Blog submitted by Scout Executive, Chuck Eaton
We hope you and your circle of family and friends are doing well during this crisis.
Earlier this week, we shared our plans for providing summer programs to our scout families through a series of virtual meetings. Our plans will meet or exceed all the health and safety protocols and provide outdoor experiences that serve children this year. You can view the Slide Show that we presented.
We deeply understand that children are only eight, eleven, or thirteen years old once in their life and each childhood year has unique development needs and opportunities. Children grow so much during each year. Their sense of right and wrong, their self-esteem and ability for self-reliance are uniquely developed during these childhood and adolescent years. Camp supports the development of these lifelong attributes. Losing a summer experience for adults is a disappointment, but for a child it could alter or inhibit the growth of their sense of self.
In addition to these concerns, family dynamics are also rapidly changing. Family members are experiencing unemployment, while another family member may have extreme work demands. Instant homeschooling and the pressures of cabin fever have been building for months. Camp provides relief to all those family pressures.
To meet these competing needs, and in trying to navigate the rapidly shifting and unstable forecasting, we realize the greatest attribute for Scouting and camp will be nimbleness and flexibility. The curve could flatten, and we’ll want to open camp; the curve could spike, and we’ll want to support stay at home measures. To generate the greatest flexibility, we’ve developed a “multi-modal and modular” structure. You can learn more about our thinking through a recent interview and podcast through WBZ, WZLX, WHDH and 101.7, IHeart radio stations and their New England Weekend Podcast.
You can also see the elements of our Multi-Modal Programs and Modular Programs approach through NewEnglandBaseCamp.org
These solutions provide so much more support than simply answers to summer camp. The multi-modal and modular approach will provide value to Scouts and children well beyond the current crisis. The Spirit of Adventure Council is able to adapt and deliver quickly because of our innovative approach to supporting Scouting. In addition to our summer and fall plans, we are in discussions with several school districts and families so we can anticipate needs as students go back to school in September. Schools will clearly have to adapt to new social distancing standards which will impact bussing, cafeteria, classroom size and team sports. We believe this multi-modal and modular methodology will provide solutions to serve family’s child-care and educational needs.
The articles below address the potential changes to the education system based on Covid19. When reading articles like these or speaking with educators it becomes clear that Base Camp and Scouting is uniquely positioned to adapt and meet these needs.
- Brookings Article, How will COVID-19 change our schools in the long run?
- Forbes, Four K – 12 Education models that may gain popularity during Covid 19.
“Neighbors may decide to form their own in-home learning co-ops, taking turns caring for and educating each other’s children while balancing their own work schedules..” (from the Forbes article, this sounds a lot like a Cub Scout den)
Comments from parents of children currently involved in Base Camp Online or our Home School programs:
“Thank you for taking your time to help Scouts like my son continue to be productive during this time! Have a great day!” – George Knox, Dad.
“Thank you for all that the Council is doing with remote learning opportunities. You guys have done a great job of delivering meaningful content and providing for group interaction. And you started it early.” – Alex Earp
“You have been much needed support and consistency during a really stressful time for our family.” – Amanda Ciccolo, mom
He said, “I just can’t explain how fun it was.” That must be the greatest compliment for you as a teacher. For me as a parent, well, I am just so grateful. Thank you for making learning a magical experience for my sweet River. You are both so special to us.