UPDATED INFORMATION – PLEASE FULLY READ!
April 7 @ 1 PM
Dear Scouting Families and Volunteers,
First and foremost, we wish you, your family, and your Scouting community well during this unprecedented time. The health and safety of our communities are of the utmost importance, and we encourage you to be safe and stay well.
As discussed in past communications, the Hawk Mountain Council Leadership Team continues to monitor the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) at the local, state and federal levels. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has extended the closure of schools until April 6 and many school districts are extending that closure through the Easter Holiday and Spring Break. Gov. Wolf has ordered all non-essential stores in Pennsylvania to remain closed and has only allowed life-sustaining business to remain open.
Status of Council Events
All in-person Council and District events, activities, and meetings will be postponed or canceled between Friday, March 27 and Thursday, April 30, 2020. The Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation will remain closed for that time period, too.
Additionally, the Hawk Mountain Council strongly suggests that individual Scout units follow this policy. The final decision on continued unit activities is the responsibility of the unit committee in consultation with their chartered organization and, in some cases, their meeting facilities, until the CDC or local authorities provide new guidance.
Lastly, the Beaver Family Service Center and Scout Shop will be closed to the public until Governor Wolf allows non-essential businesses to re-open. We will continue to monitor this situation and hope we can resume business after April 30.
All District and Council committee meetings will continue using conference call or web meeting services to maintain Scouting’s work during this time frame. Council and District committee meetings will not take place in person.
The Council is committed to continuing business operations remotely so we can fulfill our mission. If you have a time-sensitive issue, please contact your local District Executive or call our general number at 610-926-3406. You will need to leave a message, but we will “Do Our Best” to answer all questions in a timely manner. A full list of contacts is available at the Council Directory.
At this time, Unit Charters due on March 31, 2020, have been extended to May 15, 2020 to receive the youth membership fee assistance. We will work closely with National BSA to ensure unit leadership will continue to have access to their My.Scouting and Scoutbook accounts during this time. We encourage units who have not submitted their re-chartering information to schedule a phone or video conference with your District Executive. You can find contact information at the Council Directory.
During these difficult times, we want to ensure that all Scouts have the proper time to complete their rank advancements especially the rank of Eagle Scout. Please take the time to read the following Q&A to answer all your questions as relates to merit badges and rank advancements. BSA has given the Scout Executive the ability to grant extensions due to Covid-19.BSA Rank Advancement Q & A for Covid-19
There is also a good article regarding Advancement during Covid-19 at Bryan on Scouting Article
Currently, all summer camp programs will continue as planned for the 2020 Summer Camping season. We encourage units to continue to make regular payments for summer camp, but we understand your concern as you work with your Scout parents. Due to Covid-19, we will waive all late fees as long as all fees are paid within two weeks of your summer camp experience.
If we are forced to close summer camp due to Covid-19, units will receive a full refund.
Whenever possible, we will work to reschedule events for a later date. If you are registered for an event that is postponed, your registration will automatically be transferred to the new date. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled event, you may request a refund. For camp reservations (such as cabin or site rentals) that are canceled, full credit for a future camp reservation or a full refund will be provided upon request.
We are aware that this crisis presents many challenges to you, your family and our community. As we navigate these difficult waters together, please remember how important our Scout Oath, Scout Law and our motto – Be Prepared! We will get through this together, so please do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Yours in Scouting,
Jim Milham, Jr.
BSA Policies to Prevent the Spread of Illness
The Boy Scouts of America continue to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at significant Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.
Everyday Preventive Measures
Even with those essential policies in place, we all must take these daily preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- 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.
- 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. Go to Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
- BSA – Communicable Disease Prevention Safety Moment
- BSA – Local Council Membership Guidelines Regarding Communicable Diseases
- BSA – Prevention of Communicable Diseases in Scouting: Recommendations for Unit and Council Event Leaders