Dear Glacier's Edge Council Scouting Family,
A couple weeks have passed since our last formal communication when I promised to notify you of the latest outlook and plans for our summer operations todayIn addition to some important summer updates, I will also share information on the current status of weekend and business operations at our properties including the unit service center.
During this unprecedented time we have seen some amazing adaptions to our programs in response to the coronavirus. Scouting from Home has become a significant program that has allowed for the continuation of Scouting. The use of various video conference software programs have allowed virtual den, patrol, pack and troop meetings to happen. Scouts BSA units are using these same programs to conduct Boards of Review and merit badge instruction. Virtual campouts are happening including this past weekend when the Indian Trails District conducted a virtual camporee that was attended by more than 400 youth from across the Glacier's Edge Council and from across the country.
Let's begin with summer camp:
Summer camp, whether for Cub Scouts or our Scouts BSA participants is the highlight of the Scouting year. More than 1,300 youth have already paid their camp fees for this summer. Many leaders and parents have told us that the anticipation of summer camp is the lighthouse in the fog that has been the coronavirus situation. We are expecting record attendance as many parents will be looking for opportunities to get their Scouts outside.
As of today, we continue to prepare to safely open and operate our camps this summer. While there is still potential that this could change, we are encouraged by the direction the State of
Wisconsin and the County Governments are taking. We will follow their lead and realize that much still needs to happen for places like camp to be in the position to open and operate with heightened safety measures.
We are beginning to use video conferencing to conduct some staff training to prepare for the 2020 camp season. The enthusiasm from our camp staffs is strong and they are looking forward to the season as much as our Scouts are.
I also want to share a glimpse on some of the additional elements of what "safely operating" our camps in this new environment will entail. While not comprehensive and an ongoing process, we are exploring a number of contingency plans. Many of these considerations will depend on recommendations made by governmental agencies, the American Camp Association, the Boy Scouts of America, and our council physician. Safely operating our camping programs is our number one priority.
Check-in screenings of all staff and campers. Visitors will also have to screened. Screenings would be for any coronavirus symptoms. Those who fail the screenings will not be allowed in camp.
Participants will be required to bring a water bottle with them or may purchase one at the camp trading posts. Additional water filling stations will be installed.
We will strictly follow any new regulations related to changes that might have to be related to food service.
Sickness at Camp - Participants and tent mates presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home.
Unfortunately, Family Night/Activities at both camps may not be held this summer. We will make a decision on this as we get closer to camp. We want to make you aware that this is a possibility.
Hand-washing - Participants will be directed to wash their hands often. Additional hand washing and sanitizing stations will be available.
Shower Houses and Restrooms - Shower houses and restrooms will be cleaned multiple times a day.
Protective Gear - We will be reviewing best methods for use of gloves, masks, etc., while on our properties.
Camp Equipment - We will properly sanitize all community and reusable program equipment after each use.
As stated above, these are all under review as part of the comprehensive evaluation now underway of our standards and policies. As we move forward and get closer to our camp dates, you can expect a comprehensive list complete with instructions.
Also, related to summer camping is the concern over required health forms. I want you to know that we are very aware of the situation and working closely with the national BSA and the State of Wisconsin to determine approved protocol for this summer. We understand that it will be somewhere between difficult and impossible to get a new physical completed between now and summer camp. We believe that a temporary policy will be put into place to mitigate this year's unique set of circumstances. We expect to be able to communicate the updated information in the early part of May.
National Youth Leadership Training, NYLT, scheduled to be conducted Ed Bryant Scout Reservation in June may be moved to August. Discussions and search for dates are happening now and will be announced no later than May 15.
Summer Camping programs. While both Camp Indian Trails and Ed Bryant Scout Reservation are scheduled to open in early June, there is the possibility that we might not open until later in June or as late as early July. We expect to be in a position to make that decision by mid-May as we carefully and thoughtfully follow the State of Wisconsin's orders and work with our local county health departments.
In the event that the dates of camp operation are pushed back we will communicate directly with those affected to let them know their options to participate in a camp experience.
Next, let's discuss council operations. As of today, through Governor Evers Order, Glacier's Edge Council properties are closed through May 26, 2020. All District and Council events will also be postponed. Those who have signed up for events like Wood Badge and the Backpack Camporee will be contacted with new dates.
Council Recognition Dinner. We are working on a new dates. We know that this is a premier event to recognize our Eagles Scouts, Silver Beaver recipients, and other Scouters. Part of the decision will be based on the recommendations from Governor Evers Office. We are looking at a June date and a date later in the summer. While not an ideal time, we do expect that more of our 2019 Eagle Scouts will be able to attend and be recognized.
A live, web based Program Kick-off will be held in place of the in person meetings. Materials will be made available electronically. Look for the details of this important annual planning process shortly in a separate email.
Finally, operations at the Council Service Center remain limited until May 4, 2020 with most of our staff working from home. We are monitoring Governor Evers orders to determine when our offices and Scout Shops can reopen.
We continue to process advancement, including Eagle workbooks, and membership applications. You may mail these items to our Madison Service Center and would encourage you to use Glacier's Edge Council, Post Office Box 14135, Madison, WI 53708
In addition, our entire staff, who remain engaged and focused on serving our units, are available to drop off or pick up items as needed. Simply reach out to your district executive to make necessary arrangements.
Look for another update on our status on May 4th, 2020
I want you to know how much I appreciate your partnership and support as we continue to work through these unchartered waters. I hope your family has been able to participate in many of the terrific virtual programs and offerings. If you have not done so already, please check out our Scouting from Home website: https://glaciersedge.org/2549 You will find an amazing number of resources for your Cub Scouts, Scouts, BSA, and Venturing youth. Check the site often as it is constantly changing.
Circle May 2nd on your calendar! The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America will be conducting a nationwide Camp-In Day. It will be featuring some national celebrities and amazing contests. Details will be rolling out later this week!
As I close this message I want to thank the countless number of unit, district and council volunteers who are working tirelessly to make sure that Scouting continues during this challenging time. The resourcefulness of our leadership teams is amazing! There are a lot of great programs happening. If you have some pictures or video of what your Scouting family is doing, please share it on our Glacier's Edge Council Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GlaciersEdgeBSA/
Thank you for all you do for Scouting! Be safe and we'll see you down the Scouting Trail!
Yours in Scouting,
Alex Tyms, Jr.
Glacier's Edge Council
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Boy Scouts of America
Glacier's Edge Council