Coronavirus Updates

Scouting Activities & Meetings

Notice: Convert all Scouting activities to virtual meetings and lessons. We will be providing a host of online Scouting activities for families and units to conduct in their homes. All customer service and council meetings will be virtual.

We realize with schools closed for extended periods kids and families will be looking for educational and fun activities. These are great opportunities to review the depth of the Scouting program and work on badges not in your particular unit’s schedule. Remember that any electronic communication involving a youth member must adhere to BSA’s “two deep” leadership policies.

Scouts working towards Eagle: Due to the current situation—effective immediately and through September 30, 2020—council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions. Read the Full Advancement Q&A

View All Previous Announcements on Conducting Scouting Activities

ONLY Virtual & Online Scouting Activities: Notice: Convert all Scouting activities to virtual meetings and lessons.We will be providing a host of online Scouting activities for families and units to conduct in their homes. Both Scout Shops will be closed. All customer service and council meetings will be virtual.We realize with schools closed for extended periods kids and families will be looking for educational and fun activities. These are great opportunities to review the depth of the Scouting program and work on badges not in your particular unit’s schedule. Here are a couple programs ideas for different ages to help you get started.

Announced 3/16/20- Email from Chuck Eaton

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

District and Commissioner Level Meetings and Recommendations: The Spirit of Adventure Council remains committed to the health and safety of our Scouts, Scouters, and Staff. The Council has put together some guidelines for Council and District activities and events.

  • Roundtables

    • All April Roundtables should be moved to an online platform, or postponed.  The council is working on setting up a bunch of online platforms for districts that need assistance.
  • District Pinewood Derbies

    • March activities are to be cancelled or postponed to a later date.  Efforts should be made to minimize the total number of participants and spectators at any given time.  Specific time shifts for the different ranks and races should be set up, with strict rules on who can remain and watch.
  • District Dinners

    • The key items to keep in mind for the District Dinners is:

      • Considering capping the size of the group
      • Food distribution – boxed or plated servings is preferred, rather than family style or buffet.
  • Eagle Board of Reviews

    • If at all possible, these should be done by Skype, or Facetime, or some other online platform.  Another suggestions is to conduct them outdoors, rather than in a small room.
  • Advice for Units in regards to whether they should meet or not

    • Please refer them to the Scouting Activities & Meetings Section of the Council Corona Updates Page:
    • This can be an outstanding opportunity for our Scouts BSA Troops to practice the Patrol Method and conduct business in their Patrol Meetings.

Announced 3/14/20- Email from Jonathan Pleva

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scouting Activity Recommendations: The safety of our scouts and campers is our first concern. Our goal is to help families make informed decisions about programs and activities with regards to the Coronavirus.  We do this by working with our local health departments and organizations such as the CDC. Of course, we want to follow the practical advice that has been shared already:

  • Social distance
  • Hand washing
  • Staying home with any symptoms
  • No physical contact

Indoor Activity/Meeting Considerations

  • Indoor meetings or activities with more than 12 participants should be postponed or broken down into smaller groups
  • Consider the size of the room and the ventilation for the room
  • For example, a pinewood derby could be broken down to individual dens showing up at different times. In this example, the track could be wiped down between races to limit any risk.

With regards to the outdoor activities, the CDC has continued to say that outdoor activities carry only a small risk.

Outdoor Activities

  • Camping is considered a low risk activity because of its remote nature and ease of creating social distance
  • Kids would have a space 3x the size of a classroom for their patrol sites
  • The ventilation of the outdoors is far better than any indoor ventilation
  • Adults should monitor behavior/activities to ensure hygiene and social distance
  • Outdoor activities should still follow the same methodology- small groups (patrols, dens and crews under 12 people)

Announced 3/13/20- Email from Darrin Johnson

 

Scout Shop & Service Center

All camps, facilities, service centers and Scout Shops are currently closed. Leaders are still able to order Advancements from National Supply.  Please follow the instructions here. 

Event Cancellations & Reschedulings

All programs at Base Camp, Express and New Hampshire camps will be postponed. We will relaunch programs including those being rescheduled at later dates. No new programs will be released until after the Governor lifts the State of Emergency for Massachusetts. 

View All Announcements on Event Cancellations
  • Programs cancelled in March; relaunch in April: All programs at Base Camp, Express and New Hampshire camps will be postponed through the end of March. No new programs will be released until after the Governor lifts the State of Emergency for Massachusetts. Starting on the first weekend of April, we will relaunch programs including those being rescheduled following these guidelines with specific changes... Announced 3/13/20- Email from Chuck Eaton
  • Order of the Arrow Cancellations: All Pennacook Lodge activities scheduled for today have been cancelled. There will not be Block meetings nor the Lodge Executive Committee (LEC) meeting. No information is known or available yet about rescheduling.Information about planned upcoming events will be forthcoming, but Arrowmen and parents can plan that the Lodge Banquet scheduled for March 22, the NOAC Information Session scheduled for March 29 and the Day of Service scheduled for April 4 are all being postponed. Updates on these events to be sent out as soon as available. Announced 3/15/20- Email from Tom Markham
  • Merit Badge Classes Cancelled:  We will continue to sanitize all the facilities at both locations. This process will continue tonight, tomorrow and into the weekend.For this reason, we will not be offering any programs at Base Camp Express this weekend. Both “Signs, Signals and Codes” and “Surveying” Merit Badges will be rescheduled to a later date. No new programs will be released until after the Governor lists the State of Emergency for Massachusetts. Announced 3/13/20- Email from Darrin Johnson
  • Merit Badge University & Math Science Technology Expo rescheduling: Thank you for your feedback and questions about when the badges will be released. We are working with the instructors for each of the events to come up with the schedule. We will release these badges shortly after the State of Emergency has been lifted.We will share with you the dates and times for the badges. Registration for the badges will be opened to you first, before it is opened to the general Scouting community. Thank you for your patience during this time. Announced 3/12/20- Email from Darrin Johnson
  • Museum of Science Overnights: The Museum of Science has officially cancelled trips on March 13th and March 27th.  Groups who registered for these dates may either request a refund or reschedule to a date later this spring.  Announced 3/12/20- Email from Jenny Trickett
  • Math Science Technology Expo Change: We are continuously working with local health authorities, the CDC, and UMass Lowell with regards to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  Our priority will always be to keep participants, instructors, and everyone’s family safe and healthy. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the Expo at UMass Lowell at this time. Instead, we will be offering all the Math Science and Technology merit badges at New England Base Camp and Base Camp Express throughout the rest of the year. It is important that Scouts still have opportunities to work on these badges and learn from our professional MSTE instructors. Therefore, you will be receiving another communication with two vouchers to be used toward other programs where you can work on merit badges. You will receive advance notice when the merit badge programs, taught by MSTE counselors, open for registration. Announced 3/11/20- Email from Darrin Johnson
  • Merit Badge University Change: We are continuously working with local health authorities, the CDC, and Harvard University with regards to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Our priority will always be to keep participants, instructors, and everyone’s family safe and healthy. For this reason, we have decided to cancel April’s Merit Badge University at Harvard at this time. Instead, we will be offering all the MBU merit badges at New England Base Camp and Base Camp Express throughout the rest of the year. It is important that Scouts still have opportunities to work on these badges and learn from our professional MBU instructors. Therefore, you will be receiving another communication with three vouchers to be used toward other programs where you can work on merit badges. You will receive advance notice when the merit badge programs, taught by MBU counselors, open for registration.  Announced 3/11/20- Email from Darrin Johnson
  • Museum of Science Overnights: The Museum of Science is allowing late cancellations and refunds for dates during this season.  Announced 3/10/20- Email from Jenny Trickett
  • How we make decisions about closings: We have received many questions about the potential need for the closing of programs, camps, and home school activities.  Because our programs are at different locations, of different sizes and have a variety of participants coming from different towns and cities, decisions about closures are very complex. The Spirit of Adventure Council and New England Base Camp will make decisions about closures on a case-by-case basis. We recognize that closing a program or activity has repercussions on every family.  We are working closely with the CDC, the local health departments, and the locations where activities and programs are being held. Announced 3/10/20- Email from Darrin Johnson

Resources to Help Keep Your Family Safe

  • Talking to Your Child About the Coronavirus: The Boston Globe recently published an article titled, “Help enhance kids’ sense of control amid Corona virus concerns” (March 7th, 2020).  In it, it talks about nine different things that you can do or speak to your child about the situation.  Doing these nine things can empower your child by giving them a sense of control and teaches them how they can help others.  We recommend that you read through the article when you have the opportunity and share with your child. 
  • Follow practical advice that has been shared already from local health departments and organizations such as the CDC.
    • Social distance
    • Hand washing
    • Staying home with any symptoms
    • No physical contact
  • For additional information on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus at home, at work, and at school, please review the resources from the Center for Disease Control and the Masscchussetts Department of Health.

Our Camp Policies

At present, all programs are closed and are being recheduled. We are working with professionals within the field to determine appropriate precautions for our camp properties. When it is deemed safe for camps and facilities eventually re-open, we have identified four areas where we will focus our energy to keep participants safe. See below to view potential procedures in Health Care, Facilities, Food Service, and Staff

View Camp Procedures

Policy Action Items. Working with professionals within the field, we have identified four areas where we will focus our energy to keep participants safe: Health Care, Facilities, Food Service, and Staff

  1. Health Care:
    • Medical staff will be on-site
    • All participants will be prescreened as per the CDC guidelines
    • We will continue open communication with local Boards of Health
    • We will have an Emergency Action plan in place
    • Different activities will consist of smaller group sizes
  2. Facilities
    • All facilities will be sanitized, according to the CDC recommendation, after usage
    • High usage items, such as light switches and door handles, will be sanitized
    • Extra hand sanitizing location, and additional hand washing facilities will be available
    • Indoor programs will be moved to outdoor locations
    • The pool and changing rooms at Base Camp will be sanitized nightly
    • Program supplies will be sanitized after usage
    • Additional signage will be instituted throughout the building
    • All outdoor tables and seating will be sanitized after usage
    •  
  3. Food Service
    • Hayden Lodge’s restroom and seating area will be closed
    • All meals will be turned into boxed meals
    • All meal consumption will be done outside
    • Extra cleaning and sanitation will be done in accordance to the CDC
    • Additional signage will be placed within Hayden Lodge and the outdoor eating space
    • Water will be served outside
  4. Staff
    • All staff will go through pre-screening as per CDC guidelines
    • All staff will go through additional training by UMASS Boston nursing school professors
    • Additional medical staff will be available onsite
    • We continue collaborating with local health departments and the CDC
  • Announced 3/12/20- Email from Darrin Johnson