Keeping Our Scouts, Volunteers and Families Aware of Covid 19 changes and its Effect on Scouting.
PLEASE READ ENTIRE LETTER BELOW -
COVID-19- UPDATE - October 5,2020
We hope that this letter finds all of you well and that everyone is weathering this storm both physically and mentally, as these are truly trying times and our “New Normal” is different than what any of us could have imagined when the ball dropped on December 31, 2019. I am not sure that when we celebrate the end of 2020, that we are going to see great change to that new normal either.
We wanted to get a message out to all Scouts, Scouters, volunteers and families to make sure everyone has the details and important information for navigating this new normal. I am going to ask that everyone who is getting this email today to please take the time to read it (yes, I know there is a lot of information) and share it with everyone who you know is part of our Scouting family. I also want to apologize in advance to those who get this more than once, as the health and well being of the Gamehaven Council, and all that are part of that family is important to our staff, board and myself.
We ask for your patience and help in disseminating this information, as we are not sure it is getting out to everyone. We continue to get the questions of “Do we have to wear mask outdoors”, “Is camp open” and “Can we meet as a unit”. We try to get all information out in a timely manner however, sometimes that is not always easy as we weigh in and try to understand that information.
An example of this would be number of Scouts in a tent. The Boy Scouts of America does not have a written policy on the number of Scouts in a tent, because of that we (Gamehaven) does not have a written policy. The Minnesota Department of Health says that you can have two people per tent, but Olmsted County Department of Public Health has informed us that the best practice is 1 person per tent that can not provide 6 feet distance between both occupants and adequate ventilation or they reside in the same household. Because it is a best practice we have been sharing, but have not until now put that in writing, as we also must not contradict government leadership. We have shared that information when asked. Many of our units have already made the decision to only have 1 Scout per tent when we got the OK to start overnight camping from the governor’s office in June. Some have also used this as a chance to explore other tenting options.
Here is a list of the important websites that will continue to have the most up to date information:
These above sites are always a great place to start. Please ask questions, if it is unclear and undefined. We speak with the health department several times a week.
The Boy Scouts of America is handling all COVID-19 cases, like we handle injuries in the organization. Which means it is mandatory for every instance of COVID-19 among Scouts, Leaders or Family members be reported using the Boy Scouts of America’s incident reporting tool Riskonnect. You can log into Riskonnect here; here are COVID-19 Supplemental Instructions. Information on incident reporting was shared with everyone in the council on June 24, 2019 in an email titled Scout Safety and Reporting. That was sent out, because the Boy Scouts of America changed when reporting should be done. We will get that email out to everyone again, here you can find a PDF copy of the Incident Report. This PDF version is to help you gather the information before you enter your information into Riskonnect.
Gamehaven Council office is officially open for staff and not the public. That means for us to stay compliant with our COVID-19 plan for reopening that only the staff is allowed in the office suite. We have had an increasing number of customers coming to the office in order to drop of items, try to shop in the Scout Shop or just to chat. As much as we really do like the outside interaction, it is outside of our COVID-19 plan. If the USPS or scanning is not an option to submit items to the office, we are committed to coming and getting that information. If you need items from the Scout Shop, you must order through Pam or Barbara. We usually will be able to get you your items in 1-3 days, as we rotate field staff in and out of the office to limit number of people in the office.
Below, you will find our latest guidelines for Meetings and Gatherings:
· Meetings and gatherings must be maximum of 25 total people (this includes youth, adult leaders, parents and siblings).
· 3-foot radius around each participant should be kept.
· Youth Protection Guidelines followed (two registered adult leaders must be present).
· Recommended that we create PODS (8 youth and 2 adults) for providing program. PODS should remain consistent to limit exposure. There should be no intermixing of PODS. With groups of 25 it allows for 2 pods to be able to take part at the same time.
· Volunteers should also limit intermixing with PODS when at all possible
· Meetings and gatherings should be outdoors, having participants spread out.
· Everyone is required to wear face coverings.
· Health Etiquette should be reinforced.
· Stay home if you are sick
· Hand hygiene
· Cover your cough
· Clean surfaces often
· Avoid shared public amenities (picnic tables, benches, playground equipment and water fountains)
· Contact your Chartered Organization for any guidance they may have.
We encourage Packs and Troops to meet in the outdoors as often as they can while the weather permits. Gamehaven Scout Reservation is available for this as well. You can go online to calendar page on website to reserve camp areas.
Last is Gamehaven Scout Reservation. We officially reopened Gamehaven Scout Reservation on June 26, 2020. We encourage everyone who can to take advantage in order to get Scouts outdoors. Having said that we need every unit who uses camp to make a reservation and submit a roster for compliance with our COVID-19 plan for camp. Without that reservation, you are trespassing on the property. Here is the link to reserve camp and to get the roster from our website. (https://www.gamehavenbsa.org/gamehaven-events-calendar) The roster is now available as a fillable PDF and can be completed , saved to your computer, and then sent as an attachment to Barbara at Gamehaven Council.
Again, this email contains a lot of information. We ask you to please share with everyone in our Scouting family.
Thank you all for all that you do for Scouting!