 of Pfizer the same week.

I was scheduled for J&J on the day they started the pause.

Last month I was giving condolences to the family of a neighbor who only got his 1st dose, so if I sound paranoid it's because the math is adding up in a boots-on-the ground fashion.

We're all playing an odds game, and success is more likely if others around you have been vaccinated. Still, we're talking being exposed to uninfected youth who, if infected, tend to be asymptomatic. We're a cut above folks in E-Rs and respiratory clinics, and that comprises the folks who I know got sick 7-14 days after second dose. But then again most of the folks who had second doses last month were in those fields.

An Israeli matched case-control study gives us a more real-world understanding, and it seems to indicate that the Pfizer vaccine is 90% effective 7 or more days days after 2nd dose in men. But that's not 95%, and when we get to large-scale distribution, those differences matter. On their charts, new cases of infection, hospitalization, and death seem to stop sometime after about 10 days post-2nd dose while they keep climbing among unvaccinated.   (Aside: I would have done a different analysis given the huge dataset available to them, but I think I would find roughly the same conclusions, just a little more precision in the analysis.)

Kicking a pandemic's butt is what we're after. So that means making sure we "respect the wildlife pathogen." My guess is that for every person who gets sick after their jab, 5 people will conclude that the vaccine won't work. If your scouts see you being cautious during that window, they will understand that and be more likely to make sound judgements if/when the vaccine is approved for them.

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10 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

If you try to make a large cultural change, it could meet resistance. Sometimes that's necessary, but sometimes it's tilting at windmills.

Change, or not, is really about program quality. Not, trying to conform with lacking resources. Can you improve on "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law" by being more active in the summer months.

I don't know, but, if let's say you wanted to try a month where the patrols propose, plan and run a patrol campout, or activity, giving them more practice taking full autonomy of their program, as an attempt to give them more opportunities to make ethical and moral decisions, then likely you will not meet a lot of resistance. 

True, summer brings the challenges of family vacations, but a patrol of 2 (or even one) can have a really great experience planning their own campout. And, in our own experiences where we needed more adults for YP requirements, we have asked non leader parents to tag along, suggesting to both the scouts and their parents that the scouts take good care of the parents because they don't have clue. My 37 year old son was reflecting last week on a similar experience his patrol had at Philmont when he was a scout. It was summer, their crew needed adults and none of the leaders where available because we had three HA crews that summer. We talked two parents on going on an experience of a lifetime where their sons. .Everyone had a great time.

I not telling you what to do, you know your troop best. But, there are ideas if you want to consider trying more program in the summer.

Ironically, our scouts wanted to be SPL in the summer because we let them have total leadership over the troop at summer camp. It is a full time job and they wear themselves out, but they also value the experience, and we pay their way to camp. But, on the other side of that, the ASPL gets the opportunity to be SPL for a few weeks while the SPL takes a well deserved break. And, other scouts get opportunities to lead with the High Adventure activities as well as the troop. Lots of opportunities for scouts to get some leadership experience. Even in a minimal program.

Barry

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2 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Last month I was giving condolences to the family of a neighbor who only got his 1st dose, so if I sound paranoid it's because the math is adding up in a boots-on-the ground fashion.

We're all playing an odds game, and success is more likely if others around you have been vaccinated. Still, we're talking being exposed to uninfected youth who, if infected, tend to be asymptomatic. We're a cut above folks in E-Rs and respiratory clinics, and that comprises the folks who I know got sick 7-14 days after second dose. But then again most of the folks who had second doses last month were in those fields.

An Israeli matched case-control study gives us a more real-world understanding, and it seems to indicate that the Pfizer vaccine is 90% effective 7 or more days days after 2nd dose in men. But that's not 95%, and when we get to large-scale distribution, those differences matter. On their charts, new cases of infection, hospitalization, and death seem to stop sometime after about 10 days post-2nd dose while they keep climbing among unvaccinated.   (Aside: I would have done a different analysis given the huge dataset available to them, but I think I would find roughly the same conclusions, just a little more precision in the analysis.)

Kicking a pandemic's butt is what we're after. So that means making sure we "respect the wildlife pathogen." My guess is that for every person who gets sick after their jab, 5 people will conclude that the vaccine won't work. If your scouts see you being cautious during that window, they will understand that and be more likely to make sound judgements if/when the vaccine is approved for them.

The good news is, Covid transmission is rare outside and we'll be outside the whole time. We did Northern Tier last summer as well as summer camp at Summit (I only did NT). We have more than half the adult population fully vaccinated. Cases are dropping as are hospitalizations and deaths in this country. 

There's no such thing as zero risk. We can't live in perpetual lockdown. Just as there are too many people who thought the virus was fake, there are too many people who want us to continue hiding in fear. 

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@Eagledad for 3 consecutive years, we had a camping activity scheduled in early June and they had to be canceled every time due to people not signing up. 

August is the month that high school sports and band have summer stuff going on. Our school year used to start after Labor Day and ran until late June. Now it's just before Labor Day to mid June. We lose our meeting place when school closes.

We try to make HA in late June now. Summer Camp is July. Even during the non-summer months I have difficulty getting commitment to multiple weekend activities in the same month.

There's usually some sort of meeting of the HA participants in June as well. So, really, August is our only month without program. Adults and scouts need the break, in my opinion, but if a troop has a successful summer program, that's great! 

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OK, it's your troop. Also, they don't have to do big activities. Meeting for a movie (covid?) might be fun to organize.

As I said, its about quality of the BSA mission. Taking a break my be just that.

Barry

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Every year for twenty-five years, Troop 22 did Summer Camp in June, high adventure in July.  Patrol campunts in August.  Planned by the Scouts.  Never cancelled.  

campouts

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7 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Every year for twenty-five years, Troop 22 did Summer Camp in June, high adventure in July.  Patrol campunts in August.  Planned by the Scouts.  Never cancelled.  

campouts

We "stack" in July - half go to HA, half during the same week go to summer camp. But I also like the approach you take: space them out.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

True, summer brings the challenges of family vacations, but a patrol of 2 (or even one) can have a really great experience planning their own campout.

I used to tell patrols: 1 scout, find another patrol; 2 scouts, your choice; 3 or more, you're a patrol. A lot of scouts enjoyed the smaller patrols. Everyone had to help and it was all very fluid. They could cook things that were too hard with 6 scouts. One patrol started their standard for dessert - melted chocolate and some sort of fruit. That patrol stuck together till everyone aged out for no other reason than melted chocolate and some sort of fruit. Well, that and they just got along, but they claimed it was the dessert.

Thanks, that's a really good memory.

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47 minutes ago, MattR said:

I used to tell patrols: 1 scout, find another patrol; 2 scouts, your choice; 3 or more, you're a patrol. A lot of scouts enjoyed the smaller patrols. Everyone had to help and it was all very fluid. They could cook things that were too hard with 6 scouts. One patrol started their standard for dessert - melted chocolate and some sort of fruit. That patrol stuck together till everyone aged out for no other reason than melted chocolate and some sort of fruit. Well, that and they just got along, but they claimed it was the dessert.

Thanks, that's a really good memory.

We had one campout where one patrol only had one scout. It wasn't planned that way, but the other scouts bailed out Friday of that week for one reason or another. The scout had the patrol food, so he said, why not. He got a big ovation from the other patrols at the end of camp before loading cars to go home. He had a lot of fun. 

Barry

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21 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

The good news is, Covid transmission is rare outside and we'll be outside the whole time. We did Northern Tier last summer as well as summer camp at Summit (I only did NT). We have more than half the adult population fully vaccinated. Cases are dropping as are hospitalizations and deaths in this country. 

There's no such thing as zero risk. We can't live in perpetual lockdown. Just as there are too many people who thought the virus was fake, there are too many people who want us to continue hiding in fear. 

Let's be clear about my stumping for the two-week post 2nd dose rule. I am not saying that a scouter needs to be more cautious than he/she was last year. Simply stay the course. Wave #1 was flattened yet some camps, IMHO, closed unnecessarily. The unintended consequence of that was folks traveled further to the few open camp which probably offset risk mitigation. But in general, if you were able to go camping last year, you should be able to do the same this year. Better yet, most of your scouts have their own masks and understand protocol. On the flip side, they will have access to more in-person activity over the next couple of months. Obviously the disease (and subsequent hospitalization and mortality) rates will vary, and that will impact decisions. Still, scoutmaster conferences in the open air remain far less risky than in-person anything else (including ordering that brisket at a really good BBQ). I have never let up on encouraging that sort of thing. Just be aware that there is a real biological clock that has to run before you are 20x less likely to get disease than an unvaccinated person.

This should not change your scouts' responsibilities. In fact, he/she might face more social distancing responsibilities no that camps have their game on. And if your troop is generally less active, encourage your youth leaders to touch base with each scout directly in their charge.

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@qwazse we only shut down last year when required. Then we started meeting at 2 different houses outside because the school was closed to us.

We camped until Virginia reduced group sizes to 10. Then we continued meetings, but as individual patrols and shorter meetings outside.

Once VA opened to groups of 100, we started activities again. First was our mulch fundraiser and now a campout.

We had an outdoor Court of Honor without the potluck dinner we do in normal times. Everything is outside where Covid transmission is rare.

We're doing our best to keep the program going within the Covid safety protocols.

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I always have a few scouts (out of my 11) that cannot participate, because of sports and jobs for part of the year. If they are SPLs, they are good at handing off the position to someone who can make the meetings/campouts. While a scout has limited participation, they do show up on occasion and contribute to the troop via a position of responsibility. Mostly it is training younger scouts first aid, how to cook, etc. The more I let the scouts run their own troop and let them make their own decisions, the more they get something out of the positions of responsibility. That is the spirit of the requirement. 

In Montana, we have tourist season from Memorial Day to Labor Day, then hunting season in the Fall. My troop tries to camp in the spring and later fall to avoid these seasons, but it is getting hard on this old man to camp in the snow and cold. My troop does not close down for the summer. We still meet to prepare for summer resident camps and some and 1/2 short term camps. 

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