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COVID-19 Updates

 


    

UNIT MEETINGS WAIVER

 

Dear Scouting Families & Volunteers –

 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and has limited the council’s ability to conduct business as normal.  From the outset, council leadership has worked diligently in partnership with volunteers to identify, and initiate, as well as pursue new ways to continue to provide life changing experiences to families, youth, and units. 

 

In the month of May, Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, announced plans to reopen public campgrounds, public day camps, youth sports, and swimming pools. The council has been expecting an announcement authorizing resident camps to operate, but no announcement been made to that effect.

 

A task force of volunteers and staff have worked together for several months to develop plans and protocols to operate camping programs safely and effectively. In order to run camp, we must receive authorization from the State of Ohio and the Carroll County Health Department.  While we have submitted our detailed plans seeking that authorization, we have not received it. Neither is there a timeline for being granted permission.

 

Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of our resident camps, day camps, and NYLT for 2020.  This is by far the toughest decision that our Board of Directors has been faced with. The outdoor program in Scouting plays a key role in the growth of young people and we remain committed to providing those experiences. Throughout the pandemic, we have innovated to provide virtual adventures to thousands of youth through HomeScouting and Cyber Summer Camp. Once we receive authorization from the State of Ohio and local health departments, we will be announcing in-person, outdoor experiences to meet the needs of our youth, families, and units.

 

We know this news is disappointing and challenging to you as parents and leaders. Please know we have worked tirelessly to avoid this outcome and continue to adapt our services during this continuously evolving pandemic. We are excited today to announce the reopening of our Service Centers and Scout Shops. Additionally, we are announcing guidelines to allow units to resume meetings and activities. Details on those items can be found below in the Additional Notes.

 

This remains a difficult time for us all, but we have found great encouragement through your leadership and resiliency to overcome obstacles and continue making life-changing impact for kids throughout the pandemic. We remain committed to serving and supporting you throughout your Scouting experience.

  

Additional Notes

 

Camping

All camping reservations at Seven Ranges Scout Reservation, Camp Rodman, and Camp McKinley will be canceled through August 1, 2020.


  

 

 

District and Council Events & Meetings

Event registrations will be cancelled, postponed, or conducted virtually as stated above to future events. All event registrations will be refunded within 4 weeks of the event date. District and council meetings in groups smaller than 10 can begin meeting in person.

 

 

Scout Shops & Service Centers

The Buckeye Council Service Centers and Scout Shops will be opening on 6/3. Customers must sign in, there will be no restroom usage, and face masks are recommended. See below for hours:

 

    Canton Service Center               Canton Scout Shop               Marion Service Center                 Mansfield Service Center            

  Monday-Friday 9:30-5pm         Monday-Friday 10-6pm         Monday-Wed 11:30-6pm              Tuesday-Friday 8:30pm

        CLOSED SATURDAY                   Saturday 10-2pm                    Thursday 11:30-7pm                          by appointment

         CLOSED MONDAY                    CLOSED MONDAY            CLOSED FRIDAY & WEEKENDS

 

Unit-Level Activities

We are excited to announce that units can begin meeting again in person under the guidelines below. Units should follow Steps 1-4 before meeting. Find additional guidelines here.

 

STEP 1 – Develop your Scout Unit’s COVID-19 ‘Restart Scouting Safely’ plan with your unit committee.

 

STEP 2 – Share your plan with your Scout Unit's Chartered Organization. Discuss other requirements and guidelines they
                may have in place and if your Scout unit has permission to begin using their facilities/ space for meetings.

 

STEP 3 – Communicate your unit's plan to your Scouting families. Be sensitive to all families and consider offering a
                hybrid (both in-person and virtual) program to ensure all Scouts have the opportunity to participate. Parents

                should only resume Scouting when they are comfortable. Parents are highly encouraged to ask their unit
                leadership questions about the unit's plan to restart Scouting safely and a unit should ONLY begin meeting if
                social distancing can be ensured.

 

STEP 4 – Monitor & adjust your unit's plan to be current with any new local, state, or federal changes (repeat steps 1-3).

 

  • Units must meet in groups of 10 or less. Be mindful that social distancing may be more difficult for youth than adults. Include two-deep leadership when factoring group size.
  • Always maintain proper social distancing and wear face coverings.
  • No carpooling. Only transport your Scout to and from Scouting activities.
  • No overnight camping until state requirements allow for non-family group camping.
  • For out-of-state Scouting activities, be advised of any destination state's restrictions and other travel restrictions as Scouting plans are developed.
  • Ensure proper cleaning of meeting spaces including Scouting equipment and gear.
  • No sharing of food and no communal food preparation. Scouts should bring their own food/meals to activities.
  • Take precautions for elderly Scouters & those vulnerable including having those Scouts not physically participate.
  • Ensure both youth and adults self-screen (at a minimum) before attending unit functions.
  • Have a prepared plan to address medical protocol should anyone become ill during a meeting or other activity.
  • Maintain attendance records for both youth and adults at all meetings and functions in the event contact tracing is needed.


Properties
While our camps are closed, our properties staff will be expanding efforts to keep our camps safe and healthy. Each
property will be ready to welcome Scouts back as soon as possible.

 

Summer Camp Cancelled

All resident camps, day camps, and NYLT are cancelled for 2020.  This is by far the toughest decision that our Board of Directors has been faced with. The outdoor program in Scouting plays a key role in the growth of young people and we remain committed to providing those experiences once we receive authorization. Throughout the pandemic, we have innovated to provide virtual adventures to thousands of youth through HomeScouting and Cyber Summer Camp. Once we receive authorization from the State of Ohio and local health departments, we will be announcing in-person, outdoor experiences to meet the needs of our youth, families, and units.

 

Any refunds will be made through the vehicle they were paid to the Buckeye Council (unit, family, etc.). If payments are refunded to units, families will have to work with their unit to receive a refund for camp. Find up to date information about summer camp at www.buckeyecouncil.org/covidsummercamp. Buckeye Council asks that all families and units be flexible during this process.

 

Electronic Signatures
Electronic or digital signatures may be used now through September 30, 2020 for all rank advancements, merit badges,
and membership applications. The following qualify as an electronic signature:

  • A copy of the paperwork printed, signed and returned via email or USPS mail
  • An electronic signature program that certifies an electronic signature
  • A simple email communication stating that all requirements have been fulfilled and/or “I approve of the
    attached _____”

 

Eagle Scout Extensions
Effective immediately through September 30, 2020, Buckeye Council has the authority to grant extensions for Scouts to complete requirements for the ranks of Eagle Scout. However, these local council extensions may only be granted if COVID-19 disruptions are the reason the Scout needs extra time to complete these requirements.

Secondly, now through September 30, 2020, BSA will accept electronic or digital signatures for youth applicants and unit approvals on these award applications. This includes printing out the application document, signing it with a pen, scanning/taking a picture, and sending via email or other appropriate communication platform to the next person for signature. See more information here.

 

Eagle Scout Paperwork Submission
Due to the staff working remotely, the Council office is unable to receive mail that is not in an envelope that will fit in our mail slot. Do not box your application or send it in a binder etc.  Send only the Eagle Scout packet in a large flat envelope that will fit in a mail slot. You may also email it electronically to buckeye.council@scouting.org.  

 

Woodbadge Course 2020
The 2020 Wood Badge course has been cancelled.

 

Order of the Arrow Elections & Ordeal
The National OA Director has approved lodges to hold virtual unit elections through July 1, 2020. Due to the cancellation of many induction events, candidates that are elected 2/1/2019 through 7/1/2020 will have 24 months from the date of election to complete their ordeal.

See more information about elections in the Buckeye Council.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

UNIT & DISTRICT MEETINGS AND EVENTS

 

Can units begin meeting?

Yes. We are excited to announce that units can begin meeting again in person under the guidelines below. Units should follow Steps 1-4 before meeting. Find additional guidelines here.

 

STEP 1 – Develop your Scout Unit’s COVID-19 ‘Restart Scouting Safely’ plan with your unit committee.

 

STEP 2 – Share your plan with your Scout Unit's Chartered Organization. Discuss other requirements and guidelines they
                may have in place and if your Scout unit has permission to begin using their facilities/ space for meetings.

 

STEP 3 – Communicate your unit's plan to your Scouting families. Be sensitive to all families and consider offering a
                hybrid (both in-person and virtual) program to ensure all Scouts have the opportunity to participate. Parents

                should only resume Scouting when they are comfortable. Parents are highly encouraged to ask their unit
                leadership questions about the unit's plan to restart Scouting safely and a unit should ONLY begin meeting if
                social distancing can be ensured.

 

STEP 4 – Monitor & adjust your unit's plan to be current with any new local, state, or federal changes (repeat steps 1-3).

 

Are upcoming district and council events cancelled?

Yes. Please see the list of cancelled or postponed district and council events above. All paid reservations will be refunded via a check. District and council meetings may begin meeting in person again, but must be in groups smaller than 10.


 

SUMMER CAMP & DAY CAMPS                                             

Can I move my current registration for camp to 2021?

Yes, you can fill out the deferral formExternal Link to move your registration to 2021. Troops will not be able to move to a different week or different campsite in 2021 at this time.

 

The State of Ohio has allowed day camps to open, why was my district’s day camp cancelled?

The guidelines provided by the State of Ohio for day camps apply primarily to public day camps conducted by fully paid staff by entities such as childcare centers. Ensuring those guidelines are effectively implemented creates an extreme challenge for our volunteer-delivered day camp programs. Additionally, based on current levels of registration and feedback from our day camp volunteer leadership, the Buckeye Council Board of Directors has determined the safest course of action is to cancel all day camp programs for 2020.

 

ADVANCEMENT

 

See specific information regarding the advancement in a separate document here.

 



Please don't hesitate to contact your Scouting professionals with any questions you may have:

 

 


 

Additional Resources:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Boy Scouts of America

 

 

 

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