To Our Scouting Family and Friends,
With summer fast approaching, families are asking; “Do I still sign up my child for summer camp, will there be alternatives to onsite camping, when will Scouting get back to normal?” These are questions the Catalina staff and volunteers are working hard to answer.
The safety of our members and families continues to be our top priority. On May 14, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a decision tree to guide camp operations, and while the State of Arizona has entered Stage 1, neither has made it any easier to open our programs. We are anxiously awaiting further information from the Arizona & Pima County Health departments, the city of Tucson, the Boy Scouts of America, and the American Camp Association (ACA) to make a more informed decision regarding allowing Scout activities and opening our properties.
Here is the upcoming schedule for meetings and programs:
- The Council Service Center will open with limited public access today, May 18th
- The National Scout Shop will open with limited public access and altered operation hours, on Tuesday, May 19th
- In-person unit, district and council meetings, activities, and programs are closed through May 31st.
- Council Camp properties are closed through May 31st.
Our next update will be June 1st.
Preparing to Restart Scout Activities and Meetings
The Council has been working on ways to reopen Scouting in a way that meets prescribed safety protocols and ensures the safety of our members. As we look to June here is our plan today:
- As our state has entered Phase 1 of reopening – Scout units can begin to plan for den and patrol meetings of ten or less following social distancing requirements. Unit committees of ten or less could also follow these rules. In addition, the Unit would need to seek the guidance and follow the procedures as established by their chartered partners, understand the comfort level of their youth and parents to resuming limited meetings; and keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Stay home when you feel sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Practice social distancing (six feet apart)
- Wear a facemask to avoid spreading your germs onto others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- And in the future as we enter Phase 2 of reopening guidelines a unit could host meetings of fifty or more with social distancing. Larger events such as district program and gatherings could also be planned for. Updates and guidelines will be shared with all adult leaders and posted here as our pathway becomes clear.
Summer Camp Operations
Catalina Council and leadership for the Camp Lawton Summer Camp been hard at work to identify potential operating models that would allow some fashion of summer programs while maximizing our ability to prevent a spread of COVID-19 to our campers, staff, and their families at home.
Each of these models include modifications that go beyond our normal safety protocols such as:
- Wellness checks upon arrival at camp each day
- Safety briefings for all campers and additional training for staff
- Requirement for all attendees, staff, and campers to wear facemasks
- Increased sanitation and disinfection of high traffic areas, program areas, and equipment
- Reduced capacities at camp as well as in classes and program areas
- Selection of tracks rather than individual classes to limit the number of people campers encounter
- Modification or elimination of programs offered that do not fit social distancing models
Once we receive the complete guidance from the CDC, Arizona and County health departments, ACA and BSA, the Catalina Council will finalize operation plans and submit for approval to the County health department the best model that allows for the safety of our campers, staff, and their families.
In addition to these steps, we have been offering and will expand virtual camping programs
Families asked, “do I still sign up for camp?” The answer is yes. “Be Prepared” is our motto and we need to prepare staff, materials, food orders etc. to deliver a high-quality experience. Please continue to sign up. The Council refund policy will fairly return your registration fees if any programs are cancelled.
Scouting Needs Your Help
Scouting in Catalina Council is dependent on income from donations, activities fees, property revenue, and product sales. A large part of the council budget comes from donations to the annual family Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaign. Unfortunately, income needed to support council operations has become very limited.
As a result, Council leadership has prepared various budget scenarios and staffing models to maintain Scouting as best we can. These scenarios account for limited summer programs, delays in reopening Scout meetings, and reduce fall participation in fall scheduled events. What has not changed is the reliance on our members to support FOS with a charitable gift.
Staff and volunteers are working hard to remotely providing service to units, delivering virtual programs, providing support to council operations, and preparing for a full return to Scouting. If you have already given to Friends of Scouting this year, thank you! If not, please consider making your online FOS gift right now. We fully recognize that times are difficult, but we simply ask that if you ae able to make a meaningful gift to help Scouting thrive in southern Arizona. https://catalinacouncil.org/support-scouting/fos/make-a-donation/
This remains an evolving situation our Council will post new information on our website and social media as it becomes available. In addition, please connect with these resources:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- BSA covid-19-faq/
- BSA Prevention: The Key to Successful Control of Infectious Diseases
- BSA Prevention Medical Screening Checklist
- Arizona Depth Health Services preparedness/ -coronavirus-home