COVID-19

Updated September 18, 2020

On August 15, Governor Kemp renewed his Executive Order regarding the Public Health State of Emergency until September 10, 2020, updating earlier COVID-19 guidance. This policy reflects the Governor’s Executive Order and applies to Council and District activities as well as overnight camping by individual units that has been effective beginning on June 12, 202 and continuing through September 30, 2020.

This policy may be updated as new guidance is issued by our state and local governments and by our healthcare experts.

The following is a summary of the changes from our most recent COVID-19 policy.

  • Groups of 50 or fewer Participants are now permissible for activities if the sanitization and other guidelines are followed.  Groups of 25 or fewer Participants are now permissible for overnight camping. 
  •  Participants with significant health conditions are free to participate in events that comply with the guidelines in this policy and Governor Kemp’s Executive Orders; provided, the volunteer has a current physical with Parts A, B and C completed (see section near the end of this policy entitled “Vulnerable Populations”).

COUNCIL, DISTRICT OR UNIT ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

  1. While many businesses and other events are opening, we continue to encourage districts and units to hold activities virtually. 

       2. If a Council, District, or Unit meeting or event cannot be effectively held on a remote basis or if an “in                       person” meeting is preferable, such activities or events can occur if all the following requirements are                       followed:

  • A maximum of fifty Participants may gather together in one group. 
  • For clarity, more than fifty Participants may attend a meeting or event. 
  • All groups with a maximum of fifty Participants must be at least six feet from all other groups.
  • Inside the group of fifty or less, each individual should maintain the social distancing requirement.
  • The scout professional and the Council, District or Unit volunteer in charge of the meeting must ensure that the social distancing requirement is followed. 
  • The six-foot requirement for groups can be briefly ignored when multiple Participants are arriving or if a transition is required.
  • For example, it may take a few minutes to separate Participants into different groups that are six feet apart. 
  • Please do not use this as an excuse to willfully ignore the social distancing requirement.
  • Set up check-in lanes that allow for Participants to maintain a six-foot gap.
  • When forming groups of fifty or less, youth protection policies apply -- including two deep leadership, age, and gender of youth, etc.

       3. The Council, District or Unit volunteer in charge of the meeting or event (or his or her designee) must                      sanitize high touch areas before the meeting or event begins. 

  • For example, doorknobs, tables, and other areas that are regularly touched must be wiped down and disinfected prior to the arrival of others. 
  • If a bathroom will be used, the bathroom must also be disinfected before the arrival of others. 
  • Sanitation efforts will need to be coordinated with the organization that is allowing use of its facilities. 
    • Adults should be in charge of sanitation efforts.  
    • If a youth or youths will be sanitizing, adult Participants, following youth protection policies, should supervise the sanitation efforts.
    • The Council or District volunteer in charge should ensure hand sanitizer or other hand washing supplies are available. 
    • Do NOT assume the facility will have these supplies.
    •  

          4. Handshakes or other, person to person contact should not occur.

          5. Avoid sharing any tools or equipment among attendees (e.g., sign-in sheets, clip boards and pens that                   are passed from person to person).

          6. Facial covering or masks are strongly encouraged.

          7. Participants with any COVID-19 symptom should not attend the meeting or event. 

  • If within the prior 14 days an attendee has been in contact with anyone with these symptoms, the attendee should not attend the meeting or event.
  • Prior to entering the meeting or event area, the Council or District volunteer in charge or the scout professional in attendance, (or his or her designee) should ask this question orally to all participants or hand out a written note to each attendee asking these same questions.
  • COVID-19 symptoms include temperatures greater than 100.4 degrees, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or other respiratory symptoms or at least two of the following symptoms:  chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
  • If the event or meeting is scheduled to last more than four hours, each attendee should have his or her temperature taken with an infrared thermometer upon arrival at the meeting to ensure no one in attendance has a fever over 100.4 degrees.
  • Avoid bringing food to these activities.  Otherwise, the Council, District or Unit volunteer must ensure all food related requirements are followed under the Governor’s Executive Orders.
  • The Council, District or Unit Participants should have masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment available and as appropriate to the function and location of the meeting or event. 
    • For example, at a pinewood derby event where a few people are checking in all participants, such Participants may be provided masks and gloves if available and if deemed appropriate.

UNIT CAMPING OR APPROVED OVERNIGHT ACTIVITIES

  1. Individual units may hold overnight camps of less than 72 hours.  These camps may be held at the Council owned or leased properties. 
  2. Unit camping must be carefully structured to avoid being classified as a summer camp or overnight summer camp.  The Governor’s Executive Order defines a summer camp as “any entity offering organized sessions of supervised recreational, athletic or instructional activities held between school terms.  An “overnight summer camp” is any summer camp where attendees remain overnight at the camping facility.  Substantially, more restrictive sanitation and other requirements apply to overnight summer camping and to summer camps.  For example, current COVID-19 testing is required for all participants in outdoor summer camps.
  3. To ensure social distancing requirements, we are reducing the maximum capacity at our Council camps effective June 12, 2020 through September 10, 2020.  During this time, the maximum capacity at each camp and at each campsite within the camp is reduced by 50%. Reservations must be made by contacting Heather Sisk at Heather.Sisk@scouting.org
  4. Units using the Council’s camps must adhere to the following requirements.  We realize this list is lengthy.  The list is derived from the Governor’s Order.  Please follow these requirements when camping so we can have a safe environment available for a unit’s overnight camping.
  5. As part of making a reservation to camp, the unit leader is agreeing to follow all provisions of this policy and is responsible for ensuring others follow the policy.  If a until leader has any questions about the policy, please contact your district executive or other scout professional. 
  6. Groups can only have a maximum of twenty-five Participants.  Multiple groups may share a campsite and facilities at our Council camps provided each group is at least six feet from all other groups. 
  • For example, a Troop with 75 scouts and adult Participants can share the same campground composed of three or more groups (each comprised of 25 or fewer Participants) if there is sufficient room for each group to be at least six feet apart from all other groups.  Once a group is formed, absent an emergency or other unexpected event, the group should remain as a group the entire campout (i.e., no exchanging Participants among groups).

         7. Events held during the unit campout must not result in a gathering of more than twenty-five Participants                   within six feet of another group. 

         8. Care must be taken during other gatherings such as a flag raising or lowering, patrol or den events, camp               events, free time, scoutmaster minutes, etc.  If unit leaders are not able to maintain social distancing at all               times, the unit leader should end the overnight campout immediately.

        9. When forming groups of twenty-five or less, youth protection policies apply -- including two deep                              leadership, age, and gender of youth, etc.  At camp, the buddy system still applies.  Buddies must be part                of the same group.

         10. The six-foot requirement for groups can be briefly ignored when multiple Participants are arriving or a                       group is in transit. 

  • For example, one group can pass another group on a camp trail.  However, no lingering should occur.  Please do not use this as an excuse to willfully ignore the social distancing requirement.

      11. At the beginning of each day, the unit leader or his or her designee must remind all campers of the social                 distancing requirements and hand washing guidelines.

      12. The unit leader (or his or her designee) must assume sanitizing obligations for the campground and the                    camp facilities that are used.  

  • Do not assume tents or other sleeping structures provided by the camp are sanitized. 
  • Similarly, leaders cannot assume restrooms or other camp buildings are sanitized. 

      13. Leaders must arrange for sanitizing supplies that will be used by all campers during the event or campout.              DO NOT assume the camps will have sufficient sanitation supplies. 

      14. Leaders should encourage Participants to bring their own hand sanitizer or other hand washing supplies. 

  • Regardless, leaders of the campout should plan well in advance to ensure adequate hand washing is available for all participants. 
    • Unit leaders should remind and encourage all participants to wash their hands for at least twenty seconds multiple times each day. 
    • Handwashing must occur after use of any restroom facility and during snack breaks or meal breaks.

        15. Leaders must completely sanitize bathrooms each morning with at least one additional sanitizing effort                    during the day and at other times as necessary. 

  • Leaders must sanitize high touch areas and surfaces during the day. 
    • Sanitation efforts can be coordinated with other units using the camp. 
    • Adults should be in charge of sanitation efforts.  
    • If youth will be sanitizing, adult Participants should supervise the sanitation efforts.  Please follow youth protection protocols.

 

         16. Camp kitchen facilities may not be used as part of unit camping. 

  • Camp kitchen facilities are subject to the same specific sanitation procedures as public restaurants.  As a result, kitchen facilities are closed and not available to unit campouts. 
  • If the dining area or any camp facility is used, the event leader must ensure the entire area is completely sanitized before and after its use. 
  • For example, all tables, doorknobs and frequently touched areas must be wiped and sanitized before and after each use.

         17. Handshakes, or other, person to person contact is prohibited.

         18. Facial covering or masks are strongly encouraged.  Unit leaders should ensure all participants provide                     their own face covering.

         19. Each participant in the campout should have his or her temperature taken using infrared (no touch)                            thermometers.  

  • Unit leaders or parents/guardians should take temperatures before leaving for camp. 
    • Additional temperature testing must occur each morning and each evening. Participants with a fever over 100.4 degrees or who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to remain in camp. 
    • COVID-19 symptoms include temperatures greater than 100.4 degrees, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or other respiratory symptoms or at least two of the following symptoms:  chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
    • Unit leaders must prepare a quarantine area where scouts or other Participants who show symptoms of COVID-19 can remain separate from all others until a parent or other individual can drive the scout home.
      1. Any individual exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms must be separated from the group immediately and must leave camp as soon as possible. 
      2. Youth protection protocols apply at all times.
  • Prior to a campout and again when leaving for the campout, the unit leader must communicate to each parent or guardian of a scout attending the campout and to each adult volunteer attending the campout that the scout or adult is NOT permitted to attend the campout if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 or had contact with a person that has or is suspected of having COVID-19 within the past fourteen days.
  • Parents or guardians dropping off or picking up youth must remain in their cars.
    1. To the extent practicable, unit leaders should establish staggered drop off and pick up times. 
    2. Hand sanitizer should be provided to youth and volunteer adults, at the drop location, if practicable.
    3. Unit Leaders should pre-screen each participant prior to departing for the campout to ensure no participant is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

 

        20. Unnecessary visitors should not visit the unit during the campout.

        21. Do not use camp facilities that you cannot regularly sanitize or ensure have been sanitized.

  • Do not have person to person interaction with other units camping at the same campground. 
    • Regularly sanitize shared facilities.

 

         22. Each camper’s belongings should be stored separately (e.g., in their tent). 

  • Belongings should not be commingled. 
  • Discourage sharing of items such as flashlights, camp tools, etc.
  • Do Not over crowd tents, cabins, Adirondacks or other shared sleeping facilities.

 

          23. To the extent possible, allow only one group at a time to use camp equipment. 

  • Sanitize the camp equipment after such use and before the use by another group.
  • If the unit permits swimming (following all swimming guidelines of the camp and of the BSA), each group may swim only once each day.  Swimming times should be staggered to avoid crowding at the swimming location.
  • If a unit vehicle is used to transport youth or a parent transports other youth in addition to their own, the vehicles must be sanitized before and after each use.
  • The unit leader should provide masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment as available and as appropriate to the function and location of the Participants.
  • For example, if an adult leader were required to temporarily interact with multiple groups of campers, that leader should be provided personal protective equipment (such as a mask) when interacting with the other groups.

 

MEDICAL FORM REQUIREMENTS

 

The National BSA Health and Safety standards require that all participants provide a current BSA medical form annually. 

  1. For activities that last under 72 hours, Part A and Part B is required.
  2. For activities that last over 72 hours Part C is also required.
  3. For any activity that is considered High Adventure Part C is required.
  4. For youth participants a Parent or Guardian must sign the medical form.
  5. Part C must be signed by a licensed medical professional.

 

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

 

  1. Regardless of the foregoing, under the governor’s current order, Participants who have vulnerable health conditions are not permitted to attend any Council or District event, campout or Unit outing without a complete BSA medical form including Part C permitting such attendance.  
  2. According to Governor Kemp’s Executive Order, vulnerable health conditions include chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, severe heart disease, immunocompromised Participants (e.g., cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplant, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening conditions), Participants, regardless of age with class III or severe obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and persons with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis.

 

 

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER

 

We all desire to return to normal scout operations including camping.  We need your assistance to allow the Council to again open activities, events and camps.   Please help us by following the above requirements.

 

While the above precautions and requirements are important, they do not remove the potential for exposure to COVID-19 or any other illness while at camp, at a meeting or at an event. Some people with COVID-19 show no signs or symptoms of illness but can still spread the virus, and people may be contagious before their symptoms occur.

 

Please use common sense.  Use face coverings and masks.  Maintain social distancing.  Be safe.

 

At council and district events, participants and Participants may be asked to sign a waiver.

 

INDIVIDUAL UNIT EVENTS AND ACTIVITES

 

Consistent with our prior announcements, individual pack, troop, crew, post and ship units may make separate decisions regarding activities and activities in conjunction with their chartered organization. However, when using our Council campgrounds, the above policy must be strictly followed.  We strongly encourage units to follow the above procedures when holding unit events and unit campouts at locations outside of our Council camps.  Please, follow all guidelines and requirements of our state and local health officials and our lawmakers. 

For Tips on Hosting In-person Den Meeting please click here

 

PARENTS AND GUARDIANS

 

We defer to parents and guardians who may adopt additional, self-imposed guidelines in addition to those described above.  Families always decide if their children should participate in unit activities or activities depending on their comfort level.

 

SCOUT STORE OPERATIONS

 

As a reminder, you can continue to order your scout supplies and needs from our Council scout stores.  Both our Lawrenceville Scout Store and the Scout Store in Jefferson are open and happy to fill your scout needs.  If you desire, you can request curbside delivery or you can arrange for delivery.  We recommend calling in advance to arrange for delivery or curbside pickup. The address and phone number for our Jefferson Scout Store is 148 Boy Scout Trail, Pendergrass, GA 30549; 706-693-2446.   You may request curbside pick-up at the Lawrenceville Scout Store by contacting them in advance at the following phone number or email:  770-962-2105 or email lawrencevillescoutshop@scouting.org.

 

 

CLOSING

 

We hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will be controlled in our communities, our State and our country.  We pray for the safety of our healthcare workers, first responders and those who serve others affected by this virus and who work to make our world safer. 

 

We appreciate your patience during this challenging time.  Scouting is moving forward in the Northeast Georgia Council. Thank you for all you do!

 

Northeast Georgia Council, Key Three

Craig Pett, Council President

Carter Wood, Council Commissioner

Trip Selman, Scout Executive

File Name Description
COVID Pre-Screen NEGA Download